degree-of-interest: Master of Science in Counseling 8 Reasons Why Being a Sports Counselor Is a Great Career Choice Marketing and Communications | October 3, 2023 Many of the world’s best athletes face mental barriers that make it difficult for them to perform at their best. These mental roadblocks can derail even the most successful career if the athlete doesn’t get the right help. Sports counseling involves helping athletes achieve their best even in the face of such challenges. Sports Counseling What is a sports counselor? A sports counselor is a trained counselor who focuses their efforts on working specifically with athletes. According to the American Physiological Association, sport psychology is a branch of psychology that combines psychology and counseling to help athletes perform at their best. Sports counseling falls under this umbrella but only requires a master’s degree in counseling or psychology rather than a doctorate. Sports counselors help athletes, coaches, and parents prepare for games and competitions. Sports Counselor – Why It’s an Interesting and Rewarding Career If you have a passion for helping others and you enjoy the world of athletics, a career as a sports counselor could be interesting and rewarding. Here are several reasons why you might enjoy pursuing this career option. 1. Opportunity to Help Athletes Sports counselors help athletes achieve their best potential. A sports counselor teaches the techniques that athletes need to use to overcome emotional and mental hurdles that are holding back their success. This, in turn, can help athletes become the best possible versions of themselves. 2. Growing Career Field Sports and athletics are incredibly popular throughout the United States and the world. Both professional and college sports teams have millions of viewers and scores of dedicated fans, creating a demand for skilled athletes. The demand for counselors and psychologists, in general, is also growing at a rate of about 6%, according to the BLS. The combination of growth in both industries means you will be entering a career field with excellent growth potential. 3. Opportunity to Travel The sports teams that employ sports psychology professionals are typically either professional, semi-professional, or college-level teams. These teams travel all over the country and sometimes even out of the country to compete. As the sports counselor for a team, you will travel with them. If you have always wanted to see the country or the world, you could get that opportunity in this career field. Your travel expenses will be covered when you take to the air with your team, and you might find that you travel in greater style than you would if you were footing the bill yourself. 4. Insider Access to Athletes Have you ever wondered what it was like in the locker room of your favorite pro sports teams? As a sports counselor, you would get to see this for yourself. You might be sitting alongside the players at the big game or meeting up with elite athletes in the training room to get them ready to perform. While this isn’t the primary reason to consider this career path, it’s a great perk if you’re a sports fan. 5. The Job Itself is Very Exciting Working in counseling is exciting and rewarding. You must use creative thinking to figure out how to help people overcome emotional and psychological hang-ups, and you feel intrinsic reward when you see your clients make a breakthrough in their mental health. Add this to the world of sports, and the level of excitement increases. Sports counselors and psychologists often see the results of their work more quickly than those working in clinical practice because athletes are highly motivated to put into practice what you teach them so they can find success on the field or court. 6. Great Income Potential Imagine a job where you can travel the world, interact with celebrities, help people achieve their goals, and make good money. That’s precisely what you can do with a career as a sports counselor. According to the American Psychology Association, the athletic industry generates $400 billion in revenue annually. This means there is a lot of money available. The APA indicates the average salary for a sports psychologist or counselor at the university level is between $60,000 to $80,000 a year, and the highest salaries can be over $100,000. Professional sports counselors could potentially earn even more than this. 7. You Have Control of Your Schedule Sometimes as a sports counselor, you can control your schedule. If you work directly for a team, you may have to follow their schedule, but if you open a private practice, you might have more flexibility. You can decide what days you want to see clients and set your schedule accordingly. If you want to take some time off, you can do so. Having this type of flexibility could make a gratifying career even more rewarding. 8. You May Get to Work with Pro Athletes There’s no denying that pro athletes are some of the best-known celebrities in modern times, and working as a sports counselor means you might be able to work directly with them. This isn’t something most people can say they get to do over the course of their lives. You will need to keep what is shared with you private due to the rules and regulations surrounding psychology and counseling, but it would still be exciting to work with the world’s top celebrity athletes. Sports Counseling Jobs If you get a degree in sports counseling, there are many different career paths to follow upon graduation. Some popular options include: Sports Counselor or Psychologist: A sports counselor or psychologist works directly with sports teams to help address thought patterns and behaviors that impact athletic performance. Because of how mental athletics can be, many teams employ a counselor that works specifically for their team, and some colleges will have a team of sports counselors that work for their entire athletic department. Sports Coach: Some sports counselors decide to use their knowledge to step into a leadership role as a coach. The BLS estimates the average pay for coaches and scouts is $38,970, but those in the top 10% earn over $80,700 annually. Clinical Sports Psychologist: A clinical sports psychologist works with athletes and other athletic professionals in a clinical setting. They meet with clients in their offices for guidance on changing behaviors and mental patterns that may be holding them back. Indeed estimates an average salary of $109,754 for this field, making it a lucrative option. Earn Your Degree Today To start as a sports counselor or psychologist, you will need at least a master’s degree, and Carson-Newman University has you covered. Our Master of Science in Counseling program has three specializations that will fit your professional needs. Add some athletic training to the mix, and you will be well-prepared for a career as a sports counselor. Learn more about our Master of Science in Counseling degree today or reach out to our admissions team to get started.