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Sports psychologist Hello sports fans; here’s a job for you. Do you think you have what it takes to assist the world’s best athletes to improve their performance? Are you a bit of a sports nut who is also interested in human behaviour? Then the action-packed world of sports psychology might be just the ticket. All around the world, massive amounts of resources are poured into ensuring athletes and sports teams are successful. From the sunburnt cricket pitches of Australia to the hallowed outfield of Boston’s Fenway Park and the well-manicured golf courses of Great Britain, teams of specialists are hired to support the careers of professional athletes. These days, you’d probably be hardpressed to find an elite sportsperson who hasn’t enlisted the help of a sports psychologist. Along with a team of coaches, masseurs, doctors and nutritionists, sports psychologists work closely with athletes to help them consistently compete at the highest level. As one of the more exciting branches of psychology, sports psychology is the ideal career for someone who wants to combine their book smarts with their love of sports (yes, those two things can coexist). Helping top athletes deal with the mental demands of constant training and competing is surely a dream job for any sports fan. Just knowing that you’ve played a small part in a comeback victory, a gold medal win, or a new personal best or world record makes this one career with a high job satisfaction rating. Imagine being the sports psychologist that helped lead the Chicago Cubs to their historic World Series win in 2016. Or, if you like your clients to be a little more demanding, imagine being the sports psychologist for former serial-racquet smasher and all-round tennis circuit bad boy, John McEnroe.

Of course, sports psychology isn’t all about getting courtside seats and VIP access at Wimbledon. Charged with helping athletes keep calm during high-pressure moments, deal with the weight of expectations, cope with form slumps, manage a tough tour schedule, and transition through to retirement gracefully, sports psychologists must handle many challenging moments (and people) with professionalism and pragmatism. In return for many years of serious study, sports psychologists are rewarded with an exciting career that attracts a high salary and allows interaction with some of the greatest names in the world of sports. Frequent travel is often involved and, for the top sports psychologists, there is the chance to take part in iconic events such as the Olympics or FIFA World Cup. Oh, and the free tickets, there’s that too.

The lowdown

Education or qualifications: Minimum of a Masters or Doctorate degree in Psychology, plus additional study in the field of sports psychology. Experience required: You should be undertaking studies of, or working with, professional sportspeople in a highperformance coaching environment. Training: After qualifying as a psychologist, certain schools and colleges offer further study in order to become an accredited sports psychologist. This varies from country to country. Restrictions: Most countries require an extensive criminal record check in order to qualify and be accredited as a psychologist. Some criminal histories may disqualify people from becoming a registered psychologist.

I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

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