Tracing the Development of Athletes Using Retrospective Interview Methods: A Proposed Interview and Validation Procedure for Reported Information
Ericsson, K. Anders
Law, Madelyn P.
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A new interview procedure is proposed for collecting valid information on the acquisition of high-level performance in sport. The procedure elicits verifiable information on the development of athletes' achievements in their primary sport, as well as factors that might influence performance, including involvement in other sporting activities, injuries, physical growth and quality of training resources. Interviewed athletes also describe their engagement in specific training and other relevant activities during each year of their development as well as how they experienced each type of activity. The collected information is then examined to identify those aspects of the athletes' recall of their development that meet criteria of reliability and validity. Recommendations to coaches and scientists are discussed for how retrospective interviews can uncover aspects of development that distinguish elite from less accomplished athletes.