Silva then suggested that AASP advance the legal standing of the term "sport psychology consultant" and adopt one educative model for the collegiate and post-graduate training of sport psychology consultants. While the AASP Certified Consultant (CC-AASP) certification provides a legitimate pathway to post-graduate training, it does not legally bar an individual without the CC-AASP credentials from practicing sport psychology. Silva contended that future sport psychology professionals should have degrees in both psychology and the sport sciences and that their training ultimately conclude in the obtainment of a legal title. It was argued this should increase the likelihood of clients receiving competent service as practitioners will have received training in both the "sport" and "psychology" pieces of sport psychology. Silva concluded that AASP and APA work together to create legal protection for the term "sport psychology consultant." Results of the AASP strategic planning committee report will be published in late 2011[needs update] and will continue the discussion and debate over the future of the field.
Some sport psychologists might also work closely with once enthusiastic athletes that have suffered injuries as well. Depending on the severity of the injury, a sport psychologist may attempt to help a recovering athlete segue back into his career with as little stress as possible. Some athletes don't have this choice, however, and they may need the help of a sport psychologist to help them deal with the fact that they may not be able to play their sport with as much talent and drive as they had at one time.
Returning to play after an injury can sometimes be difficult for many athletes depending on the nature of the injury. Athletes are often left with “mental scars” long after an injury is physically healed. A sports psychologist can help injured athletes cope better with the pressures associated with returning to a prior level of performance–pre-injury.
The coaching-style preference is also a factor for coaching success. The coach and the executive are agreeing to enter into a “relationship” therefore style preferences and compatibility can impact the outcomes. It is important that the coach and the client agree on how the client prefers to receive help, what they want to focus or work on, and when they want to receive it.
Practice, practice, practice. Get in with different consultants and see what they’re doing. Work with younger athletes on their mental game using your own experiences to start developing your models. Volunteer to be the mental coach of a youth team based on your credentials as an athlete. And keep reading and applying what you read to your own competitive experience. Keep being an athlete and test your skills on yourself first.
Second, students can pursue a doctorate within the Psychology Department’s APA-accredited counseling psychology program and then select sport psychology as their specialization. Students who graduate from the doctoral program will be eligible for licensure as a psychologist and certification as a sport consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. To learn more about this degree option, click here.
The BLS reports that the job outlook is best for sports psychologists with a doctoral degree in their specialty. Positions for potential psychologists with master's degrees are limited and candidates may face intense competition for the available jobs. Sports psychologists with master's degrees may expect to work as assistant counselors or in research positions, directly supervised by licensed psychologists. Time spent volunteering with sports teams or interning under the supervision of sport and exercise psychology professionals may also be helpful in obtaining full-time positions.
So we try to make athletes understand that there is a process to their sport, and that it is more important early on to get the process right than to worry about the result. Then, as the athletes get better and reach higher levels of competition, we put as much importance on the process as on the result. The hope is that the emphasis on the process will buffer the athlete from a bad loss. As long as they know that they performed to their best, they are more accepting of the result.
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