Hello everyone… My name is Raylene Ross; it is my pleasure meeting you.
My interest in sports psychology began as a freshman at Swarthmore College after attending Dr. Joel Fish’s lecture on how to help athletes reach their full potential. Adapting to being away from home, a suburban setting, and challenging academic environment led to feelings of uncertainty. As a member of the track and field team, having a fantastic coach who prioritized and promoted physical, emotional, and social development facilitated optimal performances on and off the track. I recognized the importance of incorporating mental wellness in order to confront negative and limiting mindset. This awareness really focused my course of study in my psychology major during my final two years at Swarthmore College, sparking my interest in pursuing a sports psychology degree and crafting a related career.
After graduating from Swarthmore College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I enrolled in Springfield College’s Athletic Counseling program. This was the initial step to integrate my professional experiences and training to help athletes achieve optimal performance. While at Springfield, I worked as an athletic counselor with men’s basketball, football, and wrestling teams, advising athletes’ physical, emotional, and social development in order to facilitate optimal performance.
During my 10-year tenure as an assistant cross country and track and field coach at Swarthmore College, Westfield State, Northwest Missouri State, University of South Carolina, West Point, and the University at Albany, I utilized a holistic approach to counseling athletes given the complexities faced these athletes on a daily basis. My holistic counseling approach was also utilized during my time as an adjunct instructor at Midlands Technical College, Lehigh Carbon Community College, and National University, teaching introductory psychology, sport and exercise psychology, and physical activity courses.
In over 17 years working with college athletes, I have found that most student-athletes need support and are looking to connect with someone who understood their concerns. I was able to provide an emphatic environment supporting numerous athletes in overcoming academic and athletic obstacles. One challenge that I could not overcome was assisting those athletes who needed mental health counseling because unfortunately, my roles as a track and field coach, athletic, academic advisor, and director of track and field operations were limited and did not allow me to provide mental wellness counseling that some athletes desired or needed.
I expanded by skillset and clientele by serving as a cognitive performance coach and resilience trainer with military service members. My athletics background and my prior counseling roles enabled me to easily transition to providing mental skills counseling to optimize training for service members. In promoting readiness, service members learn mental wellness skills to help them manage the physical and psychological demands of training, injuries, and returning to work after active deployment. Through coaching, mentorship, and training, service members leverage their strengths to achieve personal and professional goals and I have played an integral part in this process.
Having witnessed the impact of counseling and mental wellness skill development in helping athletes and service members to overcome obstacles and adversities on their way to accomplishing their goals confirms my belief that mental skills training is essential to athletes and service members to win the mental game.
I am here to provide clients with the mental skills to help them accomplish their goals while leveraging their strengths. In training your mind, you develop a competitive edge that allows you to view challenges and adversities as opportunities for growth and success. Through guidance, clients are empowered to achieve optimal performances.
Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Education with a Concentration in Developmental Foundations, University of South Carolina, 2010.
Master of Science in Psychological Services with a Concentration in Athletic Counseling, Springfield, MA, 2003
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, 2000
Besides becoming a certified Health and Wellness Coach, I am currently pursuing a Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree and the Mental Performance Consultant (AASP-CMPC) certification.
A little about me…
I was born in Georgetown, Guyana, migrated to Brooklyn, New York in the 1990s, and currently live in Columbia, SC. Working in college athletics and the military complex furthered my interest in traveling and learning about different cultures. During my free time, I enjoy reading, watching college sports, exercising, and cooking and eating Caribbean food. Surprisingly, my curiosity in hiking was sparked after completing the Portage Pass Trail in Whittier, Alaska. Even though it was challenging, I proved to myself that there is beauty in the process of accomplishing my goals.
I believe that my skillset could provide you with an invaluable resource. I look forward to getting to know you; let us begin this collaborative journey obtaining a competitive edge while accomplishing your goals.