Sports Psychologist

Sport psychology is a proficiency that uses psychological knowledge and skills to address optimal performance and well-being of athletes, developmental and social aspects of sports participation, and systemic issues associated with sports settings and organizations.


Job duties

Psychologists can work with a variety of different patients, from school-aged children to adults, within their chosen career path. If you have always had a passion for sports but you know you were destined to be a psychologist, you may want to consider pursuing a career in Sports Psychology. A sports psychologist works to train an athlete mentally rather than physically. They can consult with a wide variety of patients who are competing in several different sports, and treat professional athletes for many psychological conditions that can affect the athlete’s performance. Your responsibilities as a sports psychologist can vary based on your specialty, your position, and the professional you are working with. Read on to learn what a day in the life of a sports psychologist is like.

Educational Degrees

To be a licensed sport and performance psychologist requires a doctoral degree in psychology and postdoctoral specialization in sport and performance related topics. The APA only recognizes sport psychology as a professional specialization for those licensed psychologists with a PhD in psychology, not as a specialization for a degree, although many schools offer a doctoral degree in sport psychology.


Depending on location, Goldman says, estimates indicate that sport psychologists in university athletic departments can earn $60,000 to $80,000 a year; the highest salaries can exceed $100,000 annually. In private practice, the salary range is quite wide, he says.