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Herman J. Woltring
03-11-1991, 04:39 PM
Dear Biomch-L readers,

Michael Sachs' posting yesterday on the SPORTPSY list (he is the list's
moderator) deserves reposting on Biomch-L, I feel. I have not asked his
authorisation for reposting, but I trust that he (as a subscriber to this
list) will approve: both sport psychologists and biomechanicians/kinesio-
logists are confronted with similar problems in this respect.

Herman J. Woltring, Eindhoven/NL
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Date: Mon, 11 Mar 91 16:54:02 EST
From: Michael Sachs
Subject: Jobs with Professional Teams
Sender: Exercise and Sports Psychology

In response to the question on working with professional athletes
and the job market in sport psychology, I will venture a few thoughts
and hope for some others in addition to/in reply. My impression is that
most consultants with professional teams (and few, if any, have full time
sport psychologists affiliated with them) already work in private
practice or university settings and do this as consultants (i.e., only
part of their income). One has to consider, as well, the kind of work
one would be doing. Some teams are looking for assistance with drug and
alcohol abuse counseling, marital and family therapy, etc. Others want
performance enhancement training. Most of these jobs appear to go to
those who 'know someone,' or who are referred by friends of management.
One doesn't see ads in the local paper, "Philly 76ers seek sport psych
consultant, etc."

The jobs in sport psychology, at least the ones that provide full
time work, are in academia. Private practice provides some opportunity
to work in this area, but it's not clear how much time private
practitioners spend on sport psych or how much money can be made in
this area.

If you want to work with a professional sports team, you need to
write some letters, knock on some doors, make contacts, etc. As one
example, an article in Sports Illustrated last year indicated that
Dan Reeves, coach of the Denver Broncos, got 100 unsolicited letters
from alleged sport psychologists and psychiatrists (I use the word
alleged because one doesn't know what their qualifications are)
indicating their desire to help the Broncos get over that 'hump' in
making the Super Bowl but getting beat every time there. Reeves said,
in an indication of how far we as sport psychologists need to go
in countering stereotypes, that he didn't need a 'Norman Vincent Peele'
for his team, but just hard work.

In any case, there are lots of opportunities to work with athletes,
but comparatively few of the glamorous variety (i.e.,pros, Olympic teams
and even fewer that pay well. Hopefully all who endeavor to do this
type of work are qualified and understand the many ethical issues that
arise in this type of work.

Thanks for the opportunity to provide a few thoughts. I welcome
any comments.

Sincerely, Michael Sachs V5289E@TEMPLEVM