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Psychology Careers: National Football League Coach

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When I took Intro Psych in my first semester of college, I knew I wanted to be a psychology major. But I didn’t have any plans beyond that. Early in the course, my professor said that not all psychologists are therapists. That made me very happy – and that’s how I knew I didn’t want to be a therapist. What did I want to be? I still didn’t know, but knowing what I didn’t want to be helped narrow down the career choices.

Would I have chosen being an NFL linebacker coach had I known that was an option? Maybe.

Jen Welter (MS in sport psychology and PhD in psychology from Capella University) spent the summer of 2015 coaching the inside linebackers of the NFL Arizona Cardinals. She also comes with player credentials having spent 13 years in professional women’s league football.

Think, pair, share. Near the end the Intro Psych course (or whatever course you think appropriate, capstone perhaps) while reflecting back on what they have learned about psychology, ask students to jot down what knowledge or skills someone with a psychology background could bring to a coaching job. Students then share with one or two students near them. Finally, ask students to share the list of knowledge and skills they generated with the class.

About the Author
At Highline College near Seattle, Sue Frantz is working on her third decade in the psychology college classroom. Throughout her career, she has been an early adopter of new technologies in which she saw pedagogical potential. In 2009, she founded her blog, Technology for Academics. The blog features both new tech tools and tips for using not-so-new tools effectively. She currently serves as Vice President for Resources for APA Division 2: Society for the Teaching of Psychology. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the APA award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at a Two-Year College or Campus. In 2016, she received the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award. As the newest contributor to the Instructor Resource Manual for the David Myers and Nathan DeWall Introduction to Psychology textbooks, she is excited to bring teaching resources to you in this venue.