Online Sports Psychology Degrees and Programs

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Most people presume that sports psychology is concerned only with professional athletics. In fact, sports psychology covers a broad array of clinical, scientific and applied psychology topics involving sports, fitness and exercise. Sports psychology can be broken down in two key areas of interest: understanding how psychology can be employed to improve performance and motivation and understanding how sports, athletics and related fitness areas can improve mental health and individual well-being.

As is the case in many fields of psychology, sports psychologists may also choose to specialize in a particular area. Major specialties within the field of sports psychology include Applied Sports Psychology, which teaches skills to enhance athletic performance, Clinical Sports Psychology, which involves the use of mental training strategies and psychotherapy to assist individuals suffering from mental health problems, and Academic Sports Psychology, which focuses on teaching higher education institutions how to conduct related research.

Whatever your final career destination, if you plan on becoming a sports psychologist then you'll need a good education. Entry-level positions require a bachelor's degree at minimum, but are rare. Most sports psychology positions require candidates to possess a master's degree or preferrably a doctorate degree in counseling, clinical or sports psychology. Experience is also essential to obtaining a good job, so go out of your way to acquire as much experience via internships and direct training as possible while you complete your degrees.

However, because there aren't that many graduate level degree programs in sports psychology, it can be hard to determine what exactly qualifies someone to be called a 'sports psychologist.' According to the American Psychological Association (APA) a sports psychologist school be a licensed psychologist with "experience in applying psychological principles in sports settings." If you pursue a degree in counseling psychology, clinical psychology or a related field and planning on becoming a sports psychologist, then you should also develop an extensive educational background in sports training, athletic performance and motivation management.

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