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Sports psychologist are trained in the use of psychology as it pertains to the performance of athletes. These specialized psychologist usually work personally with athletes and coaches to ensure that they can maintain the highest level of performance and personal motivation.

Sports psychologists may also work with those individuals who aren't professional athletes by introducing sports and exercise into their lives to enhance their personal well-being and give them the skills they need in order to have a successful life. This type of sports psychologist usually involve their clients in specific exercise programs or team oriented sports.

Educational Requirements

Those individuals looking to enter the sports psychology field in an entry level position must attain a doctorate degree in sports psychology or a doctorate degree in a related field, such as clinical psychology. Students who opt to obtain a degree in clinical psychology, or another related field, may also need to get a degree in exercise science as well.

Graduate students are often required to complete advance coursework in kinesiology and complete a one year internship offered by the APA (American Psychological Association).

Sports Psychologist Earning Potential

The pay offered to sports psychologist differs according to their individual education level, experience and area of expertise. According to the United States Department of Labor, sports psychologist have a median income of approximately $56,800 per year. Sports psychologist just entering the field can expect a salary of approximately $41,500 per year. The top income tier for sports psychologist is usually around $74,640 per year, but it is not unusual for sports psychologist who work for professional athletes or teams to make in excess of $100,000 per year.

Expected Job Growth for Sports Psychologist

The field of sports psychology is expected to rise at a rate of about fourteen percent over the next ten years. This is a significant increase considering that employment of individuals in other sectors of the psychology field is only expected to rise at a rate of twelve percent over the next decade.

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