Is Sports Psychology a Growing Field?

sports psychologist job outlook

A career outlook at sports psychology shows that it is a growing field. Sports psychology is a discipline that encompasses psychology and sports science. This field of study and practice also involves teaching, coaching, counseling and conducting research.

Career Outlook

Americans love and enjoy sports. Research released by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that the industry revenue accrued from sports is expected to increase by about 4 percent in 2017. This will bring it to a total of $68 billion annually. As evidenced, there is a lot at stake. There is, therefore, intense pressure for athletes to perform better. As a result, sports psychology is projected to grow. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that psychologist’s job will grow by about 12 percent. The increase is from 2012 to 2022. The average salary of a psychologist was at $86,000 in 2012. Sports psychology as a growing field has several specializations.

 Sports Psychology Specialization Options

 Academic sports psychology

Sports psychologists in the academic sector work in colleges and universities. They are tasked with the duty of teaching sports psychology and conducting research in this field. Other roles may include conducting experiments, developing surveys, and analyzing the data collected. These specialists may also work with college and university athletes.

Applied sports psychology

Applied sports psychologists train their clients on various skills such as how they can improve their performance and endurance. These specialists also motivate their clients in an effort to make them better in the sports they play. Applied sports psychology makes use of meditation, visualization tactics, and extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Professional athletes seek the services of these psychologists when they are recovering from an injury or when they are facing intense competition.

Clinical sports psychology

Clinical sports psychology is a field that combines mental health care and applied techniques. In the course of their career, athletes may suffer from eating disorders, substance abuse, or depression. These conditions affect the performance of athletes, and clinical psychologists are sought to work closely with them. These psychologists deal with the mental faculties of their clients. They also address any external and internal mental issues that could be affecting the athletes.

These career specializations can open doors of opportunities for psychologists. There are also ways that candidates can improve their chances of getting good jobs in this field.

Ways of increasing job prospects

Sports psychology is a growing field. However, it is also very competitive, and candidates must pursue ways to increase their desirability. As technology advances, newer therapy techniques are coming up. Candidates must keep abreast with these new tactics so as to remain relevant in this field. Ways of staying updated include reading books, subscribing to journals and attending conferences and meetings. These are productive ways of expanding one’s knowledge base. The field of sports psychology also calls for research. Candidates who wish to improve their job prospects must combine hands-on experience with valuable insights from various research sources. They must also demonstrate a willingness to learn and grow.

Career projections into this field show that sports psychology is indeed a growing field. As a huge revenue earner for the economy, there is a great need for training athletes to perform their best. Better career growth options are available for those who remain relevant in the dynamic field of sports psychology.


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