FAQ

Here we help answer questions you might have about sport psychology, the process of working with a sport psychology, how to become a sport psychologist, among other things. If you do not find the answer to your question in this section, please feel free to email us at sportpsych@unt.edu.

a) What is Sport Psychology?

The American Psychological Association (Division 47) defines sport and exercise psychology as the scientific study of the psychological factors associated with participation and performance in sport, exercise, and other types of physical activity. Sport psychologists focus primarily on:
- Helping athletes use psychological principles and skills to achieve optimal mental health and to improve performance.
- Understanding how individuals' participation in sport, exercise, and physical activity affects their psychological development, health, and well-being.

b) Who can benefit from working with a Sport Psychologist? Is it just for elite athletes?

Although all U.S. Olympic athletes have access to a Sport Psychologist, and many professional and college athletes use them as well, sport psychology services can help most people who, regardless of age, race/ethnicity, gender or competitive level, are interested in improving their performance or deriving more enjoyment from sport and physical activity.

d) How can I become a Sport Psychologist?

One of the questions students interested in sport psychology most often ask 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 students can take to get there. Thus, a central issue for students interested in sport and exercise psychology concerns 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?

f) What is the process of working with a sport psychologist?

Each athlete/team/performer is unique, thus the process of working with a sport psychologist typically begins with an assessment session where the sport psychologist will determine your performance goals. Based on the information obtained from that session, the sport psychologist will recommend various options to help you decide what approach might work best to meet your achievement goals.