An Online Sports Psychology Degree equips aspiring therapists with the knowledge and training to help coaches and athletes reach their highest potential. As athletes from golf to basketball realize that performance is as much about psyche as talent, sports players are increasingly relying on sports psychologists to understand mental blocks, performance anxiety, stress management and how to reduce their personal and professional deficiencies. More specialized than a general psychology degree, the sports psychology degree zeroes in on the challenges unique to the athletic world. Students learn to adapt classic mental therapy strategies to sports issues.
In pursuit of their degree, students take academic courses that explore group dynamics, the mental effects of competition, stress reduction, group communication, team motivation and the effects of exercise on human behavior. Coursework also includes coaching psychology, the art of preparing for a game, injury recovery and case studies on contemporary athletes and their issues. To become qualified, an aspiring sports psychologist can receive training at the undergraduate or graduate level. At the bachelor degree level, colleges offer a range of related majors including sports psychology, performance psychology, sport-exercise psychology or general psychology with a concentration in sports psychology. At the graduate level, degree offerings include the master’s in sports psychology, the master’s in psychology of sport and physical activity and the master’s of sport and performance psychology. By whatever name, the earned degree can equip a professional with the training to land a job as a counselor for high school athletes, college players, professional players or even Olympians. Sports psychologists may travel with teams, counsel an entire team or develop one-on-one therapeutic relationships with specific players.
How To Find The Top Online Sports Psychology Degree Programs
To determine if prospective schools offer the best online sports psychology degree programs, analyze staff before enrolling; an accredited school should have highly experienced professors who have actually worked as sports psychologists. Check to see if the online program offers a few credit hours of on-site, hands-on training or a practicum; many aspiring sports psychologists like to feel capable of applying the principles of this major in real world settings before earning licensing. The best online sports psychology degrees should enable students to meet professional licensure requirements. Not all degree programs meet that mark. Look for a school that offers a licensing adviser that will walk students through the certification process and make sure all completed courses fulfill licensing demands.
Some highly regarded schools offer their own certification, such as JFK University, known for its sports psychology program that has been ranking as a top national venue for psychologists for years. At JFK, students can choose from a program taught entirely online or a hybrid program with both onsite and online components. For those seeking specialty knowledge but not wanting to practice as licensed sports psychologists, schools like Brigham Young University offer inexpensive online sports psychology programs that can be helpful to those who aim to work as sports coaches, motivational speakers or Little League managers. To offset financial costs, some schools offer grants, many in the $3,000 range. Loans and scholarships are also available.
Careers and Salaries For Individuals With An Online Sports Psychology Degree
For a graduate with an online sports psychology degree, careers are limitless since there is an increasing demand for psychologists in the athletic world. Graduates can work as rehabilitation psychologists for people undergoing physical therapy. They can work as support staff for certified physical trainers who regularly enlist the help of counselors. They can work for athletic teams or, after gaining experience, set up an independent therapy practice.
Online sports psychology degree salaries vary, with earnings ranging from $42,000 to $72,000 a year, depending on whether the employee has a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The median salary is $55,000; employees who use their online sports psychology degree in private practice can earn significantly more.
Additional Resource: Top Online Psychology Degree Programs