If you have a passion for both psychology and sports, why not start to research the careers in sports psychology? The sports psychologist title has been labeled one of the hot careers in psychology by the American Psychological Association and is a great choice in a sport-loving society like America. You might be wondering to yourself why an Olympic athlete or a professional in athletics would need a psychologist to perform, but psychologists play a bigger role in sports than it might look at first glance. Read on, and find out what sports psychologists do and how you can pursue this specialty area.
What is the Specific Role of the Sports Psychologist?
A sports psychologist plays a critical role in helping give their clients a mental edge instead of a physical edge. While you might assume that psychologists only work with patients when they are having issues, but in the world of sports a professional will help athletes come up with mental strategies so that they can get past a plateau or overcome challenges so that they can perform well and handle the pressure.
In professional sports, trying to appease the audience while you compete to win critical games can be extremely stressful. For some, that stress and anxiety can affect an athletes performance and even affect their mental health. Since being an athlete can actually lead to some psychological issues, having a sports psychologist that a team can access is very important for their current life and their future.
Is There Demand in Sports Psychology?
Not everyone is athletically gifted enough to become professional basketball or football players or competitors who make it to the Winter Olympic games. While it takes more than just a passion for sports to be an athlete that does not mean that you cannot work somewhere within the industry. If you are driven to help athletes, you may be a great fit to work in psychology.
Before you start to study for your degree it is important that you find out if there is a positive job outlook. As a hot career, you might expect there to be a large projection for growth. As a whole, the demand for psychologists is at 12%, but for clinical psychologists and applied psychologists with doctoral degrees, the demand is much higher.
What Are the Educational Requirements to Work in Sports Psychology?
You must decide if you want to be a clinical or applied psychologist before you decide which type of educational path to take. If you want to work in clinical psychology, you will need to work your way up to a doctoral degree in sports psychology. If, however, you want to work as a applied psychologist, you can study for a master’s degree in exercise psychology, kinesiology or counseling.
If a license or certification is required to work in the field in the state you plan on working in, be sure to review the licensing requirements. You should also consider getting certified through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology to show how committed you are to the field.
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You may feel very fulfilled if you help with performance enhancement or if you can help treat psychological issues that athletes face. It can be a high-pressure career to work playing a sport. With the right training and continuing education focused on sports medicine and kinesiology, you can get qualified to pursue careers in sports psychology.