Do you have an interest in helping athletes perform to the best of their ability? Do you think you can help teams and sports men and women to overcome their mental barriers and improve their mental skills? If so, it might be worth considering a career in Sports Psychology.
There are a number of postgraduate courses to allow you to specialise in the area. Take a look at the information below. It could be exactly what you’re looking for to kickstart your career!
What is sports psychology?
Sports psychology is an area of science that uses psychological knowledge and skills to address psychological factors that affect athlete performances. It looks at different aspects from developments and social to sports organizations and settings.
As a sports psychologist you will help athletes and those involved in sports to perform to the best of their ability while addressing and overcoming any psychological factors or barriers that may be affecting or hindering their progress. You will help athletes to set their goals and map out a way to reach those goals in overcoming different barriers while improving their mental skills both on and off the field.
You will run different workshops and meet different clients to provide them with the best advice to get the most out of themselves both personally and in relation to their sports while also advising coaches on different things they can do to add to the process and help to get the best out of athletes. You will ensure that you keep up to date on all relevant research in the area to keep your skills and knowledge in topo shape so you can then help your clients to do the same.
Your working hours will depend on your employment type but if you are working as a self-employed sports psychologist then you can work in whatever way works for you. THis may include unsocial hours if you are working with teams or clients such as weekends or evenings.
There are many courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Covid-19 and may offer courses online. Courses available include:
Postgraduate courses in sports psychology will give you the opportunity to develop both your skills and knowledge in the area of sports psychology while also gaining a deeper understanding of issues and barriers that might face athletes today and how to tackle them. You will gain an understanding of the principles of sport psychology and how to apply those to different individuals. Modules include Applied Skills is Psychology, Conceptual and Special Issues in Sport Psychology, Innovative Dissemination for Performance Enhancement and many more.
Sports and Exercise Psychology
There are a number of courses available in Sports and Exercise Psychology across the UK to choose from. DIfferent courses may differ in their exact content. All courses will allow you to develop your skills and understanding in the area while also gaining a strong foundation of different principles relevant to sports and exercise psychology. Modules may include Skilled Performance under pressure, Physical Activity and Mental Health, The Practice of Sports and Exercise Psychology and many more. Most courses, if not all, will require a dissertation/research paper.
Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1 in psychology, sports and exercise science or a related field.
Your salary in this area will be dependent on a few variables including your experience, your employment type and often the location you’re working in. It is believed that the average salary of a sports psychologist in the UK is around £35,600. Starting out, your salary will be closer to the £20,000 mark and rise with experience. In some cases if you;re working with a high profile team or athletes, this can also affect your salary. All figures are based on estimates and are intended to be used as a guide only.
- Sports psychologist
- Performance coach
- Sports rehab Therapist
- Sports Research Specialist
- Child psychologist
- Adult psychologist
- Behavioural therapist
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements helpful in this are include:
- Excellent communication skills
- Observation skills
- Interpersonal skills
- The ability to work well with others
- An interest in sports
- Research skills
- Analytical skills
- TIme management skills
- Organisation skills
- A good listener