What’s Your Myers-Briggs Hoop Learning Style?

What's Your Myers-Briggs Hoop Learning Style? by Mandi Smith

Chances are that you have been frustrated trying to learn a new hooping move at some point. While dropping your hoop is just a part of learning, have you ever dropped your hoop for the seventeenth time in a row, after hitting your head, again, because the instructions said “start by waist hooping and then lift the hoop up into lasso?” This didn’t result in the perfect corkscrew, or anything that even resembles a corkscrew, and where the heck is your second hand supposed to go anyway? While the truth is that you are going to get frustrated occasionally when learning a new hooping trick, the experience can be exacerbated if you are using the wrong learning style.

Different people learn hooping and hoop moves differently. That’s why it’s important to know the four personality preferences that help make up your very own personal learning style when it comes to hooping. Back in the 1940s, two very smart ladies came up with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory. By combining preferences from each of four pairs, they established sixteen personality types. You may have heard coworkers or friends refer to themselves as an ESFP or an INTJ or something very similar. If so, they were talking about their Myers-Briggs personality type – each letter indicates their pair preferences. What are yours?

Extroversion (E) or Introversion (I)

Extrovert Hoopers: You can’t wait until the next weekly hoop jam. Actually, you might not have to wait. It’s entirely possible you have enough hoops and friends around you to have an impromptu hoop jam right now! You love the energy from hooping classes and workshops, but can learn just as much from casual hoop sessions with friends. You can practice alone, but it’s nowhere near as fun or effective. If you get stuck on a move, the best way to get unstuck is to talk it out with a few of your hoop jam buddies, or several hundred of your Facebook friends.

Introvert Hoopers: While your other hooper friends mean well, the idea of learning hooping in a room full of strangers just makes you twitch. Besides, that is what all those hooping.org tutorials are for. After getting the moves down, then you will feel more comfortable hooping with other people. But if you do get stuck on a move, you are right back to your living room or backyard until you figure it out.

Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)

Sensing Hoopers: You learn from the tangible rather than the abstract. Imagining a move isn’t good enough, you need to see it. Or you might even need the hoop around your waist and in the air before you truly understand it. You also prefer that the move be broken down step-by-step in sequential order please. Putting the pieces together is the only way you can see the big picture. Consequently, you prefer to learn by watching tutorials rather than videos of hooping performances.

Intuitive Hoopers: You know the whole is more than the sum of its parts and it can get frustrating when someone insists you learn step one before moving onto step two. In fact, by breaking a move down into steps, you just lose some of the magic. Only if you get really stuck will you go looking for that missing step. Don’t tell anyone, but you don’t even really like hooping tutorials or classes. Just watching hooping performances or even imagining new hoop tricks is usually enough.

Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)

Thinking Hoopers: You like to analyze, everything. You usually have no problem figuring out why a move isn’t working, probably because you have an extensive history of previous research to draw from. You also understand that practice is required and are less likely to get frustrated. If one method isn’t working, you just try something else. Off body hooping may be more attractive to you.

Feeling Hoopers: You are the first to compliment your fellow hoopers, and you thrive on the encouragement of others. You learn best when there is a personal connection and, fortunately, you have a personal relationship with your hoop — using someone else’s just isn’t the same. You also probably have a favorite instructor, either in-person or through a series of hooping tutorials. You may be more attracted to hooping on body.

Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

Judging Hoopers: You’ve already planned out your next hooping session and know exactly which move(s) you are going to work on. Of course, you also have a scheduled time to hoop each day and your hoops are arranged just so. You experience flow during the perfect execution of a memorized routine and will thoughtfully plan out the creation of any future routines.

Perceiving Hoopers: Flow happens in the moment and the thought of being tied to a routine makes you shudder. You hoop when you can find the time or when the mood strikes you. And how the mood strikes you — you probably don’t even like to be tied down to just one style of hooping. You have a tendency to start learning a hoop move, but might jump to another more exciting trick before finishing learning the original.

The Results

After identifying your four personality preferences, you can combine them together to get your personality type and your ideal learning style for hooping. For example, I am an INTP or an introvert-intuitive-thinking-perceptive hooper. So I should learn by practicing by myself, after watching hooping performances and analyzing them in my head, whenever and however the mood strikes me, right? Well, sort of.

While the original theory proposed that individuals are either one preference or the other, like being either right-handed or left-handed, I personally think it can be more complicated than that, even more so for some of us. I prefer to think of the pairs as spectrums, spectrums that I sometimes have a tendency to slide all over. Most days, however, I’m probably about 65% intuitive and 35% sensing, so I’d select the N. Choose the type that speaks to you in each of the four categories the most and see what your Myers-Briggs Hoop Learning Style is.

Knowing that we all have different learning styles and that they are based on our own individual personality can be quite liberating. It can greatly impact our hooping practice, help us better understand how we learn, and may inform us when something isn’t working very well for us along the way. Try a different learning experience more suited to your personality, and mastering that corkscrew will be a thing of the past.

So, what about you? What are your hooping personality preferences? What type of learning style works for you? Let us know in the comments below.


mandismith Contributor Mandi Smith uses hooping to escape from her crazy academic life. By day she is an academic librarian for a small regional university, and by night she is a graduate student working on her 2nd Masters degree. But in the evening twilight hour between her day and night and on weekends, she is a hooper who is loving her hooping journey. She lives in southwest Oklahoma with her husband, three cats, over a dozen hoops, and several hundred stray books.

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