Implementing a Novel Team Performance Profiling Activity with Young Athletes

Dalma Szécsi, Scott Gunning, Karen Howells, Jenny Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Performance profiling is a widely used assessment and monitoring method within the field of sport psychology. As a client-centered tool, it helps athletes, coaches, and practitioners identify the characteristics perceived necessary for successful performance. However, traditional methods of performance profiling are not always appropriate for younger athletes or for application outside of an office or classroom. In line with recommendations from previous research, this article presents the experiences of a trainee sport and exercise psychologist during the development and implementation of a novel, team performance profiling activity. The activity was introduced in a workshop delivered to a youth soccer team to determine the content of three additional workshops. During the activity, the soccer players collaborated to identify the best soccer player in the world (i.e., Lionel Messi) and the behaviors, feelings, and thoughts that enabled him to be successful. Then, as a team, they rated their abilities with regards to the identified behaviors, feelings, and thoughts on a scale of 1 to 5 in relation to Lionel Messi, to identify their potential strengths and areas for improvement. For a visual representation of the ratings, colored cones were used. The trainee’s experiences highlight the challenges of adapting traditional sport psychology tools.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sport Psychology in Action
Early online date5 Jul 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2023


  • Applied Sport Psychology
  • performance profiling
  • soccer
  • trainee experiences
  • youth athletes


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