How to Become a Sports Psychologist

When we talk about health and well-being, one of the first things that come to our mind is sports. Sports are not only a great way to stay fit but are ideal for exercising as well. It is a major reason why sport psychologist jobs are in high demand. 

The sports psychologist job description is not limited to helping athletes but ordinary people as well. Their expertise and knowledge help them determine the psychological factors to improve an athlete’s performance.

So, if you are looking to pursue a career as a sports psychologist, here are a few things we cover in this article that you should know about.

What Does A Sports Psychologist Do?

To become a professional, you need to fulfill the sports psychologist requirements. The requirements do not only limit the education and experience in the particular field. It goes way beyond that. 

Sports psychologist jobs require individuals to have some critical skills and capabilities to help their athletes. As a result, they can enhance their performance on the field. 

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There are two different psychology practices for sports that vary as per the various licensing organizations. 

  1. applied psychology, and 
  2. clinical psychology 

Applied sports psychologists focus on helping players, coaches, and trainers to enhance their game performance through stress-management and relaxation techniques. 

On the other hand, clinical psychologists help players with personal issues, rehabilitation, etc., through counseling. Regardless of the kind of psychologist you become, below are a few must-have skills:

  • Critical thinking 
  • Communication and listening skills 
  • Complete knowledge about how to address mental injuries and issues
  • Making sound judgments 
  • Do a thorough analysis of the situation and come up with a solution
  • Proper expertise about the mental conditioning techniques

Sports Psychology Jobs: Where Do Sports Psychologists Work?

The next thing that comes to individuals’ minds is the question, “where do sports psychologists work?”

The simple answer is that you can find them working in an extensive range of facilities in different settings. You can find and consult with one in the nearest hospital as well as physical rehabilitation centers. 

Some psychologists practice in their clinics as well. Additionally, many schools or colleges that heavily emphasize recreational and sports activities tend to have either a full-time or part-time psychologist.

You will also find psychologists working with various sports organizations such as leagues and teams. These organizations hire professionals to enhance performance and look after the health and wellness of individuals in the team, including, 

  • players, 
  • coaches, 
  • trainers, and 
  • other people associated with these organizations 

How Do You Become A Sports Psychologist For A Sports Team?

Now that you have a brief idea about the job specifics of a sports psychologist, you might be wondering how to become a sports psychologist? Just like any other field, sports psychologists need to go through college to obtain a degree. Then, they need to get experience in a particular field.

Expertise and knowledge help individuals advance in their careers towards a higher role in the sports psychologist field. Let’s talk about the education that is necessary to become one.

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Education 

A bachelor-level program in psychology is usually the ideal place to start. It gives individuals enthusiasm a strong base on which to build their careers. If the university or college provides sports psychology seminars, students should register in as many as feasible. By doing so, they can gain a better understanding of the sport psychology field.

Specific requirements and license standards differ from state to state, but sports psychologists need a distinctive blend of clinical and psychological skills. What’s more, you can further pursue your education in this field by going for a Master’s in Sports Psychology. 

Few universities in the United States offer postgraduate degrees in sports psychology. Students interested in majoring in this area can do so by combining psychology and athletic training. They can do this by pursuing a clinical degree in psychology, such as a Ph.D. with a sports psychology specialization.

Experience

While education is imperative to become a sports psychologist, experience is equally important. The combination of education and experience will help you land multiple opportunities to advance your career. 

Therefore, consider looking for opportunities to obtain hands-on training to assist you in improving your abilities. The most common approach is to combine an internship with your bachelor’s degree studies. Doing so will prepare you for a career in sports psychology.

Salaries and Opportunities

Another important thing people must consider while choosing any particular field is the chances of growth and opportunities available. The same is the case when it comes to sports psychologists. 

A sports psychologist’s salary is above average, and they can make money just like any profession where people make high wages for their skills and education. There are many statistics to back up the wide range of opportunities available in this field. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), opportunities for psychologists, particularly sports psychologists, are expected to expand 14 percent between 2018 and 2028. – a record number that is outpacing the cumulative total for many professions.

The annual salary for psychologists, including those in the world of sports, is around an average of $79,010. Also, there will be more than 23,000 new jobs in the market as per the BLS which means the annual salary may increase.

Getting Started In Sports Psychology

We hope that you now have a comprehensive understanding of what sports psychologists do. If you are looking to pursue your career as one, many sports psychologist jobs are available for you.

But before you go for a college degree, it is crucial to know more about the field. With proper consultation and guidance, you can find the right path for success.

Having resources available is vital for making the right steps for a successful career. Since psychology is a vast field, it is necessary to have the complete pathway in front of you.

JobsInSports.com is here to assist. We offer up-to-date sports job postings, paired with an online network to allow you to connect with industry professionals. Sign up today for free to begin your path to career success.