Volume 44 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 19-32
This paper presents a review of the literature on psychological support practice for athletes in Japan. Our aim was to identify future directions for practical research and to suggest new viewpoints for practice. First, we extensively reviewed studies on “research through practice,” and found that the volume of practical studies has grown continuously. However, most of the studies are practical reports and few are case studies. Second, we examined the case studies of psychological support, and found that they were conducted by a small number of researchers representing only a few viewpoints. The three main viewpoints of the studies were the process of psychological change, the involvement of the body in psychological change, and the coexistence of research and practice. These findings point to issues for the future study of psychological support practice. These include elucidating the psychological mechanism related to the athlete’s body in performance enhancement and studying psychological support cases that address the subjectivity of practitioners, including their body experiences. These issues are relevant to both practice and research. Therefore, researchers who are also practitioners of psychological support should consider the integration of research and practice and promote practical research.