Supervision: research questions to move the field forward

David Tod*, Martin Eubank , Hayley McEwan, Charlotte Chandler, Moira Lafferty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Trainee sport psychologists often display anxieties about their initial attempts to help clients. They appreciate support from their supervisors. Equally, supervisors sometimes question their abilities to help trainees, and they may search the literature, hoping to find direction from the discipline’s bank of knowledge. Some supervisors realise, however, they need to expand their search into related disciplines, such as counselling and clinical psychology. Although counselling and clinical psychologists have a long history of discussing supervision, their sporting brethren are still becoming familiar with the topic and still grappling with how to translate the knowledge into practice. The first sport-related articles on supervision appeared in the mid-1990s (e.g., Andersen, 1994; Andersen, Van Raalte, & Brewer, 1994), but they did not trigger research programmes on the topic. Additional research will help individuals learn to supervise practitioners stepping into service delivery. Supervision involves an interpersonal relationship in which supervisors help supervisees examine their perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours about their client interactions to achieve desirable outcomes (Van Raalte & Andersen, 2000). Primary outcomes include safeguarding clients’ welfare; ensuring athletes receive effective and ethical services; and helping supervisees develop as humane, skilful, informed, and self-aware practitioners. In this chapter, we review existing research and propose avenues to advance knowledge, allowing professionals in the discipline to address challenges within supervision.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Unknown in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationResearch Questions to Move the Field Forward
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Jan 2021


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