Making the intangible aspects of performance tangible

Psychometric assessments can be daunting if you aren’t aware of the practical applications for them.  In an interview with Mississauga News, I explain how TAIS results work for athletes to their competitive advantage.

Picture a user manual for every player on a hockey team, all at a coach’s disposal.

That’s how Andrew Pardy describes The Attentional and Interpersonal Style Inventory (TAIS) assessment, a performance psychology tool that describes how individuals are able to focus while also categorizing their leadership, interpersonal and communication styles.

Pardy is the managing director of Port Credit-based Satoruum, a group that uses TAIS to help clients recruit talent in a number of fields, including sports and the financial industry.

“I really like the tool because I knew I could take it in two different directions,” said Pardy, a certified MBA and CFA charter holder with a background in institutional research, treasury and trading.

He uses it as a tool in his human capital development business as well as a tool in growing the sports side of his business.

Pardy has picked up a Masters level certification in TAIS after five years of learning from world-renowned psychologist Dr. Robert Nideffer, its founder.

Around the world, it has been used in the NHL, MLB, Major League Soccer and English Premier League and elite level military settings like U.S Army Special Operations Command and The U.S Marine Corps.

Closer to home, Pardy has used TAIS while working with a number of elite hockey teams, including ones in the ECHL, the tier below the American Hockey League.

TAIS is an online test of 144 multiple choice questions that gage how a person would act under certain scenarios.

Among other things, it can show how individuals act under pressure, how susceptible they are to anxiety, and how they handle task repetition without experiencing burnout.

“People are often shocked at the amount of detail,” Pardy said. “I usually know people better than they know themselves after I get the response to those questions.”

The assessment helps talent evaluators look beyond a player’s skill and determine whether or not they fit within a team dynamic.

It identifies both strengths and weaknesses to help teams map out a plan on how to work with each player and keep them out of trouble.

Pardy uses it primarily in hockey because it can give teams an idea of how are able to see on the ice and anticipate plays.

While it’s used mostly in team sports and corporate settings, Pardy pointed out that athletes in individual sports benefit from it too.

“It can really be tailored to many other scenarios,” he said.

“Golf is one of the most fascinating ones because you get these commonplace, highly-skilled golfers in stressful situations who seem to buckle under pressure. You see it almost every year at The Masters. It’s part of the beauty of watching it.”

With his financial background to go along with his passion for sports, Pardy hopes to also use the tool in an advocacy role to help young players plan their life after retirement.

If it can help develop not only quality athletes and quality people outside of the sporting world, that’s a win in his books.

“For me, that's the end game in working with a tool like this, especially with younger players,” he said. “You’ve just got more information about an individual and the more information you have, the (better) position you’re in to help.”