Career in Sport Psychology

We live in a sport-loving society. We have numerous sports in India like cricket, Tennis, table tennis, badminton, hockey, kabbadi, gymnastics, swimming etc. And we also have many people participating in some sport or the other. Usually for people who are training at the competitive level, sport becomes a part of their life as they put in a lot of efforts and practice a particular sport almost 6-8 hours per day. These are the kind of efforts as well as determination required if one wants to reach at the top of any sport. These are the physical efforts sportspeople put in.

However, very rarely it is believed that any sport is a mind game. What we play or perform on the actual day of a competition or a tournament is played much in advance….. May be days or months in advance….. IN OUR MIND. However, we usually ignore this fact.. Reasons????

Lack of knowledge about the subject.Ignorance about mind also being important along with physical practice in sport.Lack of proper facilities e.g. certified sport psychology institutes as well as certified sport psychologists.

There is a great need of sport psychologists in all the sport. Sport Psychologists work with athletes to help them deal with certain psychological demands that are placed on them. Handling failure, bouncing back from failure, setting realistic and achievable goals, improving focus, concentration and confidence, mentally preparing oneself to handle tough practice sessions, improving emotional control and controlling tension and anxiety related to competition are some of the things that a sport psychologist does. So in brief, they work with athletes to increase motivation and enhance performance.

Eligibility and Duration:

The field of Sport Psychology gives you 2 options: Teaching Sport Psychology at the university and working directly with athletes.

The field of teaching in Sport psychology needs one to have pursued graduation and post graduation in the field of Sport Psychology or graduation in the field of psychology with any specialisation and then a specialised course in Sport psychology.

To work directly with athletes, it is always better to have a graduation in the field of psychology. Secondly, being from the sport field himself/herself has lots of advantages.

If one has an experience of participating at a competitive level of any sport, it helps understanding and gauging their mind and also realising what happens when sportsmen are out there performing.

However, here in India we do not have any formal courses specialising in Sport and Performance Psychology. If students are keen to pursue this field, then they could specialise in any field of psychology till graduation and then pursue their masters abroad in the field of Sport Psychology. Or they could pursue their graduation in Sport Psychology from abroad immediately after their HSC.

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Ms. Mugdha Bavare, (Counseling Psychology) Specializes in vocational guidance and career counseling and conducts psychometric evaluations and assessments. She also does individual counseling and psychotherapy. Sports Counseling is Mugdha’s major area of interest and she has done considerable work in that area. Mugdha is a Chatrapati Award winning swimmer and uses this experience to coach and counsel budding sportsmen. She is the sports psychologist for the Mumbai Cricket Association as well as other sports clubs and works extensively with sportspeople.

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