Career in Sport Psychology
Guidance for Psychology Students
The information provided below will help you with all the knowledge you need to become a Sport Psychologist in India. For rules and regulations of becoming a Sport Psychologist in your own country, check out your country’s list of guidelines.
Frequently Asked Questions
To become a Sport Psychologist in India you have to complete your graduation (B.A. or B.Sc.) in Psychology followed by a Post-Graduation Degree (M.A. or M.Sc.) in Sport Psychology. This along with internship and field work practice will allow you to practice as a Sport Psychologist in India. After this you may also pursue a doctorate program (PhD or PsyD) in Sport Psychology to enhance your academic profile, research experience, and professional experience.
In India, you can practice as a Sport Psychologist after any certified M.A. Psychology degree, it does not need to be an M.A. Sport Psychology Degree. However, a specialization of M.A. Sport Psychology is helpful as it trains you with primary techniques used specifically for athletes. Having said that, other specialization of Psychology with training in counselling, interviewing, and assessment will prepare you to work with a wide range of population including sports people on a general counselling basis. Since specialized Sport Psychology programs in India are limited and unexplored, an intensive M.A. Psychology program from a reputed university in the country which includes research and practical field work experience within the curriculum would be a rewarding opportunity. For students keen on specialized M.A. Sport Psychology degrees, seeking opportunities from reputed program overseas with robust curriculums is recommended.
Yes, check the list below for program options in India and abroad.
There is no specific license to practice as a Sport Psychologist in India, however, a M.A. Psychology degree is the established standard to begin professional practice. For working with clinical populations check the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) guidelines for a Clinical Psychologist.
There is a rapid increase in the awareness of mental health in various pockets around the country, however, within the sporting world the importance of sports related mental skills still needs to be entrenched. There is a lot of scope of work as a Sport Psychologist in the country as India is a nation with thousands of athletes trying to develop a competitive edge over another. While few sporting individuals, academies, and authoritative bodies understand the need for a mental coach/sport psychologist in the game, there is a huge awareness gap of the role and necessity of a Sport Psychologist. My advice to students entering this field is that you have to create a role for yourself within the organization you want to work with. Since the specialization is in the nascent stage of being recognized, you have to make people aware of why they need you, why the team needs you, and what you can offer. Convincing your clients of your potential to enhance the performance of the athletes is key to ensuring your professional success and will secure the notion that the scope of work of a Sport Psychologist in India is in fact vast and the need of the hour.
This answer always comes down to personal choice. Sport Psychology program opportunities are more robust, thorough, and vast in universities abroad. However, financial limitations, family considerations, international adjustment, and academic interest are factors crucial to the decision making process. Speak to seniors who have gone through the same experience and figure out which one fits better with your lifestyle and personal preferences.
No, you don’t have to have a background in Sport to become a Sport Psychologist. But, it definitely helps when you work with sports clients your own Sports background will give you greater insight into your client’s problems and make you able to relate to them better. Clients might also feel more comfortable when working with a Sport Psychologist with a sporting background, especially from their own Sport.
List of Post-Graduate Sport Psychology Programs
Compiled by Bhargavi Ojale, S.Y.B.A., D. G. Ruparel College, Mumbai
- M.Sc. Sport and Exercise Psychology – Brunel University, England, UK
- M.Sc. Sport and Exercise Psychology – Bangor University, North Wales, UK
- M.Sc. Psychology of Sport and Exercise – Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
- M.S. Sport and Exercise Science (Psychology) – Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
- M.Sc. Sport and Exercise Psychology – Loughborough University, England, UK
- M.Sc. Sport and Exercise Psychology – Middlesex University, London, UK
- M.Sc. Psychology of Sport – University of Stirling, Scotland, UK
- M.Sc. Applied Sport Psychology – University of Winchester, Winchester, UK
- M.A. Sport and Exercise Psychology – Minnesota State University, Minnesota, USA
- M.S. Sport Psychology – Capella University, Minnesota, USA
- M.S. Sport and Performance Psychology – University of Western States, Portland
- M.Sc. Sport and Exercise Psychology – Staffordshire University, England, UK
- M.Sc. Exercise Science and Health Promotion with Concentration in Sport Psychology – California University of Pennsylvania, California, USA
- M.S. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology – West Virginia University, USA
- M.Sc. Sport and Exercise Psychology – Loughborough University, United Kingdom
- M.Sc. Sport and Exercise Psychology – University of Essex, United Kingdom
- M.S. in Kinesiology (Exercise Psychology) – University of Georgia, Georgia, USA
- M.Sc. Sport and Exercise Psychology – University of Greenwich, South London, UK
- M.S. Applied Sport Psychology – Adams State University, USA
- M.A. Sport Psychology – John F. Kennedy University, USA
The information provided on this page is for educational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any universities or programs listed above. The list is not a comprehensive list of all Sport Psychology Programs offered and is merely a knowledge share by the author of information obtained through independent research. Students are advised to conduct their own independent research on the various programs, license procedures, admission requirements, and related information required for their career planning. The answers to the frequently asked questions mentioned on this page are opinions of the author and do not represent professional career guidance. Students are encouraged to recheck important information regarding licensing procedures, new developments in policies and programs in the country, and the expanding scope of work as the world of sport psychology continues to grow and requires constant research on the latest updates.