Sport Psychology Overview

One of the most often asked questions by students and professionals interested in sport psychology is: “How can I become a sport psychologist?” Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the field -- drawing from psychology and the sport/exercise sciences -- there are many different educational pathways to take to get there. Thus, a central issue for those interested in sport and exercise psychology is determining exactly what they want to do in the field. Do they want to teach and conduct research at a college or university? Do they want to coach? Do they want to work with athletes on mental skills training or performance enhancement issues? Do they want to provide athletes with counseling or therapy? How you answer these and other questions will guide your choice graduate and professional training.

To assist students and professionals with answering these and other education-related questions, members of different professional sport psychology organizations, such as the American Psychological Association – Division 47 (Exercise & Sport Psychology) and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) have developed several brochures and sets of information. If you are interested in sport and exercise psychology, whether as a current undergraduate or graduate student or a licensed psychologist who is looking for additional specialization, we strongly encourage you to read the information that is relevant to your situation before making any decisions concerning a graduate or additional professional training. If you have additional questions about the field or would like to talk to us regarding graduate and professional training opportunities at the University of North Texas, please contact us as sportpsych@unt.edu or at 940-369-SPORT (7767).

- For information on Graduate Education and Career Opportunities in Sport and Exercise Psychology, click here.
- For information on Supervision and Consultation in Sport Psychology, click here.
- For information on how you, as a current licensed mental health professional, can specialize in sport psychology, click here.
- For information on what sport psychology is and APA’s Proficiency in sport psychology, click here.
- For additional resources developed for students and professionals interested in sport psychology, click here.

You Can Also Learn More About Sport Psychology By Following These Guidelines:
1. Join professional organizations and committees within those organizations
    - APA Division 47   
    - The International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP)
    - The Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)
    - The North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA)
2. Attend professional conferences
    - APA, annual convention, usually in August
    - AASP, annual convention, usually in September or October
    - NASPSPA, annual convention usually in June
    - ISSP, convention held every four years, usually in the summer
3. Obtain Continuing Education (CE) Credits
    - APA and AASP sometimes offer CE courses in sport psychology each year just prior to
      their respective annual meetings. Check their websites for details.
    - The conventions and regional conferences listed above also offer CE credits.
4. Read professional journals and textbooks in the field
5. Join an internet sport psychology listserv (click here for more information)
6.Take courses in sport psychology and exercise science at a local college/university.
7. Begin applied work while receiving supervision from a sport psychologist
8. Join a sport psychology research group at a local college or university.
9. Pursue professional certification in the field through AASP (the Association for Applied Sport Psychology) or through APA Division 47’s proficiency.