Last Updated on June 21, 2022
Sports Psychology Certification Programs
Sport Psychology Certificates
For people looking to study sport psychology there are a number of different paths. The field is growing and changing quickly, but now is a very opportune time to start or broaden your career with sport psychology expertise. There are options at all levels for aspiring students who want to learn more about this field, including Bachelor’s, Master’s and Certificate Programs. In this article, we’ll highlight some exciting sport psychology options at the certificate level. If you are interested in sport psychology master’s programs, check out our Master’s in Sport Psychology guide.
What Can You Do with a Sport Psychology Certificate?
If you’re just starting out, you should know that in order to practice clinical psychology you will need to go through the proper certification process and adhere to your respective state’s guidelines. Each state can be a little different so if that is your intention, you should research what the requirements are in your state and talk to a professor or university admissions professional. In most cases, a master’s degree is a necessity. Many psychologists have also completed a doctoral program.
That being said, sport psychology certificate programs can be very helpful for anyone looking to advance their career, help athletes succeed, or become a valuable member of a coaching staff. There are other applications for a sport psychology certificate which can be a valuable way for people to open up new opportunities in the world of sports. Check out our interviews with sport psychology professors and professionals to learn straight from the experts about how to make your way in this profession.
A certificate program in sport psychology will certainly help you become a better coach, trainer, fitness instructor, or health professional. This type of program will equip you with strategies and techniques to help athletes maximize their performance and reach their goals. It will also make you more employable in these competitive jobs when compared to applicants without a certificate or specialized degree.
Applying Sport Psychology Certificates to a Master’s Degree
In many cases, courses taken in a certificate program can be applied to a Master’s Degree. Policies can vary from one school to another, so if you may be interested in pursuing a Master’s Degree or would like to leave that option, make sure you inquire with schools you have in mind for your master’s degree to see if they accept credits from certificate programs. Often courses that are over a certain level (e.g. “400-level”) will be accepted towards a master’s degree.
Outcomes of a Sport Psychology Certificate
After completing a certificate program, a student will be able to synthesize and explain theories related to sport psychology that coaches and health professionals put into practice every day. They will have tools like visualization, active listening, and empathy to help them do their job better and be a more effective mentor, coach, or professional. In many cases, students will learn through practical experience and assessments how to put these theories into practice, while also ensuring that they have a strong foundation of ethics and professionalism to draw on while performing their jobs.
In practical terms, a certificate program will make you more hirable in the world of sports compared to a candidate with no specific training or education in this arena. The increased employability will not only enable you to land a job faster, but you also bring more to the table in negotiations. It is not uncommon for people to earn $10,000-$20,000/yr more after completing a certificate program related to sport psychology.
Typical Course Load and Schedule of a Sport Psychology Program
Many programs can be completed in about a year and they can be completed during nights and weekends. Typical courses include an introduction to the field of sport psychology, courses on ethics, preparation, mental skills, and electives that cover engaging and relevant topics such as the role of sports in society, addiction, and research-related courses.
Every program is different, so if you are looking to accomplish a specific goal, such as becoming a more hirable coach, then ensure that the program you choose has a curriculum which offers courses related to coaching, performance, and has electives available related to your goals.
Typically a program is completed in 12-14 months. Usually this is done in 3 quarters or 3 trimesters. It can be a lot to handle if you are working a full-time job, but many students have gone down this path and found success! Generally, a program will require 21-24 credits to obtain the certificate. Some courses can be completed in a two-week sprint, while others may take months of classes taken once or twice a week.
The key is to find a program that lets you accomplish your goals while maintaining a schedule that fits the rest of your life. In contrast to degree programs, certificate programs are designed for people who have academic, professional, and personal responsibilities outside of their coursework.
Cost of Sport Psychology Certificate Programs
Generally speaking, a sport psychology certificate program will be significantly less expensive than a four year bachelor’s degree or a two year master’s degree. While not all programs will allow for certification and licensure to practice as a psychologist, there can be a significant return on investment with a one year certificate program. In many cases students are able to pay between $5,000-$15,000 for a graduate certificate program.
In many cases, students are able to see their wages increase by $5,000-$15,000, thus the program pays for itself in a year or less. It is hard to find this type of return on conventional four year programs, or even two year master’s programs!
In many cases, graduate certificate programs are offered online. This may be either synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous courses must be taken “live” at a specific time, whereas asynchronous courses are prerecorded and can be taken at any time students would like. Certificate programs are meant to accommodate people with busy lives, who may already be working a full-time job and are looking to either switch careers or advance within their chosen path. The good news is that certificate programs are able to work with most schedules, students have varying life situations, but similar goals, and you can begin to build your network as you complete your courses.
Is financial aid available for graduate certificate programs? The answer is yes! Many certificate providers will have options for financial aid, whether in the form of scholarships, loans, or other conventional means of funding education. 529 College savings plans can be applied towards graduate certificate programs and many low-cost student loan companies also offer products that are suited to these shorter certificate programs.
A sport psychology is a branch of psychology on the individual and group emotional and psychological dynamics that affect athletic performance and impact an athlete, coach, or team’s ability to be successful and healthy.
Sport psychology certificate programs are helpful to current coaches, psychologists, and trainers who want to increase their effectiveness while working with athletes at any level. It is also useful for any student exploring a career in sport psychology.
There are numerous formats of sport psychology certificate programs. They range from fully online to partially online to fully in person. Many of these certificate programs are designed with working professionals and parents in mind and offer a lot of flexibility as well as competitive tuition.