A Masters in Sports Psychology degree is designed to teach students how principles of psychology apply to all sports and the athletes who play them. Students learn how to apply these principles in a wide variety a settings including academic teaching positions, as well as both amateur and professional sports organizations. This degree explores how factors such as injuries, individual and team motivation, stress, group dynamics, counseling, and self-perceptions can influence an individual’s performance in almost any physical activity.
Typically, the type of person who chooses to pursue a master’s degree in sports psychology already holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is looking to earn a higher degree in order to increase their career options and salary potential. In order to participate in a Masters in Sports Psychology degree program, interested individuals will have to meet several requirements including earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from an accredited institution, submitting GRE scores meeting individual university requirements, and a letter of intent stating why the student is pursuing the degree and an indication of their career aspirations.
Whether an individual is attending a typical campus-based program or chooses to earn an online Masters in Sports Psychology, several common courses students should expect to see are Counseling Methods and Practice, Psychology of Injury, and Movement Principles for Performance. The University of Denver and Florida State University both offer exceptional Masters in Sports Psychology degree programs and would be excellent places to start for those looking to find the college that best suits their needs.
Popular Masters in Sports Psychology Degree Careers
Some of the most popular Masters in Sports Psychology careers include faculty positions at universities and clinical counseling positions at either the amateur or professional level. Individuals who work as university faculty may work directly with sports teams to diagnose and treat any emotional issues affect a player’s ability to function normally both on and off the field. For example, debilitating injuries suffered on the field can have drastic emotional effects especially on younger players. In addition to physical therapy, counseling is often needed to get athletes back to top emotional, as well as physical, shape. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, university faculty psychologists earned an average annual salary of $55,000 in 2001. Most universities require a master’s degree in order to be considered for faculty positions. Salary ranges for university faculty members in any specialty will vary greatly based upon the type of academic institution (e.g., state college vs. community college), an individual’s level of prior work experience, and geographic location as many less economically stable areas of the country may be unable to pay the same salaries as other more financially secure institutions.
One of the most coveted and hard to get Masters in Sports Psychology jobs is being a consultant for a professional sports team (e.g., Chicago Bulls or Green Bay Packers). Individuals who are lucky enough to secure one of these positions will work hands-on with professional athletes making sure that they are in top mental-condition to participate in the sport and support their team to the best of their ability. A consulting position with a professional sports team can earn an individual as much as a six-figure salary with the right team.
Interested in earning a degree that will allow you to work hands-on with entire athletic departments to examine and analyze how social and psychological factors can affect both an individual’s desire to participate and perform optimally in any type of physical activity? Check out more of the exciting career options available with a Masters in Sports Psychology.
Additional Resource: Best Online Masters in Psychology Degree Programs