The state of Georgia, in the southeastern region of the United States of America, is an ideal location to study sports psychology. The state has hosted a number of notable sporting events over the years and most major sports are played on a large scale competitive level in Georgia. The importance of sports in Georgia, therefore, points towards the state being a prominent one to study sports psychology in.
The interdisciplinary field of sports psychology aims to help athletes towards improved athletic performance. Sports psychologist train athletes and may also work with their coaches and parents. They can teach athletes various psychological techniques to help them overcome performance anxiety, problems with teammates and other stress inducing aspects of a career in sports.
An undergraduate in psychology followed by a graduate level degree such as a Masters or a PhD in sports psychology is the ideal path to becoming a professional sports psychologist. An undergraduate degree in a different, although relevant field such as kinesiology or physiology may also be a suitable starting point for a career in sports psychology.
Sports Psychology Training Programs
Argosy University, Atlanta
Argosy University offers a functional and practical graduate degree in Sport–Exercise Psychology. The courses and academic offerings in this program complement the educational requirements designed by the Association for the Applied Sport Psychology which makes the program quite relevant.
The MA in Sport–Exercise Psychology program is suitable for those students who wish to learn advanced principles in the field so as to gain better employment opportunities. To get into this program students must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution while holding onto a CGPA of 2.7. Students must also prepare a professional goal statement. This program is usually completed over 2 years.
Georgia Southern University
The MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology offered by the Georgia Southern University creates a balance between psychology, performance, and sport enhancements for students to benefit the most out of. It is an ideal program option for students looking to formally enter the sports psychology industry.
This program has a total of 36 credit hours which includes all kinds of course work, data analyses, team work and life-skill building exercises. Each component of the program adds value to the student’s knowledge. The program gives the option of completing a research oriented thesis or an internship.
Admission into this graduate program requires students to hold a bachelor’s degree while maintaining a CGPA of at least 2.75. A GRE score is also a pre-requisite. Financial aid is available to eligible students.
Related Training Program
Columbus State University
A BS in General Psychology is available for students at the Columbus State University. This degree requires a total of 123 hours for completion while holding onto a C grade or better in all courses. It is a good degree option for someone looking to create a foundation in psychology and is often the chosen stepping stone for graduate programs in specializations such as sport psychology.
Admission requirements include a high-school completion diploma. In some cased a GED score will work for students without a high-school diploma. An entrance exam may be needed for transfer students with less than 30 semester hours. Financial aid options such as grants, loans, scholarships and part-time employment exist.
Career Opportunities in Georgia
Sports psychologists in Georgia frequently find employment opportunities in the research, therapy or clinical environments. Research companies usually partner with sports psychologists to develop new theories and therapy methodologies. Hospital, sports centers, gyms as well as athletic departments at schools employ sports psychologists to treat patients, students and clients.
Salary and Employment Outlook in Georgia
The earning potential of sports psychologist in Georgia is high and is experiencing an upward trend. According to indee.com (2014), the average annual salary for sport psychologists is $176,000. Earning potential is largely determined by ones marketability, clientele and experience level.
Sports and competitive games are very common and popular in Georgia. Given this demographic, the demand for qualified and capable sports psychologists is likely to be positive. This can be supported by data collected by the BLS that estimates the employment growth of psychologists in general to grow by around 11% by 2022.