Sports psychology is relatively new. Sports psychologists counsel athletes trying to remove mental barriers that inhibit performance. This is an ideal career for sports lovers interested in working with collegiate and professional athletes.
Sports psychologists fill the following jobs:
- Academic Jobs: Sports psychologists working at universities conduct research and teach classes.
- Applied Psychology Positions: Sports psychologists working in applied psychology teach athletes how to improve individual and team performance.
- Clinical Psychology: Sports psychologists in clinical settings counsel coaches and athletes.
Sports psychologists work for high schools, universities, gyms, and professional sports teams. Successful sports psychologists frequently setup private practices where they work with famous athletes. Some teams pay sports psychologists to travel to their cities to speak at motivation sessions.
Sports psychologists focus on these concepts during counseling sessions:
- Expansion of Skills and Interests: Identifying goals and developing strategies to achieve them.
- Goal Accomplishment: Counseling in one-on-one sessions with athletes unsure of whether goals are attainable or not.
- Mind and Body components: Sports psychologists convince athletes that psychological barriers inhibiting performance can be removed.
- Team Spirit: Sports psychologists work with teams lacking cohesion. They teach teams what can be done to increase unity.
Although sports psychology is a relatively small field, there are currently more job opportunities than ever before for sports psychologists. The best opportunities can be found at universities and colleges. After gaining experience and developing a reputation, many sports psychologists consult with famous athletes and professional sports teams.
Education and Training
Sports psychologists with PhDs in a psychological discipline have better job opportunities than those with only bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Certain universities are now offering sports psychology courses. It’s especially useful to complete courses in medical science since athletes often struggle emotionally following injuries.
Prior Work Experience
Obtain counseling experience if sports psychology appeals to you. Internships with sports teams are often advertised at university employment centers. You should also participate in research projects and obtain a teaching position as a graduate student. Also, learn more about all sports since sports psychologists work with various athletes. It’s also helpful to spend time counseling non-athletes since this will improve your communication and problem-solving skills. People setting non-athletic related goals need motivation, accountability, and someone to talk to when they fall below individual expectations.