Sports Psychologists


Sports Psychologists


In general, sports psychologists work with amateur and professional athletes to improve their mental and physical health, as well as athletic performances, by using goal setting, imagery, focus strategies, and relaxation techniques, among others. Sports psychologists also strive to help athletes to mentally prepare for competition. There are approximately 181,700 psychologists employed in the United States, although sports psychologists comprise only a small segment of this number.

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level




Internship or supervised experience required



Coaching/Physical Training


Personality Traits



Specific salary statistics for sports psychologists are not readily available. In general, psychologists' salaries depend on their area of their expertise, the location of their practice, and whether or not they practice alone or in a partnership. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that median annual earnings for all psychologists were $80,370 in May 2019. The lowest paid 10 percent earned le...

Work Environment

Sports psychologists spend most of their time working in office and hospital environments, but some of their time is spent in the same environments as the athletes they counsel. This may mean spending several hours on a golf course, on a ski slope, or in the gymnasium. Much depends on the type of psychologist. For example, the clinical psychologist would probably spend most of their time with a...


While employment in the general field of psychology is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2028, it is hard to say how this prognosis affects the subspecialty of sports psychology. Few people leave the field entirely because so much time is required for training. Many stay in the general field of psychology and merely move around, switching specialties, but...