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Sports psychologist salary

Goldman estimates that, depending on location, sport psychologists in university sports departments can make between $60,000 and $80,000 per year, with the highest incomes exceeding $100,000 per year.


Which area of psychology is the most lucrative?



Psychiatrist professions are the highest-paying employment for psychology degrees by a significant margin. According to PayScale, the median wage is $217,798.


Why it’s trendy

We live in a society that enjoys sports. Analysts at Plunkett Research Ltd. believe that the U.S. sports sector generates $400 billion in annual revenue, including everything from major league game ticket sales to sporting goods shop equipment sales.

However, because of our passion for sports, the athletes we support are under growing pressure to consistently reach top performance. Scott Goldman, Ph.D., director of clinical and sport psychology at the University of Arizona, states,

“Everyone is trying to figure out how to optimize skill.”This requires finding an advantage beyond being in peak physical condition. According to Brown, experts in the industry no longer consider peak performance a natural byproduct of effort and physical training. Now they have a broader perspective.

Instead of focusing on field successes, they acknowledge that athletes require the same mental acuity required for success in business, the arts, and the operating room.

How to proceed

You might earn a job assisting the long-suffering Chicago Cubs try to win the World Series or guiding the Cleveland Cavaliers to a crack at the NBA title in the post-LeBron James era with the correct training — and a little luck.

According to Gloria Balague, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the majority of sport psychologists work in less visible positions, such as university athletic departments.
“It’s to ensure that student athletes are well-rounded,” she explains.

Student athletes have numerous distractions. Travel delays are caused by bad weather for away games.

The pain of missing a game-winning shot will not go away. Goldman explains that under such situations, sport psychologists can assist student athletes in maintaining good “mental hygiene” to be successful in the classroom and on the field.


How to reach the destination

According to Balague, it is not enough to be a licensed psychologist who plays sports. She says that it can be difficult to obtain the right training.

“The training path is still something that [many] students must construct on their own,” she explains.

Goldman notes that aspiring sport psychologists typically enroll in a doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology and then take extra courses in kinesiology, physiology, sports medicine, business, and marketing. As sport psychology education continues to develop, mentors can also influence your training.

Your advisor could serve as a mentor, or Balague recommends becoming acquainted with the sport psychologists advising your university’s athletic department. Additionally, the Association for Applied Sport Psychology provides a mentorship program.


Pros versus cons

Working with clients who strive for excellence is the greatest challenge Balague finds in her work.
She says, “You’re not operating from a deficit; you’re focusing on how these folks can utilize what they have.” “There is also less burnout when you work with such a positive outlook.”

Aoyagi finds it enjoyable to work with an engaged, high-achieving populace. He adds, however, that some clients desire to run at cheetah-like speeds or bend at extreme angles before they are prepared. “They want to do too much, too quickly,” he says.

According to Brown, traveling with a sports team and gaining the players’ trust can be lucrative. However, it can present ethical challenges, such as maintaining confidentiality. “If the performance arena is the only location where I can counsel an athlete, what if ABC is filming during our conversation?” he asks.

In selecting how much information to disclose with coaches and team physicians, sport psychologists must also tread the ethical line.



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