A Career in Sports Psychology: An Overview

Whether you are still in elementary school or heading off to college, it is always important to think about what you want to do in the future. This blog will specifically explore how one becomes a sports psychologist and allow you to determine why it could be a good career path for you.

First of all, what is a Sports Psychologist?

In simple terms, a sports psychologist investigates the effect of participating in sports on one’s mental health and well-being. Sport psychologists help athletes improve skills like their focus (tuning out a loud crowd), visualization, goal setting, motivation, team-building, anxiety, and rehabilitation

Who Would Enjoy This Career?

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Those who have a strong passion for sports along with an interest in psychology would strongly enjoy this exciting career.

Careers in Sports Psychology:

Some sports psychologists decide to work at the university level, while others may work directly with athletes in order to help improve their performance. They also work with

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non-professional athletes such as injured athletes working to return to their sport. The median salary for sports psychologists working at the university level is between $60,000-80,000 a year. Those at the top earn six-figure salaries, working for the professional athletes that you watch on TV. These top sports psychologists work with professional athletes such as Michael Jordan. Jordan claims that, in his opinion “80% of the game is mental”. He also went on to explain in an interview that it was this psychological coaching that helped him develop the mental side of his game which gave him a greater edge.  

Besides working with university and high school students, sports psychologists may also work at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and gyms. Once you achieve the education needed in order to be a sports psychologist, the options are endless!

How Do I Become a Sports Psychologist?

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First, make sure you graduate high school and obtain good grades. When it comes to going to college, many who know at this point that they want to pursue sports psychology may double major in psychology and exercise science. Once you earn your bachelor’s degree, you could attempt to get a job but it is hard as most positions require you to go through more schooling. Therefore, many go back for 2 more years in order to get their Master’s Degree. Some may continue on to get their PhD. Therefore, you are looking between 4-10 years of schooling depending on the level of education you are willing to achieve.

Comment down below if you have any questions about becoming a sport psychologist!

Works Cited

Cherry, Kendra. “An Overview of Sports Psychology.” Verywell Mind, 1 Feb. 2021, www.verywellmind.com/what-is-sports-psychology-2794906.

Cherry, Kendra. “Is Sports Psychology the Career Path for You?” Verywell Mind, www.verywellmind.com/careers-in-sports-psychology-2795657.

“Examples of Successful Athletes Who Succeeded Due to Their Psychological Game.” Jim 

Hickey, 14 June 2017, www.jimhickey.ie/athletes-who-succeeded-due-to-sports-psychology/.

“How To Become A Sports Psychologist: Education Requirements.” CareersinPsychology.org |, 30 Oct. 2020, careersinpsychology.org/becoming-a-sports-psychologist/.

“Sports Psychology Overview: Definition and Salary.” Rider University, 25 Aug. 2020, online.rider.edu/blog/sports-psychology-overview/.


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