A Preliminary Exploration of Breakthrough Thinking Preferences of Ice Hockey Players

Bonnie Anne Doliszny, Buffalo State College, State University of New York, International Center for Studies in Creativity


The purpose of this study was to conduct a preliminary exploration of creative-thinking preferences of ice hockey players. FourSight: The Breakthrough Thinking Profile is an assessment designed to assist individuals and teams to better understand their approach to problem solving through creative thinking. This qualitative study explored the application of FourSight to a New England Preparatory school ice hockey team identifying if the cognitive and creative preferences translate into on ice behavior. Triangulated data from real game performances, coaching analysis and individual player interviews were gathered to answer the following questions:

Do creative process preferences exist among ice hockey players?

Is there a dominant profile evident by position of play?

In what ways do creativity preferences translate into on ice behavior?

Implications of these findings are discussed as well as limitations and recommendations for future research efforts related to the topic of creative cognition. Beyond adding to the body of knowledge of creativity and athletics, the intersection of these two burgeoning fields may help in leveraging creative-thinking skills in order to enhance team and individual athletic performance.