Sports Psych-Integrating Mind & Body

man and woman doing a push up

Our Society Loves Sports

This love has led to the continued interest in Sports Psychology. This field addresses the interaction between psychology and sport performance. It includes working with athletes to optimize performance as well as the psychological well-being of athletes and those involved with athletes (e.g., coaches). 

Optimizing performnace can lead Sports Psychologists to better understand what motivates athletes. Thus, Sports Psychologists work with athletes who might have issues that hamper their performance to helping athletes on methods of mental conditioning (e.g.visualization, concentration and relaxation). In this way, a Sports Psychologist works from the perspective that success in sports relies on both mind and body. 

How do you become a Sports Psychologist? To begin, you will need an undergraduate degree, typically in Psychology. Keep in mind, however, that there are more and more colleges that offer an undergraduate Sports Psychology major. Such a major combines courses in Psychology with those in Physical Education/Kinesiology. Moving forward, most individuals who want to be a Sports Psychologyist must earn an advanced degree. Typically, this advanced degree is in a Sports Psychology program. You can, however, earn your graduate degree in a clinical or counseling doctoral program, and then take additional classes--kinesiology, physiology, sports medicine, business and marketing. One thing to keep in mind is that it is best to be certified as a Sports pPychologist by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. 

woman runner on an obstacle course at high wall

As a Sports Psychologist, you can get a job as  a faculty member at university where you would teach and conduct research. In addition, you could work at a hospital, physical rehabilitation center, or gym. The military may even be an option for you. Finally,  you might decide to be in private practice.

Please note that the comments of Dr. Golding and the others who post on this blog express their own opinion and not that of the University of Kentucky.

Want More?

Visit our website to learn more about possible careers for psychology majors or those interested in jobs that involve psychology.

Learn how to succeed in college with Professor Golding’s blog.

Check out Dr. Lippert’s website to learn about her work as a cognitive psychologist.

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