Sports psychology is basically understanding each and every aspect of sports in terms of the performance, in terms of processes going on in the mind, well being of sportsmen, players, and every other aspect that can be considered in terms of sports. We all know that any sport requires the best of the ability, capacity, capability, and performance. The sportsman needs to perform his or her best whenever it comes to playing any kind of game or sport. This is the reason why sports psychology is getting a lot of attention nowadays. We can clearly see that nowadays each and every sport has gone into different levels talking in terms of players, competitors, types of equipment, spectators, audience, and everything that we can see nowadays.
Any game or any sport has achieved the next level in the 21st century. We can take the example of the most loved format of cricket which is the Indian Premier League. Indian premier league was started in the year 2008 and this year that is in 2022, it has gone into its 15th edition and with the passing of each year, the Indian premier league has changed a lot. We can clearly see the game has changed to a drastic level, the performance of the players, the coaches, the jury member, the Umpire, spectators, each and everything, the training processes, the mindset of the players, their diet plan, and whatever we can think of has changed completely since the inauguration of the Indian premier league in the year 2008.
When the competition is becoming so much tough, here comes the work of a sports psychologist. Sports psychology is nowadays getting accepted because it is helping the players and the teams to get a crucial edge over their rivals. Until and unless, we understand what is going on in our competitor’s minds, what is their thinking, and their game plan, we are not going to get an edge over them. A high level of performance in sports, mental fitness, and well-being is one of the most important angles that has been recognized nowadays to achieve success.
Reasons of Sports Psychology
Sportsman has a life beyond the game and the boundaries, so it is very much important to optimize their functioning and their insights to improve their performance on the ground and when the time requires. The muscular strength and capacity of any person are limited, but talking in terms of pushing their boundaries and limits, it is the mind and the brain that increases the limit, that pushes the limit, and makes a winner out of the players.
A sports psychologist basically helps the players to gain and achieve what is beyond their capacity. They help them and advise them to achieve their best and maintain their level whenever there is a situation like it. Mental fitness and endurance are very much required in each and every aspect of any game or any sport. Talking about achieving success, maintaining focus, getting over any injury, overcoming failures, handling failures, enjoying success, achieving the goal, or whatever be it.
Benefits of Psychology in Sports
- Pushing the limit from within ourselves – Each and every player experiences a time or a situation where he thinks that he has achieved his limit or he cannot go beyond that. Here comes the work of a sports psychologist. he helps the players push their minds and body beyond their limits and achieve what he may not have ever thought of. We can take the example of the world-famous golfer Tiger Woods. In 2008, Tiger Woods spoke in an interview that mental health is very important in any sport and it has helped him to push his limit from what he was and from where he was. He told that the player goes into a different zone whenever he starts using or lagging behind in any game. He told that his mindset help him to overcome many situations like this and afterward used to have a plan b and the strong mindset help him achieve all the success.
- Right vision and correct mindset – These are the two factors namely right vision and correct mindset that can help us achieve success in any field we want. In sports, it is very important to have a clear goal, a clear mindset, and a clear vision. If you want to achieve success and defeat our competitor. It is the vision and mindset that makes a player great and puts a player ahead of his competitor. Pressure builds on each and every player during high-level matches or games but that is fair and the right mindset will come into action and it will overcome all the other substances going on in our mind and will help us perform in the best possible manner.
- Visualising success – Great psychologists have said that visualizing success is one of the most important parts of achieving success. Until and unless we visualize what we want, where we want to reach, and what we want to achieve, we will never succeed in our life. So sports psychologists help the sportsman and players visualize success and see what they have been dreaming of and sweating for ages. Once a player starts visualizing success, he will put in all the extra effort needless to say in his game, in his performance, and will surely achieve success. We can understand this from an example. We have seen Laura Wilkinson, a very famous diver. Laura we can send broke her three bones of a foot during the US trials for the Olympics in the year 2000. Then she started working with a sports psychologist where her psychologist’s main work was to make her visualize that she was making tough dives performance each and every day. This made her believe, this helped her believe and she started believing that she can do it easily and when she went on to perform in the Sydney Olympics 2000. she won the gold medal in her particular event although her foot was not ready for performance.
- Overcoming anxiety – Each and every player sportsman faces a Pre-match anxiety and has butterflies in the stomach before going for the final performance. We can take the example of a very famous International sprinter who went to his psychologist John crema and he complained about his anxiety before his race and that anxiety had an impact on his race. The psychologist help the athlete relax and made his mind and body calm and in turn used that negative energy into a positive one which added extra energy to his race. Success does not come only from hard work. In sports, apart from hard work, there are a few factors that are required such as psychological skills improvement in performance injury rehabilitation communication between team members team building transitions from one phase to another. These are the aspects which a sports psychologists take care of and help the players to improve on each and every aspect of their performance and give the best on the field.
