Many athletes are looking for a sport psychologist, a mental performance coach, a person who understands the challenges of being a student athlete and who can help develop a complete mental game plan.
My love for sport psychology began as a collegiate athlete. I was first introduced to this field as a freshman softball player. I was adapting to college life, a new team, and a new coaching style. AND I was struggling for the first time in my athletic career.
After going 0-6 at the plate in my first two games, I met with a sport psychologist. I didn’t even know it was a thing! Seriously, what a difference! I used the imagery and self-talk skills she explained and I was back on track and went on to have a record breaking season.
My athletic career wasn’t all smooth sailing. After that year, I transferred to a new university and suffered an elbow injury (and subsequent surgery) that left me unable to throw for the remainder of my athletic career. Yes, a softball player who was unable to throw. It’s as difficult as it seems! Working through an injury and rehabilitation, a limited role on the team, and balancing my off the field commitments and aspirations, which included staying active in my academic field of psychology and preparing for graduate school, was a challenge to say the least.
I successfully achieved my graduate school goals and I hold two graduate degrees, a M.S. in Counseling Psychology and a Ph.D. in Sport Psychology. I then went on to have a 13-year career as a professor. I taught psychology, counseling, and sport and exercise psychology courses, developed and directed a master’s program geared for a future sport psychologist, conducted research, and advised/mentored hundreds of students and student athletes on psychology and life. I hold coaching certifications and I’ve earned Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) status through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, which is currently the gold standard for applied sport psychology professionals.
During my time as a professor, it was not uncommon for my office to be a regular stop for student athletes looking for a sport psychologist. Collegiate athletes face a number of challenges. They knew that I understood this and therefore sought out advice along the way. I saw many student athletes rise to the challenge academically and athletically while some student athletes didn’t fare as well. As a professor, while I had the techniques to help and could often provide some support, I was limited in what I could offer due to my role.
Because of my background as an athlete and professor, I understand the system, but I’m not part of the system. This is key. Coaches, athletic trainers, and other athletic staff are invaluable resources, but can only do so much when it comes to the mental game, adjusting to college, and the skills needed to maintain academic involvement and achievement while exceling in their sport. No matter how comfortable an athlete may be with their coach, they’re probably not going to say “Hey coach, I’ve been struggling with my confidence lately.” Coaches have a different role and often a different goal. That’s where I come in!
Learn more about my approach to working with serious college athletes to train your brain to help you win the game, on and off the field.
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I’m married to Wade, who is the best. Seriously. He’s always game for a new goal. We met in college where he played baseball and I played softball (I know, it’s super beautiful and pretty much meant to be). We have two sons who are amazing (and who are at the ages where they would rather I not talk much about them). We have three awesome dogs who make our family complete. In our spare time, we enjoy sports, being outdoors, and renovating homes. We have lived in 7 houses in 16 years and are currently renovating our 100+ year old home. Never a dull moment with our family!