If you’re thinking about going to school to study psychology, you may want to consider sports and exercise psychology programs. This is a fairly new field in the study of psychology, but it already has developed enough to include many different subsets. The most prominent aspects of sports and exercise psychology, however, are the emotional and mental factors that contribute to athletes’ performances on the field, both in team and individual sports.
Many major sports teams have sports and exercise psychologists who they rely on for motivation, support and success. The psychological assistance can make sure that players and athletes are able to remain mentally focused without using medications to help with concentration. The psychology programs that train individuals for this field focus on sports and exercise-related research. Particularly important points of research include examinations of emotional and mental aspects that affect player performance and ways to extend concentration, focus and stamina. Researchers also want to find better ways to help athletes cope with injuries that keep them off the field.
Sports and exercise psychology programs are considered to be a subset of Sports Medicine at the college campuses that offer this type of degree. Whereas other branches of sports medicine are more interested in relieving the symptoms from physical sports injuries and keeping each athlete’s body primed for their sport, sports psychology students are more interested in learning about how to help athletes move past emotional and psychological barriers that are affecting their performance. It is common for professional athletes to go back to school and train for this career, especially once their careers as athletes are over. Many people also go straight into this field because they have a passion both for sports and for psychology and want to use both in their future careers.
There are many schools around the country offering degree programs in sports and exercise psychology, typically found in the sports medicine department or psychology department. You can get a bachelor’s degree in this field, and then you may choose to go on and get a master’s degree or PhD if you want a more advanced career or plan on teaching sports and exercise psychology in the future.
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