The Growing Importance of Sport Psychology

Updated: May 26, 2020




If you have read the most recent update to the NSCA CSCS Exam Content Outline, you will have noticed a new section has been added to the Scientific Foundations. Sport Psychology has been moved out of the umbrella of Exercise Science and given its own section in the Scientific Foundations section on the exam. Expect to see 19 questions based on Sport Psychology.


But beyond the exam, the importance of sport psychology is growing. The mental component of sports, weight lifting, exercise, and life is growing. There are several individuals out there that process the importance of mastering the voice in your head, such as. David Goggins and Jocko Willink. As I write this, The Last Dance, the documentary on Michael Jordan, highlights his relentless pursuit to be the best. MJ’s trainer, Tim Grover, also provides his perspective on what makes a cleaner, in his book Relentless.

We are now in a time where we are not only looking for a physical edge, but a mental edge. Odds are you are not working in a setting that does not have access to a sport psychologist. You as the strength and conditioning coach, along with the certified athletic trainer, have a responsibility for developing the mental fortitude to be successful in athletics. You are not going to have all the answers, but you will be in a position to assist with goal setting, provide perspective, and breaking through self-limiting beliefs.


As society is changing, it is apparent we are lacking much of the mental skills and abilities needed to go through life. Serving as a strength and conditioning grants us the opportunity to fill this void. It can be teaching these mental skills, not helping an athlete lift more weight, that truly

makes an impact on someone’s life.

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