Graduate certificate programs in sports counseling are designed to prepare students for careers where they help athletes improve their mental functions and overall wellbeing. These programs may be offered as stand-alone certificate programs or as part of a master's degree program in a related field, such as sports and exercise psychology. Some programs are designed to meet the education requirements for Certified Mental Performance Consultants (CMPC), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), or Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) certifications.
Common Courses in Graduate Certificate Programs in Sports Counseling
Graduate certificate programs in sports counseling can be found both in fully online and in in-campus formats, and they may require anywhere from 12 to 32 credits. In some cases, students can take their courses in summer terms.
Sports Counseling Techniques
These courses teach students about common techniques that are currently being used to counsel athletes. Students may learn about specialized counseling methods for youths, high school, and college-level athletes, as well as for the professional level. Some of these courses involve presentations, hands-on experiences, and demonstrations, as well as field trips.
Life Skills in Sports Counseling
Courses in life skills are meant to introduce students to the methods that can be used to teach athletes important life skills like time management, study skills, and problem-solving. The courses could also help students develop their teaching abilities through the use of presentations. Some courses may feature adventure therapy and experiential learning.
Counseling for Athletes
In these advanced courses, students can learn about the main counseling theories as well as the problems counselors may face in different settings, like a school. Some of these courses may focus specifically on helping counselors gain practical skills for helping p athletes with specific issues, such as loss or grief. Students may need to conduct research and make presentations in this course.
Professional Studies for Sports Counselors
These courses can teach students how to function professionally as counselors in different settings. While some courses deal with a general environment, others focus specifically on careers within schools or agencies. Students may also learn about record keeping, professional ethics, and legal issues.
Athlete Mental Health
Courses that focus on the mental health of athletes are designed to help students learn about the importance of mental wellness and how to identify mental health issues. Some courses may cover the general diagnosis techniques as well as help them learn when to intervene, refer, or treatment the mental health issues. Students may also learn about how mental illness can affect athletic performance as well as how to handle diverse athletic populations.
General Admission Requirements for Sports Counseling Graduate Certificate Programs
Graduate certificate programs in sports counseling all require applicants to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. While the programs may not specify what the degree should focus on, they may require applicants to meet a minimum GPA requirement, such as a 2.9 or higher. Some programs will also require applicants to have a master's degree in an area such as psychology or counseling. Along with an application, prospective students may also need to submit school transcripts, letters of recommendation, a current resume, and a personal statement.
Graduate certificate programs in sports counseling can require up to 32 credits worth of courses that can include topics like sports counseling techniques, athletic mental health, and life skills in sports counseling. While applicants with an undergraduate degree can access some of these programs, others require a master's degree in a counseling-related area, such as psychology.