This study attempted to assess the construct validity of the performance profile technique (Butler, 1989) within elite track and field athletics. Twelve elite (senior international honors) athletes (5 male, 7 female: mean age = 21.2, SD = 1.81) completed their profile on five occasions across winter training and the indoor season. Support for the construct validity of the profile was identified by a reduction in profile areas of perceived need (F (4, 44) = 11.77, p < .05) which was congruent with the observed increase in performance (F (4, 44) = 26.30, p < .05) as athletes progressed from winter training to the peak of the competitive indoor season. Trend analyses also identified that areas of perceived need in profile constructs, which were classified as most important to performance, showed a greater and more rapid reduction across the five occasions compared to the least important constructs. However, the results raise some concern over the usefulness of the profile for detecting subtle but important changes in performance and perceived need.
Jo Doyle is with the School of Health at Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK ST4 2DE. Gaynor Parfitt is with the School of Sport, Health, and Physical Education Sciences at the University of Wales, Bangor.