Sports psychology looks at the interaction between the psychology of a human, and how they participate in sporting activities. This field is important in the world of sport, because the state of one’s mind can have a very large impact on how one performs. Sports Psychology Courses have much to offer both athletes themselves, as well as those training the athletes. Sports Psychology Courses delve into the psychological issues present in sport – such as aggression and anxiety.
What do sports psychology graduates do?
Graduates of sports psychology courses work as sports psychologists, coaching and consulting to athletes on psychological issues relating to sports performance, and investigating the ways exercise and movement can benefit everyone’s mental health.
Psychologists investigate, assess and provide treatment and counselling to patients, and sports psychologists apply this to athletes. As a sports psychologist, you may perform tasks like:
- Assessing clients; cognitive, behavioural and emotional disorders in athletes;
- Observing athletes’ actions and routines in performance;
- Counselling athletes on performance management, performance fears, pre-and post- competition routines, and performance mindsets;
- Designing tools and routines for athletes to use in managing psychological health;
- Administering and interpreting diagnostic tests;
- Developing, administering and evaluating individual and group treatment plans;
- Working closely with coaches, trainers, teammates and other key stakeholders for athletes to provide holistic care and treatment planning;
- Evaluating and monitoring athletes’ continuing psychological health; and
- Conducting research and analysing sports data.
You’ll enjoy working in sports psychology if you:
- Love sports
- Are passionate about helping people succeed
- Have good interpersonal and communication skills
- Are organised
- Can think critically
- Can make decisions
- Can pay attention to detail
- Like problem-solving
- Enjoy practical work
The Australian Government’s Job Outlook reports that job opportunities in psychology have been growing strongly over the past 10 years, and are expected to continue growing. In percentage terms, the industry has expanded significantly, and is projected to grow moderately until at least 2020. Currently employing approximately 23,000 people, the sector is expected to employ approximately 25,000 by 2020.
According to PayScale, a psychologist can expect to earn between $49,000 and $98,000 per year, with an average salary of $76,000. While PayScale reports a positive relationship between experience and earning capacity, entry-level psychologist can still expect to earn an average wage of $68,000 per year, and earning potential levels off when a psychologist has been working for more than 15 years.
As sports psychology is more specialised service, sports psychologists are likely to command higher salaries than general psychologists.
- Australian Clinical Psychology Association
- Australian Psychological Society
- Psychotherapy and Counselling Association of Australia
- Exercise and Sports Science Australia