Sports psychology is a field that is often misunderstood. When most people think of a sports psychologist, they may think of a motivational speaker who comes in to talk to professional athletes before a game. While this is one job that could be obtained by a person in that field, there are a wide variety of jobs that can be had.
Teach At A University
Psychology is a major that a large number of college students are interested in. Due to the fact that sports play such a major role in society, there is a lot to learn from someone who understands the reasons why people get so upset when their favorite team loses and are so happy when their favorite teams win. Sports psychology professors can make up to $70,000 or more as a professor.
Work With Students Who Have Social Or Cognitive Issues
Sports psychologists work with athletes at all levels. Those who work with high school or college students tend to focus on the social aspect of the game and how athletes can use sports to boost their confidence. Students who have eating disorders, lack self-esteem or are depressed are often advised to join a club or sports team to help overcome those disorders. This is because sports teach you how to work with different types of people, how to become more vocal around others and how to overcome your insecurities to form a role on that team.
Help Athletes Reach Their Potential
All athletes go through times when they are not performing to their potential. A baseball player who hit .400 last season in college may be struggling to adjust to life as a rookie at the professional level. A quarterback who was just hit in the head by an oncoming pass rusher may be hesitant to stay in the pocket when he first comes back. The role of the sports psychologist is to act as a personal mentor to the player. Therapy sessions, imagery and role playing may be utilized to get the player to overcome his mental blocks and get back to playing like he knows he can.
Work With Teams To Get Them To Focus Better
Losing is a hard habit to break. If your team is on a losing streak or isn’t able to beat the better teams in the league, it could be something that starts to weigh heavily on the minds of the players. A sports psychologist will talk to the entire team to get them to understand that they are not the first team to have issues breaking through to the next level. For example, Michael Jordan took years to get the Chicago Bulls to the NBA finals. John Elway didn’t win a Super Bowl title until he was 37. It goes to show that good teams sometimes take time to learn how to win.
Sports psychologists have a unique role in the world of sports. They can be anything from a university professor to a personal mentor for some of the best players in the world. Whatever their role is, they are best at convincing people that they have what it takes to succeed.