Tag: Student

We have an updated page devoted to answering your questions about the field here.

With sport psychology a rapidly expanding field, with scores of professional teams hiring specialists to work with their athletes on their mental game, many are wondering how one makes a career in sport psychology and what it takes. Below are some commonly asked questions and answers to help get you started.

What are sport psychologists and how do they differ from mental game coaches?

Most generally, sport psychologists are licensed psychologists who are trained in psychological skills training, athletes’ mental health, team dynamics in sports settings, psychological factors that influence performance, assessment of psychological and performance variables, and more. Mental game coaches also work with athletes on the performance side of sport, but they do not have specific training in mental health and are not licensed. You know the old saying that every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square? Every sport psychologist is a mental game coach, but not every mental game coach is a sport psychologist. For more information about sport psychology, click here.

Do I need to go to graduate school to become a sport psychologist?

Yes. In order to become a full-fledged licensed psychologist, you’ll need to earn either a Ph.D. or Psy.D. and then complete further requirements for licensure depending on which state you want to practice in.

Is there only one set path to becoming a sport psychologist/mental skills coach?

Absolutely not! Our sport psychologists have all had very unique experiences. Learn more about how they got where they are by clicking below.

Dr. Justin Anderson

Dr. Carlin Anderson

Dr. Alexandra Wagener

As a student, what kind of experience should I be trying to get?

As far as experience goes, working with athletes of any level will help you along the road, as will doing research. Reach out to various sport psychologists and firms for advice and to see if they have any internships—many will post information on their websites. In order to find sport psychologists, quick Google searches will take you a long way, and check out AASP’s (Association for Applied Sport Psychology) website.

I want to open up my own sport psychology practice. Any advice on what I need to know?

Make sure you know how to run a business and who you can reach out to for help. While a doctorate degree will help you become a sport psychologist, it won’t necessarily help you with the day-to-day operations of owning your own company.

I’d like to work with elite athletes—how can I get there?

First, realize that many people want to work with elite and professional athletes, so don’t be upset if it doesn’t happen right away! You need time to prove yourself and get the most experience that you can. Work with colleges and universities: try to get a position on their medical staff and work with athletes there. It may not happen right away, but you can put in the time and the effort!

Good luck to all on your sport psychology journey, and check back for future blogs answering more questions! Again, if you have a question, please let us know via Facebook or Twitter

Premier Sport Psychology is excited to welcome our newest member, Olivia Wyatt! Olivia will be in charge of running our social media campaign this summer. We caught up with Olivia earlier this week to learn a little more about her.

Let’s start with a fun fact about yourself.
Right before leaving for my freshman year of college, a few of my friends and I went skydiving.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to go to Italy. Rome, Venice, Florence, Verona, Milan–just about anywhere I could. After that, I’d go to South Africa.

Do you prefer movies or Netflix?
Both! However, I’m fairly talented when it comes to Netflix binging, so I’d say I prefer Netflix.

What is the best show you’ve watched on Netflix?
Gilmore Girls is my all-time favorite show and having it on Netflix makes for some good procrastination. The West Wing is another classic, and I just finished up Mad Men. I like having Netflix on in the background while I work (not very efficient, I know).

Chocolate or vanilla?
If we’re talking ice cream, I’ll take it all.

What is the most played song on your iPod?
Roar by Katy Perry

You are being sent to a deserted island you can bring one person and one item. Who and what would you bring, and why?
I would bring one of my best friends, Michael. He’s incredibly smart and has his quirks–so much so that he is consistently compared to Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. He’d make for a fun companion, and I’m guessing we’d survive. For the item, can that be something unrealistic, like my iPod with unlimited battery life? I’m always listening to music and wouldn’t want to give that up.

Favorite sport to play? How about to watch?
My favorite sport to play is soccer. To watch? That’s by far baseball. Hockey would be my second favorite, but there’s something about the no clock element of baseball that makes it reign supreme.

Who is your favorite athlete and why?
My favorite athlete is Justin Morneau—he’s actually the reason why I have focused on sports-related fields. On August 2, 2008 (yeah, I remember the date) I was at a Twins game with my dad and my brother, and I saw that Morneau’s number was 33 – 33 was also my soccer number, so I had to like him! Then, later in the game, I was looking at one of the small scoreboards in the Metrodome and saw that his batting average was .316 – which happens to be my birthday. Something clicked, and from then on I was hooked – following every game and all the players. I’m glad Morneau’s a great person on and off the field, because it has given me someone to root for. Fun Fact: Morneau was on the MLB All-Star Final Vote ballot last year, and I voted over 12,000 times to bring him back to Minnesota. Sadly, it was to no avail – but he did come back for the Home Run Derby, so life was good.

What is your experience with sports?
I grew up playing soccer and dancing, and then had to make the inevitable choice between the two once I reached high school. I chose to continue to dance competitively, as well as train younger dancers. Currently at Tufts, I tap dance in an ensemble. I also kickbox.

What has draw you to the sport psychology world?
While I was in high school, I was drawn to the analytical side of sports. I have since realized that what more interests me is the dynamic that players have with each other–both as teammates and competitors. Even more so, I’m fascinated by how a player can have all the makings of a star talent-wise, but fail to reach that potential if he or she doesn’t have a strong mental game. Sport psychology aligns right along with helping athletes master their mental games.

What is your educational background and what are your future aspirations?
I just finished up my sophomore year at Tufts University (which is located just outside Boston) where I’m studying Psychology and Economics. After I graduate, I plan to obtain a Masters and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Sport Psychology in the hopes to one-day work for an MLB team.