Career Counselling: A career in sports psychology

  • Usha Albuquerque, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 05, 2016 18:21 IST
Sports psychologists are trained to understand the driving factors that impact a player’s performance, and provide the psychological assistance that he or she requires to handle past challenges. (Kunal Patil)

I am a Class 12 student and want to pursue a career in sports psychology. I will take up psychology honours at the bachelor’s level. What are the prospects in this field?

– Deepshikha

Psychology is the study of human behaviour. Scientific principles and theories are applied to problems concerning people in various spheres of activity. Sports is one field where psychological counselling has helped motivate sportspersons rise to optimum levels where their talent is concerned. Being good at a competitive sport involves not just your individual talent or your physical fitness, but also requires you to have an understanding of yours and your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.

Psychological factors and your state of mind play a big part in how you perform. It is, therefore, important to understand the psychological forces that impact sportspersons, whether positively or negatively, and the magnitude of pressure that could either make or break them.

Sports psychologists are trained to understand the driving factors that impact sports performance, and so provide the psychological assistance that a sportsperson requires to handle past challenges and detriments and strive for newer heights of success. Today, many top sportspersons like Roger Federer, Leander Paes, Saina Nehwal and others have benefitted from the counselling of sports psychologists.

You can take up a master’s programme in sports psychology after a BA in psychology. MA in sports psychology is offered in several countries abroad and some limited universities in India. With this qualification, you can work as a sports psychologist with sporting teams, or sports associations. You can handle psychological testing and assessments, and also take up further study or research in this field.

Read more: Career counselling: Easy ways to fund your studies abroad

I am a final-year BA student at Delhi University (DU) School of Open Learning. I wish to seek admission in a regular bachelor of education programme (BEd) in DU. Are there any specific entrance exams for BEd? Please suggest.

-Pinki Pal

BEd is a postgraduate academic degree which prepares students to work as teachers in schools. A student with a bachelor’s degree in any subject, from a recognised university, whether full-time or through distance learning, can opt for a BEd course. You require at least 50% either in bachelor’s or in the master’s in science, social science or humanities. A bachelor’s degree in engineering or technology with specialisation in science and mathematics with 55% marks or any other qualification equivalent thereto, also qualify for admission to the programme.

The written entrance test is of three hours duration. It consists of three sections of multiple choice questions. Section A will have questions based on understanding and application of concepts in science, social sciences and mathematics up to secondary level. Section B will have questions to assess reasoning and problem-solving ability; basic numerical understanding to analyse and interpret data, and other such thinking-based applicative questions. Section C is the language proficiency test that will assess comprehension ability in both English and Hindi. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the entrance test -

1. For general knowledge, you can start following the daily news

2. For the language tests refer to basic English/ Hindi books, browse through the topics mentioned and try attempting exercises related to each topic

3. Develop a habit of reading English newspapers on a regular basis. This will help improve your vocabulary

4. Try learning new words on a daily basis.

Send your queries at ­hteducation@­ or to Career Counselling, HT Education, 1st floor, HT House, 18-20, KG Marg, New Delhi-110001. The columnist is director of Careers Smart, and author of the Penguin India Career Guides Vol 1 and 2

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