Sports aren’t only about the physical aspects like kinetics etc. It is also about the mental aspect as well. It is said that whoever wins the mind game, also wins the game on D-day. And it is a sports psychologist that helps athlete win the battle of the minds and thus helping him/her perform at peak levels.
What Sports Psychologists do?
A sports psychologist helps in enhancing the performance of athletes in sports. They may function as trainers, consultants, or therapists. Sports psychologists may offer therapy for issues like eating disorders or career transitions. In some cases, the job includes helping athletes work through off-field problems and assisting them with rehabilitation after injury.
Psychologists may also offer counselling for issues like depression, anxiety, stress, lack of confidence and any sports injury. They can also operate as researchers. They may explore the effects that athletic participation has on individuals, the factors that contribute to success on the field, or the psychological consequences of physical injury.
How to Pursue Sports Psychology?
Sports Psychology is a specialised field of psychology and can only be pursued only at Masters or doctoral level, after the completion of a BA or B.Sc in Psychology. Also for becoming a full-time practitioner it is a good idea to become a member of Association for Applied Sports Psychology (AASP).
To become a sports psychologist one needs a Masters or Doctorate degree in Sports Psychology.
To become a successful Sports Psychologist, aspiring candidates need the following skills:
Proper understanding of the application of stress management and mental conditioning techniques.
Knowledge of exercise regimens and sports science.
Understanding of sports-related injuries and treatments.
Critical thinking ability and Inter-personal skills.
Careers in sports psychology cover a range of areas. Sports psychologists may practice in hospitals, gyms, clinics, rehabilitation centres or universities etc. They can also set up their private practice and provide consulting services to clients.
Professionals are also employed in a team of specialists to maximize health and wellness among athletes, coaches, teams, fitness professionals etc.
Where to Study
Following are the best colleges to study sports psychology (in no particular order):
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
National Institute of Sports, Patiala
Indian Institute of Psychology and Research, Bengaluru
Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Sciences, New Delhi
Institute of Sports Science and Technology, Pune
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