Sport and Exercise Psychologist

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					Sport and Exercise Psychologist

           The Work

           Sport and exercise psychologists study the mental and emotional effects of taking part in sport and
           exercise. They typically specialise in either sport or exercise, although some work in both.

           As a
           sport psychologist
           you would work with teams and individuals at all levels, from amateurs to top professionals. You
           would help them with issues such as:
             q   dealing with nerves and anxiety
             q   improving self-confidence
             q   coping with the demands of training and competing
             q   improving concentration
             q   staying motivated and focused in spite of stress, discomfort or distraction
             q   coping with sports injuries
             q   controlling aggression
             q   setting goals.

           You would work closely with other professionals such as coaches, managers, nutritionists and
           physiotherapists.
           As an
           exercise psychologist
           you would apply your knowledge of psychology to finding ways of encouraging the general public
           to become more active to improve their health and well-being. Your role could involve:
             q work in cardiac rehabilitation or GP exercise referral schemes

             q help to promote the therapeutic and health benefits of exercise by working with health promotion

               staff
             q study the reasons certain groups of people are more active than others.



           In both sport and exercise psychology, you would usually combine consultancy work with teaching
           and research, or with work in other areas, such as clinical or occupational psychology.




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Sport and Exercise Psychologist

           Entry Requirements

           You can qualify as a sport or exercise psychologist in two ways. You can become either:
            q a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist through the British Psychological Society (BPS), or

            q an Accredited Sport and Exercise Psychologist through the British Association of Sports and

              Exercise Scientists (BASES).

           For both routes you need to complete a degree, followed by a postgraduate qualification and a
           period of supervised practice.

           Entry requirements for degree courses are likely to include five GCSEs (A-C), and three A levels.
           However, you may be accepted with alternative qualifications, so you should check with individual
           colleges or universities.

           If you will be working with young people or other vulnerable groups you will need Criminal Records
           Bureau (CRB) clearance.
              q Criminal Records Bureau



           BPS Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist
           To become a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist through the BPS you need:
             q a degree in psychology from a course approved by BPS - this would give you Graduate Basis for

               Chartered Membership (GBC).
             q at least three years' full-time training under professional supervision that includes a BPS-accredited

               postgraduate qualification in sport and exercise psychology.

           See BPS for a full list of accredited courses.
            q British Psychological Society - accredited courses



           If you have a degree in a subject other than psychology, you can achieve GBC by completing a
           BPS-approved conversion course, or by sitting the BPS Qualifying Exam.

           Visit BPS Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology for further details.
             q British Psychological Society - BPS Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology



           BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Psychologist
           To become an Accredited Sport and Exercise Psychologist through BASES you need:
             q a degree in Sport and Exercise Science (this would include subjects such as physiology and

               biomechanics as well as psychology, although you could focus on sport and exercise psychology)
             q an MSc in Sport and Exercise Science/Psychology and three years' supervision by a BASES

               Accredited Sport and Exercise Psychology Practitioner.

           See the BASES website for full details.

           You can find out about registering for supervised experience from BPS, or from BASES, depending
           on whether you are aiming to become a BPS Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist or a
           BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Psychologist.
           For information on state registration with the Health Professions Council (HPC), check the
           psychology page of the HPC website.
             q Health Professions Council




           Hours

           You would often work normal office hours, but could also work in the evenings in some jobs.

           You could be office-based, or work in various settings, such as team premises, competition venues
           and clinics.


           Skills and Knowledge
             q   an interest in how people react and interact
             q   an interest in sport
             q   a desire to help other people
             q   the ability to maintain a professional distance
             q   excellent communication skills
             q   the ability to work as part of a team
             q   a tolerant and patient manner
             q   good problem solving skills and a logical approach.




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Sport and Exercise Psychologist

           Training and Development

           For some university jobs you will need a PhD, which involves carrying out research in sport or
           exercise psychology. See the BPS website for information on research, including funding
           opportunities and details of experts in particular fields or specialisms.
             q British Psychological Society



           You can also search for PhD opportunities on Find a PhD.
            q Find a PhD



           Throughout your career you will be expected to keep your knowledge and skills up to date through
           continuing professional development (CPD). This can include attending courses, workshops and
           conferences - see the BPS website for information on their CPD scheme. The BASES also runs
           conferences and a programme of workshops covering a range of sport and exercise topics.


           More Information

           British Psychological Society
           St Andrew's House
           48 Princess Road East
           Leicester
           LE1 7DR
           Tel: 0116 254 9568
           www.bps.org.uk

           British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)
           Leeds Metropolitan University
           Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education
           Fairfax Hall
           Headingley Campus
           Beckett Park
           Leeds
           LS6 3QS
           Tel: 0113 8126 162
           www.bases.org.uk

           Skills for Health
           Goldsmiths House
           Broad Plain
           Bristol
           BS2 0JP
           Tel: 0117 922 1155
           www.skillsforhealth.org.uk


           Opportunities

           You would probably combine consultancy work with teaching and research, or work in other areas
           of psychology. You could find full-time opportunities with professional sports teams and sport
           national governing bodies.

           Opportunities for exercise psychologists include involvement in GP exercise referral schemes or
           evaluation of exercise programmes in employment, prison or psychiatric settings.

           You may find the following links useful for job vacancies and further reading (links open in new
           window):

           BPS Appointments Section
           BASES - vacancies page
           The Guardian

           We do not accept responsibility for the content of external sites.




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Sport and Exercise Psychologist

           Income
             q   Starting salaries can be from £20,000 to around £22,000 a year.
             q   With experience this can rise to between £27,000 and £37,000.
             q   Senior psychologists and department heads can earn around £43,000.

           Figures are intended as a guideline only.


           Related Profiles
           Clinical Psychologist
           Health Promotion Specialist
           Health Trainer
           Psychologist
           Sport and Exercise Scientist




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