Development and validity of the subjective training quality scale

Stephanie J. Shell, Katie Slattery, Brad Clark, James R. Broatch, Shona L. Halson, Aaron J. Coutts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This study aimed to define, develop, and validate a subjective scale of training quality. Two related studies were used to 1) define training quality and 2) develop and validate a subjective scale. Part One: a purposive sample of 15 sub-elite (i.e. national) and elite (i.e. international) swimmers participated in one, 20-30-min semi-structured interview. Thematic analysis of interview responses established three constructs to define training quality. These were the physical, technical, and mental aspects of training. Part Two: development of the Subjective Training Quality (STQ) scale based on the three constructs identified in Part One. 252 sub-elite and elite athletes, across eight sports completed the STQ scale. Cronbach’s alpha (α) assessed internal consistency, histogram plot analysis assessed face validity, and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) compared physical, technical, and mental constructs with training quality. Root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) and standardised root mean square residual (SRMR) evaluated CFA quality of fit. Physical, technical, and mental constructs demonstrated a high “acceptable” level of internal consistency (α = 0.85) and excellent face validity. Comparatively, the CFA quality of fit was “excellent” (RMSEA = <0.01 “good”, SRMR = 0.00 “perfect”). The STQ scale demonstrated excellent internal consistency and face validity, establishing capacity to monitor training quality. The STQ scale could be used in conjunction with traditional training monitoring tools to provide additional insight into athlete’s training quality. Further investigation is required to determine how the STQ scale may interact with subjective and objective training performance measures, and how it could be incorporated into daily training monitoring. Highlights Athletes perceive the subjective training quality (STQ) scale adequately represents the physical, technical, and mental constructs of training quality. Excellent internal consistency and confirmatory factor analysis fit demonstrates the STQ scale is an effective tool to monitor training quality. With additional validation, the STQ scale could be used in conjunction with traditional load monitoring tools to provide greater insight to an athlete’s training response, and subsequently inform training prescription.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1102-1109
    Number of pages8
    JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
    Issue number7
    Early online date28 Aug 2022
    Publication statusPublished - 2023


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