Performance psychology is concerned with the psychology of human performance, especially in professions and workplaces that rely heavily on psychomotor skills and teamwork. This psychology specialization shares many elements with sport and exercise psychology as well as industrial and organizational psychology.
Performance psychologists work with individuals, groups, and leaders in various fields, such as sports, law enforcement, education, medicine, and entertainment to address performance needs and suggest tools for enhancing focus, concentration, and motivation. Using their knowledge of peak performance proficiencies and mental skills training, performance psychologists guide clients in effective goal setting, self-awareness, preparation, and leadership.
To become a certified performance psychologist, candidates must complete the required level of education and training. Most students begin with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in performance psychology or sport and exercise psychology. During this program, students will take a variety of courses in biological psychology, motor learning, research design and analysis, cognitive psychology, instruction/player development, and more.
Graduates of the performance psychology degree program are qualified to work in several jobs, both in and outside of psychology. Some popular career paths include training and development managers, human resources managers/specialists, psychiatric technicians, and career counselors. Those who want to practice in the field of applied sport psychology or performance psychology will need to earn a master’s degree and possibly a PhD in their desired discipline.