Various forms of qualitative research can aid our applied practice by increasing our understanding of the contexts and psychological dynamics of sport. To reap greater benefits from qualitative research, a key step will be to recognize and accept different views of knowledge that underlie many qualitative approaches. From this perspective, this paper focuses on possibilities to use qualitative research in sport psychology to describe, interpret, verify, and evaluate phenomena of interest. The potential of qualitative research to allow for surprises and produce understandable and credible findings and theories is also addressed. The spirit of the paper and the conclusion focus on the many ways in which the “goodness” (Peshkin, 1993) or “strength” (Maxwell, 1996) of qualitative research can be part of what is done in sport psychology.
William B. Strean is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, E-401 Van Vliet, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H9, Canada.