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What is a Sports Psychologist?
What does Sports Psychologist a do?
Common Tasks and Duties of a Sports Psychologist
What skills do I need to become a Sports Psychologist?
What are the types of organisations a Sports Psychologist can work in?
How much does a Sports Psychologist earn?
Sports phycologists, also known as performance psychologists, play a vital role in assisting athletes reach their full potential. People tend to think of all the physical elements that are required to become a great athlete, but there are many mental components that impact an athlete’s performance as well. Professional sporting industries are continuing to invest more and more into sport psychology, as the benefits continue to be demonstrated both in research, and on the playing field. A lot of your favourite sport superstars use top sports psychologists and mental health coaches such as Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Russell Wilson and Tom Brady. While a coach generally assists and directs players on the physical aspect of playing a sport, a sports psychologist focuses on the mental. This is what’s going on in a player’s mind that can affect their performance. If you want to learn how to become a sports psychologist, and how they help athletes, this article is for you.
What does a Do?
A sports psychologist uses psychological knowledge to help both amateur and professional athletes perform at their best. They help athletes to overcome any mental blocks that could be negatively impacting their performance or wellbeing. Have you ever watched your favourite athlete go through an unusual period where they’re underperforming? Perhaps they keep missing a goal they’ve kicked from that same angle a hundred times before? If they’ve physically performed that manoeuvre several times before, chances are the issue may be mental and not physical. Performance psychology looks to correct these issues.
Athletes can experience a lot of mental issues affecting their performance such as lacking confidence, lacking motivation, experiencing anxiety, letting criticism or the opponent get in their head etc. Sports psychologists can help athletes with these issues by using self-talk and relaxation techniques, counselling, hypnotherapy etc. They help to keep athletes motivated, navigate criticism and the pressures of competition, assist in the rehabilitation/recovery process, and ensure they are happy and enjoying the sport!
Common Tasks and Duties of a :
A sports psychologists tasks and duties will differ from patient to patient, depending on their specific needs. Some of their common tasks and responsibilities include:
- Consulting with coaches and athletes
- Providing counselling services
- Identifying factors that are impacting an athlete’s performance
- Developing mental strategies to improve athletic performance
- Assisting in conflict resolution via communication and anger management techniques
- Performing team building exercises
What skills do I need to become a ?
The role of a sport psychologist requires various skills such as:
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills: A great sports psychologist is able to easily establish trust and rapport with a client and communicate in a way that makes a client feel, warm, open and receptive.
- Empathy: the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes
- Observation skills: Sports psychologists often have to analyse an athlete or teams’ performance and pick up on areas of attention. For example, examining facial expressions, body language, communication, and identify potential unspoken needs or risks.
- Active listening skills: Listening to others without interrupting, and asking open questions
- Adaptability and problem-solving skills: this diverse, fast paced role can you put you in a whole range of situations, you need to be able to adapt quickly to new situations and be proactive in finding solutions.
What are the types of organisations a Works At?
Sports psychologists work within a large variety of organisations including;
- Professional sports teams
- National governing bodies of sport
- School and university athletic departments
- Private practice
How much do Earn?
AVERAGE EDUCATION LEVEL
Projected Job Growth in 5 Years:
JOB SATSIFACTION LEVEL
How to become a ?
To become qualified to practice sport and exercise psychology, you must first become a registered psychologist by completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Once you have obtained your undergraduate degree or diploma, you will need to complete another year of study by completing an honours or postgraduate diploma. This will qualify you to gain provisional membership as a registered psychologist.
Once your provisional membership is gained, you require a further two to three years of study to achieve a Masters or Doctorate qualification. Finally, you can apply for endorsement in the specified area of Sports Psychology. This involves undergoing supervised training with an endorsed practitioner. Once you have gained this experience you can become endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia as a registered Sports Psychologist.
Did you know that you can study a Diploma of Mental Health, and have it count towards your first year of your undergraduate degree? If your interested in a career in sports psychology, visit our University Pathways page to learn more or call us on 1300 855 517
What our trainer has to say
The road to becoming a sports psychologist is certainly a long one. However, if you have the determination and are willing to put in the time and hard work, it certainly result in a rewarding, often exciting career.