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Sports Psychology

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by lakewood, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. lakewood

    lakewood 2+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Does anyone here have any experience with sports psychology? The topic intrigues me but I rarely hear much about it. What kind of market is out there, and what type of work do sports psychologists do? I have seen certificate programs and doctoral concentrations in the subject, so what level of certification is really necessary?
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  3. RayneeDeigh

    RayneeDeigh 5+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    There's a guy at my undergrad university who studies it. Look up Dr. G. Martin at the U of Manitoba if you wanna talk to somebody who does it for a living. :) (He's a super nice guy too)
  4. misskatie

    misskatie 2+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2007
    All of my undergrad research has been in sports psychology. I've been working with Dr. Dan Gould here at Michigan State University since my freshman year, and I am currently finishing my senior honors thesis, which is in the domain of sports psych, under his advisement. He's pretty prolific in the field (he co-wrote what is considered to be THE undergrad sports psych textbook), and he's one of the kindest men I have ever met. Although he is a very, very busy guy, I'm sure he'd be more than responsive if you shot him an e-mail with some of your questions. Though it may take a week or so of patience on your part...

    As far as other programs go, there are a few sports psych phd programs around. The one here is an example. You might have to go searching a bit further than usual, as a lot of the programs (as the one here at MSU is) are housed within schools of ed, in the kinesiology department. Also, there are faculty members within several clinical psych phd programs that are doing sports psych. So, again, it might take a bit more searching. And, you're right, there are a lot of certificate training programs, such as the one at the University of Denver (just the first one to come to mind...). I'm not 100% sure what you need to be able to call yourself a "sports psychologist," but I doubt this information would be difficult to find.

    And as far as what sports psychologists do, the ones I know are involved in some mixture of research/teaching/practice. For instance, Dr. Gould is involved in several large-scale grants, teaches several grad-level classes (as well as advises about eight doctoral students), and consults with athletes at varying levels, from young gymnasts to Olympic-level skiers. & he travels, a lot. I also know that there are several sports psychologists employed on our campus to work specifically with various teams. Others are employed by pro teams across the country. So, there are opportunities all over the place. From what I've heard from the grad students I've worked with for the past three years, the market is good no matter what career path you want. Why? Well, mainly because athletes and exercise physiology people are beginning to admit that we've probably pushed our bodies just about as far as physically possible. So, that leaves athletes' mental abilities as the pathway to further athletic excellence. Also, aside from elite athletes, our society is coming to realize just how significant physical activity is. & not just physically for our bodies, but also for several other psychological, social, and cognitive factors. For instance, several new studies are showing sports participation to be a protective factor in high-risk children.

    As you may be able to tell, I have quite the affinity for sports psych. I am going onto grad school this fall, but I am not doing a sports psych program. Though I do hope to obtain a concentration of sorts in sports psych. If you do have any other questions, feel free to fire away here or PM me.

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