Sport And Exercise Psychologist

Sport And Exercise Psychologist Job Description

Sport And Exercise Psychologists Are Concerned With The Behaviours, Mental Processes And Wellbeing Of Individuals, Teams And Organisations Involved In Sport And Exercise. It Is Fairly Rare For Practitioners To Work across Both Fields And They Tend To Specialise In Either Sport Or Exercise.

Sport Psychologists Work With Athletes And Teams Involved In Sport From Amateur To Elite Professional Level, With The Aim Of Helping Them Deal Psychologically With The Demands Of The Sport And To Improve Their Personal Development And Performance.

Exercise Psychologists Work With The General Public To Increase Motivation And Participation In Exercise, Encouraging A Healthy Lifestyle And Advising On The Psychosocial Benefits That Exercise Can Offer.

Sport And Exercise Psychologist Duties/Functions/Responsibilities

Activities more closely associated with sport psychology include:

  • equipping athletes with mental strategies to cope with and overcome setbacks or injuries;
  • advising coaches how to improve squad cohesion or communication;
  • working with a broad range of clients including individual athletes, teams, coaches and referees, from amateur to elite professional level across a wide range of sporting disciplines;
  • developing tailored interventions to assist athletes in preparation for competition and to deal with the psychological demands of the sport;
  • delivering a variety of group workshops, which may include self-analysis of performance or techniques to develop mental skills within the sport.

Activities vary between the branches of sport and exercise psychology. Generic activities are likely to include:

  • working with a multidisciplinary team including other psychologists, nutritionists, GPs, coaches and physiologists;
  • assessing clients' needs and abilities, and monitoring sporting performance and behaviour;
  • implementing strategies to help the client overcome difficulties, improve performance or realise potential;
  • delivering counselling and/or workshops covering issues such as goal setting, visualisation and relaxation;
  • conducting and applying research in sport or exercise psychology.

Activities more closely associated with exercise psychology include:

  • providing counselling and consultations to a cross-section of the public including people who are depressed, GP referrals, people in prison or groups of employees as part of a workplace exercise programme.
  • counselling clients who are ill, in poor physical or mental health and who may benefit from participation in more regular exercise;
  • advising individuals about the benefits, both physical and psychological, that can be derived from exercise;
  • working with individuals and groups in a wide variety of settings including GP surgeries, employers' premises, the client's home, clinical settings and local fitness centres;
  • devising, implementing and evaluating exercise programmes based on the needs of the client;

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