Q&A with Sports Psychologist, Jim Taylor, PhD


OnlinePsychologyDegrees.com interviews sports psychologist, Jim Taylor, PhD. Jim has over 25 years of experience in the field and has worked with pro, world-class and junior-elite athletes, including Olympic teams, among others. In addition to his sports psychology practice, Jim has also authored books such as, Prime Sport: Triumph of the Athlete's Mind. He is a former internationally ranked alpine ski racer, a second degree black belt in karate, a certified tennis coach and an Ironman triathlete.

Below he talks about his experience in sports psychology and offers advice for students interested in the field.



Q: What is sports psychology and how is it different than other types of psychology?

Sports psychology is a subgroup of the field of psychology that applies the theory, principles and strategies used in clinical and counseling psychology to sports, athletes and coaches. Unlike other fields of psychology, [Short Code Error: type value must be either online or ground] that ultimately what enables one athlete to succeed, to win on the day of his/her Olympic event, or in the World Series, is not physical capabilities or equipment; it's whether he or she has the mental capability.

Q: Any other particular recommendations for aspiring sports psychologists?

Despite the sort of cautionary nature of some of my comments, I feel that I've had an incredible experience in my career. People who are interested in sports psychology and want to have a successful career have to put in a lot of time and make a lot of sacrifices. But, it's an incredible opportunity. I've been able to help people, meet star athletes, travel the world and have financial stability and a lot of freedom.