After doing and going through many types of research, the psychologist has concluded that there are five different psychological constructs that affect players in any sports. If these areas are taken care of then success is not far.
- Goal setting
- Mental Toughness
- Anxiety and Arousal
The first type can be educational sports psychologists. These types of sports psychologists basically train their sports person as to how to enhance and improve their psychological skills which intern will enhance their performance on the field while maintaining all the mental factors which act as a hindrance to their success and performance.
The next can be a clinical sports psychologist. We have seen that many sports people or players suffer from different mental issues which can be anxiety preparation eating disorders or maybe substance abuse. So the psychologist basically uses the knowledge of psychology and psychotherapy to help these players to improve their mental alertness and performance. These types of psychologists have a doctoral degree also after which they can counsel their patients.
Sports psychologist salary
The salary of a sports psychologist in India varies from place to place. The salary of a sports psychologist depends on the work that he does. There are psychologists that may be involved with local team psychologists that may be associated with state team psychologists that may be associated with the national or international team. Their salary where is from place to place for the work they do and also for the team they mentor and take care of. Talking in terms of figures the salary of a sports psychologist in India can start from rupees 6000 to 15000 per month. But sports psychologists associated with the national or International team can charge up to 2 to 3 lakhs per month.
So this where the figures in terms of India now talking in terms of abroad the salary of a sports psychologist varies from country to country. According to the US Bureau of labor statistics for clinical and sports psychologists, the figure that they have issued is the salary of a sports psychologist ranges from 41850 dollars to 71880 dollars per year. A good sports psychologist’s annual salary can even be 153000 dollars. The salary basically depends on the degree that the psychologist has the knowledge that he possesses and the experience that he has. All these together decide what a sports psychologist would get in terms of his salary.
Colleges that offer sports psychology courses
In India, there are different universities that offer courses in sports psychology. In recent years many new universities have also added sports psychology courses in their curriculum so that students can study and get knowledge related to this particular field which is in very much demand nowadays. Fees for completing the course and sports psychology in India is very low talking in terms of numbers for completing a bachelor’s degree in sports psychology University can charge up to 50000 for a student for the full course.
Talking terms of master’s degree a student who wants to pursue a master’s degree in sports psychology from any university in India which offers courses on sports psychology will be charged around 1 lakh for the full course.
Now different universities which are offering courses on sports psychology are-
- Delhi University
- University of Rajasthan
- Calcutta University
- Mumbai University
- Guru Nanak Dev University
- Jamia milia islamiya University
Students can study for a bachelor’s degree in sports psychology in India and after that, they can apply for higher studies abroad where they will get more opportunities in terms of colleges in terms of degree and knowledge. Western countries are allowing students to complete a distance course through an online medium if they want to study sports psychology at their universities.
Names of some International colleges which are offering sports psychology courses abroad are-
- Brunel University London
- Saint Mary’s University
- Grand Canyon University
- North Central University
- Greenwich University
- Kaplan University
How to Become a Sports Psychologist
So now talking about becoming a sports psychologist, is very easy. First of all, a person needs to have a clear mindset about becoming a sports psychologist. He needs a master’s or a doctorate and a degree in counseling, clinical, or sports psychology in order to get this position. Knowledge of physiology and sports medicine is very much required nowadays in order to counsel and help players in terms of achieving success and getting freedom from their negative aspects. Sports psychologists need to practice as a junior under a licensed psychologist for at least 2 years in order to gain experience and hands-on knowledge to finally enter this field and start working on their own.
A sports psychologist can also achieve specialty in this particular field by having advanced knowledge in terms of sports psychology in terms of clinical sports psychology or in terms of academic sports psychology. Then there are different exams that are conducted from time to time in order to check the knowledge, experience, and awareness as to how much the psychologist is fit to cater to and help the teams.
According to some sources, the American psychological association report where it stated that the sports psychologist in their University working in athletic departments can earn a very good amount of salary which can reach from 60000 to 80000 dollars per year whereas sports psychologists working individually or practicing in a private clinic can earn more than one lakh dollars annually.
At last, we can say that the field of sports and games is increasing day by day in India and in different countries of the world. This brings a lot of opportunities along with them for different people to get involved in this particular sector. The level of the game is rising day by day in terms of performance, competition, and expenditure. Each and every team wants to achieve success at any cost and psychology is one very important factor that affects the game and the result very much.
The team, the coach, and the staff member have realized the importance of sports psychology nowadays and wants to work on it in the best possible manner. So a person having a sports psychologist degree has all the chances and opportunities to get hired by the teams preparing for different events. It is just up to them that they need to realize their capacity, capabilities, knowledge, and skills as to how much they can work, how much they can learn, and how much they can use their expertise to perform with the teams and help them achieve success.
The Indian Government and the universities are also working a lot to include this particular course stream into their curriculum so that more and more students can get knowledge in this field and can go out and help out teams in achieving success and winning trophies.