The human psychology field is an extremely complex one, and it covers many different specialties – sports psychology being only one of them. A good sports psychologist needs to provide his patients with teaching, research and good counseling services in order to help them achieve the highest peaks in their career. As the name of the profession suggests, sports psychologists work closely with athletes and other sports professional, offering them quality advice and counseling services whenever they encounter a professional issue. It often happens that sports psychologists work with people who suffer from physical injuries, anxiety or even performance problems, and their median yearly wage varies between $60,000 and up to $85,000, depending on their geographical location and work environment.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States of America
At the time being, the highest paying area for sports psychologists is considered to be Chicago, where the highest salary is of around $85,000 a year. On the other hand, the states of New York and California also pay them median yearly wages that vary between $80,000 and as much as $85,000, while the state of North Carolina offers them little over $65,000 a year.
Sports Psychologist Job Description
As described above, it is the duty of the sports psychologist to actually help those who suffer from different career-related problems. Some of the athletes suffer from intense anxiety that prevents them from giving the best they got during the games, while others have suffered debilitating injuries and they find it difficult to return on the field. It often happens that these mental health professionals do not specialize in sport exclusively, but in the field of sport and exercise.
Sports psychologists work with a variety of athletes, from amateur athletes who are just starting out to advanced, professional elites of the sports industry, helping them overcome all the psychological obstacles that they may encounter throughout their lives, improve their performance and reach their goal. For example, some of the athletes may encounter self-esteem, confidence or motivation issues – this is precisely where the sports psychologist steps in and helps them overcome them.
Sports psychologists deal with a variety of different tasks. These mental health professionals firstly assess the mental well-being of the patients, their behavior and performance during the game, and only after that they provide a diagnose, design and implement different strategies aimed at helping them overcome the problems. These professionals can also conduct some research to help them improve their sport or exercise performance, they can deliver workshops as well as counseling services aimed at different relaxation methods and even goal setting.
Sports psychologists do not work with athletes alone, as these professionals also work with teams and coaches, providing tailored interventions to help them cope with all the psychological demands that the sports industry often has.
How To Become A Sports Psychologist?
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Becoming a sports psychologist does take several years of hard work and study, as you will need to get your Master’s Degree in Psychology before you actually get the chance to specialize in the desired field of activity and apply for a license. The license is absolutely crucial for your success in the field, and some of the professionals even take their career a mile further and apply for a Doctoral degree in either Sports Psychology or in Clinical Psychology – generally speaking, the latter is more versatile and offers them more job opportunities after graduation.
After getting their degree, the graduates must complete a twelve-month internship through an approved training program, and only after that they can sit for the licensing and/or certification exam as sports psychologists.
Unlike the licensure which is paramount, the certification is purely optional and it is provided by the American Board of Sport Psychologists. In order to be an eligible applicant, you must have a doctorate degree in Psychology, and to hold a state license. Some six months of supervised practice in the field are required as well, in order to be eligible for the exam.
Sports Psychologist Salary In Canada, Australia And The UK
In Canada, sports psychologists make between CAD$44,000 and CAD$140,000, in Australia between Au$40,000 and Au$100,000 while in the United Kingdom they should expect to make between 20,000 and up to 53,000 pounds a year.
Verdict On Sports Psychologist
To conclude, sports psychologists are amongst the highest paid mental health professionals in their area of expertise.