The importance of appearing trustworthy in the workplace: Performance analysts’ perspectives

Lee Nelson, Nic James, Scott Nicholls, Nimai Parmar, Ryan Groom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


The discipline of performance analysis is founded upon the collection and analysis of objective and reliable data to support the coaching process. While research has begun to identify the potential importance of trust in applied sporting environments, there remains a paucity of inquiry that seeks to explicitly investigate trustworthiness in the work of performance analysts. To redress this situation Jisc online survey data was collected from performance analysts (n = 88, age: 37 ± 11 years, experience: 8 ± 6 years) practising across sporting contexts and geographic areas. Findings showed that: (1) appearing trustworthy to a range of working others was an important goal for performance analysts, (2) trustworthiness was considered essential for building positive working relationships, respect and perceptions of role-related competence (3) being perceived as trustworthy can generate desirable as well as help to avoid undesirable working conditions, including career progression and employment security, (4) analysts often seek to influence others perceptions of their trustworthiness by demonstrating important characteristics such as technical and tactical knowledge, being friendly and approachable, being punctual and hardworking, and evidenced-based, (5) an important facet of this was, often in conjunction with the coaching staff, concealing known information, particularly to athletes regarding poor performance to avoid psychological damage or where the data did not fit the coach’s approach, and (6) most performance analysts suggested the professional preparation and development of performance analysts needs to place greater emphasis on facilitating social sensibilities that practitioners can use to enhance perceptions about their workplace trustworthiness. The findings of this study generate new knowledge regarding the social features of performance analysis work, thus contributing to a growing critical social analysis of sport work in performance environments, as well as raising important practical implications for those responsible for educating the performance analysis workforce.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalSport, Education and Society
Early online date2 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2023


  • Performance analysis
  • Trustworthiness
  • Performance analyst education

Research Groups

  • Practice in Coaching & Teaching


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