Performance profiling for golfers
Performance profiling is a form of athlete assessment that is gaining in popularity (Butler, 1989; Butler & Hardy, 1992). The technique identifies important objectives for psychological skills training, as well as maximizing the motivation of athletes to implement and adhere to a psychological skulls training program (Jones, 1993). The approach provides a level of self-determination as the athlete and coach develop a sense of ownership in the assessment due to the collaborative nature of the process. The technique provides an excellent base for rapport and motivation between the consultant, coach and athlete. Performance profiling is an advanced form of goal-setting and relates an athlete’s skills/ fitness to those of elite athletes, thereby maximizing motivation through the personalization of the goal-setting process. The technique involves a series of steps leading to the development of a visual profile. The athlete is asked to rate how he currently perceives himself for each of the constructs he considers important. The first step is for the athlete to write down what he considers the PHYSICAL qualities of an elite golfer e.g. strength, coordination, balance. If he has a coach, this task should be performed together. The second step is to record the TECHNICAL aspects that the athlete (and coach) consider important, for example the golf swing, putting. The third step is to note the PSYCHOLOGICAL factors that are necessary for an elite performance. Some possibilities might be concentration, confidence and imagery. From these three lists, the athlete should now select a number of aspects that he considers important in an elite performance. He (and his coach) should select 3-4 aspects that he thinks are most important from each list. A total of 10-12 qualities should be chosen. A profile sheet should be prepared beforehand for the recording of the qualities chosen. On a scale of 1-10, the athlete should then rate himself on his present level compared with an elite athlete in his sport. He should then assess his target rating at a major competition (perhaps in a year’s time). A performance profile can now be developed to display the athlete’s present and target ratings. The athlete should examine the difference in scores on each of the qualities as shown by the space between the dotted line (present rating) and the thick line (target rating). This is the gap the athlete will attempt to close by setting goals in relation to each of the qualities. The most important step is the development of specific strategies and target dates to achieve the athlete’s goals. These result from discussion between the consultant, athlete and coach. Performance profiles are usually displayed as circular targets (using Excel), but horizontal bar graphs may also be used for this purpose. This practical session will demonstrate the process of performance profiling, leading to the construction of a computerized model that can be placed in a visible place to monitor the athlete’s improvement in all three areas on a monthly basis. Coaches can easily learn the technique to use with athletes of all ages.
Conference proceedings - Golf Science: A World Scientific Conference of Golf
Physical Education and Development Curriculum and Pedagogy