Want to help make champion athletes? Then a masters in sports psychology may just give you that opportunity. Will the degree make you a coach? Coaching is one of the many options open to you as a career. But you can also serve as a mental coach, which is increasingly becoming in demand due to the extremely competitive nature of sports nowadays.
Why Sports Psychology?
Like most professionals in this discipline, your goal as sports psychologist is to help people. In this case, people involved in sports or other physical activities. Athletes are subject to extremely stressful situations, both in training and actual competition. Physical conditioning is of course crucial, but research has shown that mental conditioning also has a huge impact in a player’s bid to win.
A masters in sports psychology trains you to motivate and inspire athletes to improve their performance, by relating how mental health affects physical performance. At the same time, you are also responsible for treating an athlete who may be faced with issues and situations that prevent them from performing at the optimum level.
However, a sports psychologist is not merely concerned with enhancing performance in sports, but also in educating people about how sports, athletics and physical activities can improve mental health and overall well-being.
These duties and responsibilities should be food for thought for anyone who may be considering a masters in sports psychology degree training.
Requirements For Admission
Once you’re really set on a career in sports psychology, you can now decide on what sport psychology graduate programs to pursue. A bachelor’s degree is not suggested for two reasons: this specialization is rare at this level, and you can only land an internship job after graduation for lack training. A masters in sports psychology, on the other hand, is what most gun for to prepare for this profession.
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited school is a must for admission, not necessarily in this discipline, whether for on campus education or for a masters in sports psychology online program. The GPA requirement is at least 2.7 to 3.0, depending on the school. You also need to show proof of educational or professional experience either with transcripts or a resume. Your chances for acceptance will hinge on the letters of recommendation, your personal profile/essay and the interview by the admissions officer.
Courses To Look Forward To
Masters programs are usually completed in two years. You can probably accelerate completion if you were taking online courses. There are some who take up a general psychology degree then add several electives related to sports psychology. Aside from electives, students can enhance their studies by conducting research, and attending workshops and seminars.
Main coursework in a masters in sports psychology program include anxiety and energy management, motivation, visualization, theory and method of training and psychological assessment of athletes.
Training in these areas is important because a large part of your responsibilities, especially when working with professional athletes are in these areas. Communication and counseling are also very important, aside from the science-based subjects.
What’s Next After School?
After graduation, there are several opportunities open to you, especially once you’ve gained experience. With a masters in psychology degree, you can go into research or teaching. But if you want to apply the skills and knowledge gained during your studies, you can work with sports teams – amateur or professional – in universities or in a private capacity. Your sports psychology salary will of course vary based on your workplace. But expect a starting salary averaging $45,000.
When based in colleges and universities, sports psychologists make around $55,000. But for those self-employed, or serving in the capacity of sports consultants, you can earn up to $71,880. A handful who work with elite athletes, are reported to be making six figure salaries.
Depending on your experience, you will eventually decide where to focus and what to really do with your masters in sports psychology degree. Some pursue coaching or become sports trainers, go for physical education positions, or take on positions as health adviser. Beyond schools and professional sports teams, you can find work in park and recreation departments, fitness clubs, sports camps or be involved in wellness programs.
It’s easy to understand why the demand today for these professionals continue to grow. And how bright the future can be for someone with a masters in sports psychology degree.
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