In this paper we discuss some of the factors sport psychologists should consider before administering questionnaires or other formal assessment instruments to athletes. To be used effectively, assessment instruments need to be (a) reliable and valid for the individual athlete or sport group in question, (b) seen as useful by the athlete(s) completing the instrument, and be (c) completed honestly by the athlete(s). Additional objectives sport psychologists should strive to achieve include a clear identification of the purpose of the assessment instrument, the commitment of athlete and coach to the assessment process, and the maintenance of a clear channel of communication with coaches and athletes throughout the period of psychological assessment, training, feedback, evaluation, and adjustment.
Jürgen Beckmann is with the Department of Sport Science at the University of Potsdam, Am Neuen Palais 10, 14469 Potsdam, Germany. He was the German Men’s National Alpine Ski Team sport psychology consultant from 1991-1994 and is now working especially as consultant to professional golf players E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Michael Kellmann is presently with the Faculty of Sport Science at Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany. He has been the German Junior National Rowing Team sport psychology consultant since 1995.