Initial steps in the validation of the athlete development formulation survey


Traditionally, athletes are selected for talent development programmes based on anthropometric factors, performance in competition, and motor-performance tests (Gullich & Cobley, 2017); psycho-social factors that influence athlete development have been largely ignored (Hardy et al., 2017). This research project seeks to develop the Athlete Development Formulation Survey (ADFS), a brief profiling tool gauging athletes' scores on psycho-social factors influencing elite performance. Following item generation, instrument construction, and establishing content validity, the present study reports on pilot work assessing the ADFS' concurrent validity. Two studies utilised a cross-sectional study design (Study 1; N =361, M hours training per week = 5.89, SD = 5.05; M years participating in sport = 7.35, SD = 6.47. Study 2; N = 66, Males = 30, Females = 36 (M hours training per week = 7.00, SD = 3.37; M years participating in sport = 7.34, SD = 2.84). Participants completed the ADFS alongside corresponding "full" measures with previously established psychometric properties. The ADFS is designed to assess 33 constructs. Across both studies, bi-variate correlations revealed significant and theoretically relevant associations between the ADFS constructs and their respective "full" measures. The present study adds support to the ADFS as a multi-faceted tool enabling identification of a combination of psycho-social factors that influence elite development. The ADFS has practical value within talent identification systems as it can be used to measure multiple factors without placing burden on athletes and coaches.