- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- knowledge of psychology
- customer service skills
- the ability to understand people’s reactions
- sensitivity and understanding
- excellent verbal communication skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to enjoy working with other people
- active listening skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As a sport and exercise psychologist, you'll:
- help athletes develop strategies to deal with nerves, anxiety, self-confidence, concentration and motivation
- set up activities to improve team and individual performance
- support athletes in coping with injuries
- give advice to coaches on team communication
- assess clients' needs and develop fitness plans and recommendations
- work with health promotion staff to show the therapeutic and health benefits of exercise
- create exercise programmes in organisations, workplaces, prisons and psychiatric units
- teach mental skills to individuals to improve their wellbeing and performance
You could work at a sports arena, at a fitness centre, at a health centre, in a prison or on a sports field.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.
You could work as a full-time sport psychologist or you could combine consultancy work with teaching and research.
As an exercise psychologist, you could work for a local health authority, or on a GP exercise referral scheme. You could also assess exercise programmes in workplaces, prisons or psychiatric settings.
With experience and further study you could become a senior psychologist or head of a psychology department. You could also move into lecturing.
You'll find more details about working in psychology from The British Psychological Society.Data from National Careers Service.