The validity of retrospective recall in assessing practice regimes in golf

Hayman, Richard, Polman, Remco orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2951-0904 and Taylor, Jamie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0619-9992 (2012) The validity of retrospective recall in assessing practice regimes in golf. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 10 (4). pp. 249-261. ISSN 1612-197X

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A criticism of the extant sports expertise literature has been the reliance placed upon retrospective methods to scrutinise the developments of elite sports performers. The aim of this study was to compare volumes and intensities of golf activities performed by nine aspiring elite adolescent golfers over a nine-month period with what they recalled once the study was terminated. Over a seven-day period on four separate occasions, participants recorded the participation trends and intensities of all golf activities undertaken in self-report diary logs. One week after the final data collection period, participants were guided through a retrospective interview schedule which focussed on retrieving data which highlighted patterns, volumes and intensities of golf activity undertaken throughout the previous nine months. Interview and diary data were compared to establish the accuracy of retrospective recall. Recalled and diary data were found to be very similar which supports the idea that retrospective recall is a dependable method to accurately determine the nature of golf activities undertaken over the course of a nine-month time frame. This finding has important practical implications for future talent development research which may wish to retrospectively examine the nature of developments on a more frequent basis as opposed to periods of 10 years and longer that are commonplace within the existing literature.

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