The Emergence of Sport Psychology
Prior to the 1940’s sports were not big in the public schools. However, as the emergence of sports came about, so did the pursuit of excellence, self-esteem, spectator interest, and money. As professional sports grew, along with salaries, and the desire to be at the top, the emergence of sport psychology came about.
Division 47 of the American Psychological Association (APA) brings together psychologists, as well as exercise and sport scientists conducting research, teaching and serving in the area of Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology. According to the APA, Sport Psychology address the interactions between psychology and sport performance. Sport psychologists often study, teach, or asses the well-being of athletes, coaches, officials, and sport organizations. Furthermore, they study sub-fields such as anxiety, violence, control, and much more among athletes. For the most part, sport psychologists engage in performance enhancement as well as providing therapy and counseling and injury rehabilitation.
Sport Psychology benefits athletes by enhancing performance, and children through coaching practices. Interestingly, those who have studied sport psychology have taken their knowledge on enhancing performance and sold them as packages to businesses and corporations, thus affecting more than those in the sports world. Here at Texas A&M you have the great opportunity to learn from a sport psychologist, Dr. Arnold LeUnes. Dr. LeUnes graduated from TAMU and furthered his education at the University of North Texas. After receiving his doctorate, LeUnes came back to Texas A&M to teach and his been here for the past 51 years. Having taken his course, I highly recommend you take his class if you are interested in sport psychology.
In the past, it has been difficult to find jobs in this field. Recently, however, jobs are beginning to open up. It is not uncommon for sport psychologists to start their own practice. Licensing to become a sport psychologist is a restrictive statutory procedure. The APA recognized sport psychology as a proficiency acquired after a doctoral degree in one of the primary areas of psychology and licensure as a psychologist. While the Bureau of Labor and Statistics does not give an account for how much Sport Psychologist make, as of 2015 psychologists earn about $72,580 per year.
For a more detailed look into Sport Psychology, click here.