Characteristics of Coaches’ Behavior Towards an Elite Japanese University Athlete Displaying Psychosomatic Movement Disorders: A Longitudinal Case Study in Elite Sports Education

Proceedings of The 4th International Academic Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education

Year: 2022

DOI:

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Characteristics of Coaches’ Behavior Towards an Elite Japanese University Athlete Displaying Psychosomatic Movement Disorders: A Longitudinal Case Study in Elite Sports Education

Olivia C. OGAWA

 

ABSTRACT: 

This study longitudinally explored the characteristics of coaches’ behaviour towards an elite Japanese university athlete exhibiting a psychosomatic movement disorder and examined avenues to provide psychological support to coaches throughout their career. Generally, coaches in elite sports education are teachers and ex-players who began their athletic careers in early childhood. According to existing literature, some coaches exhibit problematic behaviour such as abuse and violence. From the psychodynamic perspective, this is likely the result of psychological characteristics that were developed based on their parents and surrogate relationships since childhood. Research data using semi-structured interviews and Sano and Makita’s sentence completion tests were initially collected to analyse the psychological development of the athlete. The participant was longitudinally followed up after five years. The data were analysed using Marcia’s identity status rating scale and Kawakita’s affinity diagrams. Consequently, in the first study, the athlete was categorised under ‘foreclosure’ as per Marcia’s model and ‘invaded’ as per Ogawa’s categorizations, which demonstrates psychological immaturity and family dependency. In the first study, coaches and parents often interfered excessively, which annoyed the athlete. At the five-year follow up, it was noted that the athlete began considering their athletic retirement independently. However, coaches tended to display continuous interference and sabotage the athlete’s independence. Therefore, (a) considering co-dependency in the coaches and athlete relationships is essential for their psychological development, and (b) focusing on coaches’ psychological development should be important for supporting coaches’ aptitudes.

keywords: athlete and surrogate relationships, elite education, family dependency, clinical psychology, school counselling.