Overview of Sports Counseling Certification
Individuals interested in the field of sports counseling can earn the Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) credential from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). This certification can be obtained after taking the certification exam, which must be taken at a set testing center. The AASP requires that all applicants meet eligibility requirements prior to taking the exam.
Applicants pursuing the traditional pathway to certification will need to have a minimum of a master's degree in a field related to sports science or sports psychology and be able provide documentation like official college or university transcripts and sign the Ethical Code document. Applicants will also need to have accumulated a total of at least 400 hours of mentored experience prior to qualifying for certification. Those taking the Experienced Practitioner Certification path will need to have at least ten year of experience outlined on an Experienced Practitioner Reference Form before sitting for the exam.
Online Sports Counseling Certification Requirements
To be eligible to sit for the certification exam, students will need to have completed coursework in areas like sports psychology, sport science, research methods, and behavioral psychology. These classes are available online through graduate-level certificate programs, master's degree programs, or other graduate degree programs in fields like applied sports psychology and sport performance psychology. The courses that make up graduate certificate and master's degree programs like this can typically be completed solely online.
A class in sports psychology covers the different theories within the field, prepping students for their future careers. Some of the topics that may be addressed are social influence and motivation. Students also examine the science behind sports psychology and the different strategies that are available for teaching.
Applied Sports Psychology
Applied sports psychology classes emphasize a number of different topics, like how to develop programs designed to enhance performance. Additionally, those enrolled in this class discuss some of the current areas of research in the field. This class also teaches the mental skills that counselors will need to teach both coaches and athletes. Students prepare to teach others using practices that are evidence based.
Introduction and Applications of Research
Students enrolled in a research class learn how to conduct research and assess program progress. They learn about mixed research methods, qualitative research methods, and quantitative research methods. By the conclusion of a course like this, those enrolled will be able to understand the importance of research.
To maintain their sports counseling certification, individuals must go through the re-certification process every five years. All applicants will need to provide evidence of having passed the Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) certification examination and must provide proof of 75 hours of continuing education. Lastly, applicants will need to agree to the AASP code of ethics and pay an application fee.
Career Outlook for Sports Counselors
Students who earn sports counseling certification from the AASP can work in a variety of positions, such as school and career counselors or athletic trainers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for all school and career counselors in 2018 was $56,310 per year. This job is expected to grow eight percent from the year 2018 to 2028, which would create around 27,200 more jobs in the field.
Athletic trainers made a median salary of $47,510 as of 2018, and their job is to determine types of injuries, treat injuries, and help with preventative care. From 2018 to 2028, the jobs available are expected to increase 19%, which is considered to be significantly faster than average. This means that from 2018 to 2028, there will be around 5,900 jobs created in this field.
Individuals who want to obtain a certification in sports counseling from the AASP will need to file the appropriate paperwork after qualifying for the certification exam. To qualify for the exam, students can enroll in graduate-level programs that prepare them to work as sports counselors, career counselors, or athletic trainers.