How to make a career in Sports Psychology

Almost all of us at some point in time dreamt of becoming an athlete. Only a few made it though, they had this persistent and dedicated mindset that only strengthened their ambition to make that happen for real throughout the highs and lows. Athletes are the biggest reason why the business of sport exists, why so many people have jobs.

But what science do these superhumans look up to when it comes to handling the mental aspect, the aspect that influences or rather controls the physical state? The answer is Sports Psychology.

ESM in Conversation with Mr. Adwait Kapileshwari brings you a short interview on ‘Sports Psychology as a Career’.

A brief introduction about Mr. Adwait:

My name is Adwait Kapileshwari. I’m a sports psychologist practicing since 2010 and co-founder of ‘Aatmann’ which is an organization for mental health and well-being.

Q1. For those who are unaware, could you give a general idea about what sports psychology is?

Sports psychology is a branch of psychology that identifies the relationship between mental aspects and performance in sports. We try to understand how various psychological factors affect performance and how participation in sports affects our mental health. This field involves working with people, mostly athletes, to enhance their athletic experiences and growth.

Q2. Why do players/athletes require to consult a sport psychologist?

The most common reason to consult a sport psychologist is to improve performance. Athletes often visit sport psychologists with issues related to handling nerves and confidence

Q3. What are the qualities as well as qualifications that one must possess to become a sports psychologist?

To become a sport psychologist one must have a Masters degree in Psychology, preferably Sport Psychology. Additionally one can do PhD in Sport Psychology or Certification to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Like any other branch of psychology, sport psychology also requires the professionals to have good communication and interpersonal skills. A sound base of theory combined with practical understanding is also very important. One must know how to apply the principles of psychology to sports and performance. 

Q4. What is a typical day for a sports psychologist at work? 

Usually in an academy set-up the kind of tasks that a sport psychologist performs involve interacting with athletes in order to take feedback on the tasks assigned to them during previous sessions, observing them to see how they are improving on the psychological skills that were discussed earlier and making notes of the observations, later on discussing these observations with the players and if needed the coach as well. We also set-up simulation drills to specifically work on certain psychological skills and engage players in either individual or group sessions to discuss their performance.

Q5. What is the scope in career in sports psychology in India and the world?

Sports psychology is a field that is growing very rapidly all over the world. People associated with sports have started understanding the importance of mental aspects in sports and the contribution that sport psychologists make in order to develop mental skills. Many private as well as government run or funded institutions have started recruiting sport psychologists and many players are willing to take services of the professionals. For example, Sports Authority of India recruits sports psychologists for its various centres all over the country, Tata group, Jindal group hire services of sport psychologists for their sports departments. 

Q6. As a student, where can one get a better experience studying sports psychology degeree? In  India or Abroad? 

In India, few institutions have come up with courses in Sport Psychology. There are diplomas as well as masters courses available but since it’s a relatively new field in India the exposure is limited. In the next couple of years the picture is likely to change drastically. Presently universities and institutions abroad are good options for students.

Also read: Everything You Need To Know About Sports Tourism

We highly appreciate Mr. Adwait for his contribution to this article and we hope you had great learning and understanding and career aspects of Sports Psychology and the importance of Sports Psychology.

Let us know in the comments your thoughts about it.

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