Sports Psychologist

Sport psychology is an interdisciplinary science dealing with the knowledge of both kinesiology and psychology. The Sports Psychologists study different psychological factors that affect the performance and the participation in both sports and exercise. In addition to both instruction and training of the psychological skills for the improvement of performance, sports psychologists work with different coaches, athletes and parents in cases of injury and rehabilitation, team building, communication and career transitions. To become a sports psychologist, education requirements, needed skills and qualification are stated below as a summary.

Sports Psychologist Education Requirements

Just like any other specialized branch/field of psychology, individuals interested to pursue a career in sports psychology must be certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology or ABPP and must pass the national licensure examination for psychologist. In addition, other sports psychologist education requirements include doctoral degree and completion of approved internships.

The Sports Psychologist required education is based on a psychology major. Students start their journey in this career by taking an undergraduate BA/BS education that can be completed in four years. It is advisable to pursue the BS degree due to the mathematics and scientific approach that will be useful during the researches and thesis in the graduate studies. Students must pursue a graduate degree after their completion of their undergraduate degree. The master’s degree usually takes two years to complete. This degree program is intended for students to start taking their field of specialization and also prepares them for the doctoral degree program. The doctoral degree is usually taken after the master’s degree while some go straight to doctoral degree after their bachelor’s degree (which some higher learning institutions offer). Typically, the sports psychologist requirements for doctoral degree are thesis dissertation, conducting research in conjunction with the field of interest in psychology and full-year internship. The doctoral degree can be PhD and PsyD and can be completed from five to seven years. Passing the licensure examination and meeting the criteria set by the State will give the student the professional designation of psychologist. To obtain the sport psychologist title, students must meet the ABPP’s set of requirements, which is basically the same as obtaining the psychologist title; however, several years of working experience in this branch and professional endorsements are also necessary. The EdS degree, on the other hand, can be completed in 60 semester hours of full-time graduate study and a full-year of internship. Most accredited universities/college requires 3.0 to 3.5 as the minimum GPA in a scale of 4 and at least 1000 composite score GRE score for the admission to any accredited college/universities.

What courses count towards Sports Psychologist education requirements?

The typical courses that will be taken towards the Sports Psychology degree programs are the following: principles of sports psychology, psychology introduction, applied sports psychology, psychology of team building and coaching, applied sports and fitness psychology, personality, youth sports, team dynamics, imagery, mental rehearsal, anxiety and emotional control, kinesiology, attention and concentration, self-confidence, children and sports and the particular issues in team sports and the use of research methodology.

What levels of degrees are available for Sports Psychologist?

The following are some concentrations available for students that can lead to the Sports Psychologist qualifications.

  • First Major: Educational Sports Psychology
  • Second Major: Clinical and Counseling Sport Psychology
  • First Minor: Coaching
  • Second Minor: Youth Sports

What are the financial requirements to become a Sports Psychologist?

The approximate on-campus cost or tuition fee in Sports Psychologist degree ranges from $5,110 up to $52,060 per school year. The varied range of the cost of education differs on some pre-determine factors that is related to the school/college/university such as location of the university/college, location of the school’s campus, degree level taken and type of school.

What the continuing education requirements for Sports Psychologist?

In order to practice the sports psychology profession, students must acquire doctoral or the equivalent graduate degree, at least a year of working experience in this field, approved 1,200 credit hours internship, passing the licensure examination and endorsement from professionals. The licensure examination and eligibility for it may differ by State.

The ABPP and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology or AASP award certification to individuals who specialize in this branch of psychology. The minimum requirements to obtain the specialized Sports Psychologist certification and certificates are doctorate degree holder, passing the State licensure examination for psychologist, keenly participating to numerous postdoctoral trainings, numerous years of working experience and endorsements coming from other professionals. The AASP’s requirements for certifications are as follows: graduate degree holder, completed course works and participation to more than 300 hours of supervised internships or applied experience.

Sports Psychologist continuing education is very necessary, especially to maintain licensure and to be updated with the current innovations and improvements in this branch of psychology. They can participate in seminars, conferences, post-doctoral trainings for psychologists that are sponsored by the associations and organization for the psychologists such as ABPP and AASP.

What are the skills necessary to become a Sports Psychologist?

In order to succeed in this field of sports psychology, you must have the following examples of skills and traits:

  1. With listening ears
  2. Integration of research and theory
  3. Ethical/professional
  4. Emotionally stable
  5. Communication and verbal skills
  6. Ability to immerse oneself to the situation
  7. Open-minded
  8. Goal setter
  9. Can use multiple senses
  10. Motivational

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