Career in Sports Psychology

Sport Psychology Career Options

Career Information in Sport Psychology
Career sport psychologist

Career in Sport Psychology

We live in a sport-loving society. We have numerous sports in India like cricket, Tennis, table tennis, badminton, hockey, kabbadi, gymnastics, swimming etc. And we also have many people participating in some sport or the other. Usually for people who are training at the competitive level, sport becomes a part of their life as they put in a lot of efforts and practice a particular sport almost 6-8 hours per day. These are the kind of efforts as well as determination required if one wants to reach at the top of any sport. These are the physical efforts sportspeople put in.

However, very rarely it is believed that any sport is a mind game. What we play or perform on the actual day of a competition or a tournament is played much in advance..... May be days or months in advance..... IN OUR MIND. However, we usually ignore this fact.. Reasons????

Lack of knowledge about the subject.
Ignorance about mind also being important along with physical practice in sport.
Lack of proper facilities e.g. certified sport psychology institutes as well as certified sport psychologists.

There is a great need of sport psychologists in all the sport. Sport Psychologists work with athletes to help them deal with certain psychological demands that are placed on them. Handling failure, bouncing back from failure, setting realistic and achievable goals, improving focus, concentration and confidence, mentally preparing oneself to handle tough practice sessions, improving emotional control and controlling tension and anxiety related to competition are some of the things that a sport psychologist does. So in brief, they work with athletes to increase motivation and enhance performance.

Eligibility and Duration:

The field of Sport Psychology gives you 2 options: Teaching Sport Psychology at the university and working directly with athletes.
The field of teaching in Sport psychology needs one to have pursued graduation and post graduation in the field of Sport Psychology or
graduation in the field of psychology with any specialisation and then a specialised course in Sport psychology.
To work directly with athletes, it is always better to have a graduation in the field of psychology.
Secondly, being from the sport field himself/herself has lots of advantages.
If one has an experience of participating at a competitive level of any sport, it helps understanding and gauging their mind and
also realising what happens when sportsmen are out there performing.
However, here in India we do not have any formal courses specialising in Sport and Performance Psychology.
If students are keen to pursue this field, then they could specialise in any field of psychology till graduation and
then pursue their masters abroad in the field of Sport Psychology.
Or they could pursue their graduation in Sport Psychology from abroad immediately after their HSC.

Sports Psychology

Aptitudes and Personality Traits:

How To Become A Sports Psychologist

Love for sport, keen to work with athletes to help enhance their performance,
ability to stand by them in spite of poor performance, ability to motivate and appreciate their efforts are some of the personality traits
required if one wants to pursue the field of Sport Psychology.
Along with personality traits, ability to reason out the cause of poor performance,
ability to identify the right mental training techniques for sportsmen and ability to give a plan to implement the given techniques for
each individual athlete as per the game they are in, are the skills and aptitudes necessary to pursue this field.

Specialisations Available:

There are no specialisations available in this field.
However, sport psychologists can choose either to work with athletes from all sports or they can work with a specific sport they are interested in.
They can also select if they want to work with group/team sport or individual sport.

Career Prospects in India:

Since there are no formal training institutes in India who offer Sport Psychology as a course, students could pursue their studies in the same from abroad.
The scope here in India for a Sport Psychologist is SKY IS THE LIMIT since we have so many sports being played.
Now even the coaches, parents, officials and the athletes themselves have realised the importance of it and hence the scope for this field is increasing day by day.
Sport Psychology students can get attached to institutes in the teaching field.
They can also get attached to clubs, organisations, sport academies and work with athletes as sport psychologists.
Having one's own consultancy and helping sportsmen enhance their sport performance is also an option open for them.

Anuradha Prabhudesai
Ms. Anuradha Prabhudesai
MA (Counseling Psychology)
Disha Counseling Center