Any method that is used to collect information must gather information that will allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses (areas you need develop). This is important as it will allow you to plan a development programme that will improve your areas of weakness.

What makes a method appropriate/effective will vary from method to method. However the following should be considered to ensure that the information gathered is useful and allows you to plan an effective development programme when choosing a method to gather data.

        • Reliability
        • Validity
        • Practicability
        • Specificity
        • Permanent Record


The information collected must be reliable. This means that the information collected must give a true reflection of you/your performance?

  • Do you get information about what you/your performance is consistently like?
  • If you were to repeat the method of gathering data again would you get the same or similar results

Considerations with regards to reliability are:

      • Amount of data collected
      • Use of video and video functions
      • Following protocols/procedures/rules/criteria
      • Circumstances surrounding data collected (emotions/injury/time of day/within competition)
      • Subjectivity of data
      • Honesty of responses


How well does the method gather data on what it is supposed to. How correct and accurate is the data being collected.

Considerations with regards to validity are:

      • Level of opponent
      • Knowledge/experience of recorder/data gatherer
      • Accuracy of data collection
      • Following protocols/procedures/rules/criteria
      • Understanding of questions & instructions
      • Honesty/Accuracy of responses or reflections


The process of gathering the data must be practicable. This means
  • The process must be easy to complete.
  • The data collected must be easy to understand and interpret.
  • It should be easy to organise and not be too time consuming or costly.

Consideration with regards to practicability are:
      • Time
      • Equipment
      • Cost
      • Organisational issues
      • Impact on others
      • Simplicity of method
      • Ease of identifying and understanding results.


The method used must be suitable for the factor/feature. For example self reflection is a good way to gather data on emotional factors as only you truly know what emotions you feel.

Permanent Record

Ideally when gathering data you will have a permanent record of the data that you have collected so that you can easily look back and compare your results to any data you gather in the future.

This allows you to easily monitor you’re your progress. This is useful as if needed you can make changes to your programme or it can motivate you if you can see you are making progress.