Performance profiling offers a systematic method to enhance our understanding of how athletes rate the qualities necessary to achieve optimum performance in their sport and how they currently feel about their own performance in relation to this ideal (Butler & Hardy, 1992). Performance profiling can be applied to all aspects of sport development and performance, i.e., physical, technical, tactical, and psychological.
Two fundamental propositions underpin performance profiling:
- Each athlete has a unique way of interpreting his or her athletic experience.
- In order to understand an athlete’s point of view a coach needs to be able to stand in the athletes’ shoes.
Performance profiling is used in many sports and has been found to enhance coach-athlete communication by enabling the coach to understand how the athlete currently feels about their training or performance. This information has been found to assist the coach in the development of training sessions that take into account the athlete’s perspective. At the athlete level it helps focus attention, energy and time on areas of limitation or underperformance.