Epidemiology for the Uninitiated, fifth ed
- D. Coggon, D. Barker, G. Rose
Hardy et al. present a qualitative interview study to identify differences between elite and super-elite athletes, but their approach closely parallels the case-control methodology developed and discussed primarily within the epidemiological literature. The strengths and weaknesses of this approach may be less familiar to a psychological or sports-science audience. Here, I comment on this methodological choice and the implications it has for the robustness and value of the inferences that are drawn. I conclude that while Hardy et al. have made valuable progress in dissecting the factors that generate elite athletic performance, their work is best considered as exploratory, and would benefit greatly from confirmation via a prospective cohort approach.