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Online Masters Degree in Sports Psychology

Centering, visualization, positive self-talk -- they're all techniques athletes use to get into the zone. Those techniques are also critical to your instruction as a sports psychologist. If you're fascinated by athletes and the mental tools they use to succeed, delve deeper with master's degrees in sports psychology.

The degree itself, often found as a specialization of kinesiology or psychology, requires 2 to 3 years of full-time study to complete. Coursework varies from program to program but should include the study of the psychosocial elements of health, physical activity and sport. Extensive research and a graduate thesis are typically required.

Work one-on-one with athletes as a sports psychologist

Sports psychologists work behind-the scenes in athletic departments, professional sports teams and schools. These specialists go beyond the game, addressing team and performance issues along with clinical problems like anxiety, substance abuse and depression. When athletes are injured, sports psychologists help them deal with the mental response to injury while they rehabilitate. These professionals also may counsel athletic staff on topics such as mental health and cultural diversity.

Career outlook and salaries

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that clinical, counseling and school psychologists -- a category which includes sports psychology -- earned median wages of $66,810 in 2010, in line with the $68,640 earned across all psychology occupations. The BLS notes that about 34 percent of all psychologists were self-employed in 2010, while 29 percent worked in educational services.

A healthy job outlook is projected for clinical, counseling and school psychologists. The BLS estimates growth of 22 percent in the specialization between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Other options for sports psychologists

Once you're working as a sports psychologist, you might consider career advancement. You could open your own counseling practice by obtaining a license within your home state, or you might work as a consultant, moving from team to team and working with athletes. You may also choose to earn a doctoral degree and compete for positions with professional sports teams or large universities. At the doctoral degree level, working as a sports psychology professor is also an option.

Explore master's degrees in sports psychology, including online options for convenient web-based coursework that you can access whether you're the home team or on the road.

Featured Online Sports Psychology Degree Programs

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