Online Sports Psychology Certificate Program Information
A certificate program in sports psychology integrates the concepts and techniques of motion science, psychology, career development, counseling, human development, and sports. Through these principles, its goal is to improve the mental health, performance potential, and physical capacities of athletes. These certificate programs are mainly designed for those working in fields related to fitness and sports, be it athlete trainers, counselors, sports coaches, mental wellness coaches, psychologists, therapists, and educators.
Most of these certificate programs are offered at the graduate level and they may not share the same name; many are also offered under names such as 'applied sports psychology', 'sports counseling', and 'sports and fitness psychology'.
Online certificate programs in sports psychology can typically be pursued completely online. Many offer a flexible schedule; some of the schools might provide options for evening study or part-time study, and others might let you pick the courses you want to take. Most take six months to one year for completion.
A few of these sports psychology certificates might allow the transfer of credits to a corresponding graduate program. These programs do not lead to any certifications but some of them might meet the requirements detailed by the Association for Applied Sports Psychology (AASP) for the Certified Mental Performance Consultant certification or Board Certification in Sport Psychology from the American Board of Sport Psychology.
Requirements for Online Sports Psychology Certificate Programs
Online certificate programs in sports psychology offer courses that mainly focus on strategies that increase performance and create overall wellness. These courses might include applied sport psychology, performance enhancement, positive psychology, kinesiology, applied motor learning, and exercise physiology.
Common Course Topics in the Certificate Programs
Applied Sport Psychology
A course on applied sport psychology deals with the practical application of psychological theories related to sports, fitness, and performance potential. The course might explore the behavioral patterns of humans in sports, touching on topics like communication, motivation, competitiveness, and personality. Courses like these might also explore strategies and techniques used to enhance the performance of athletes and their mental and physical wellbeing by dealing with physical injuries, burnouts, and addictions.
The performance enhancement course focuses on improving the optimal performance of athletes through a range of psychological strategies. The course might explain theories and principles related to performance enhancement including visualization, relaxation, hypnosis, mental rehearsal, meditation, autogenic training, and the theory of motivation.
A course on coaching psychology concentrates on the principles and strategies of coaching used to enhance the performance of athletes and build good interpersonal relationships between the athletes and coaches. A course like this one might introduce the psychological intervention methods and assessments used in coaching like emotional strength training, coping strategies, and mental imagery.
Career Outlook after a Certificate in Sports Psychology
A certificate in sports psychology is beneficial for careers like sports psychologist, athletic trainer, recreational therapist, or college team psychologist. These professionals help athletes in a wide variety of settings such as educational institutions, professional sporting agencies, amateur sporting agencies, community agencies, rehabilitation centers, and also private athletic practices.
According to 2019 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the estimated annual mean wage for an athletic trainer is $50,540. They will experience 19% job growth for the period 2018-28, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. A recreational therapist earns an average of $51,130 a year and experiences a faster than average job growth (7%). Psychologists brought home $80,370 and are projected to see an increase in jobs of 14% during the same period, according to the BLS.
Sports Psychology certificate programs can be pursued completely online. These programs train professionals in sport-related fields to enhance the physical and mental well being of athletes and to advance their performance.