Billiken Sport Psychological Sciences and Consultation
Staff: Dr. Michael Ross, Zach Merz, Taylor Montgomery, Ashley Hansen, Michelle
Jaques and Noel Elrod
Congratulations to Dr. Ross on receiving the outstanding mentor award for the
Check out the graduate mentoring philosophy of Dr. Ross.
Click here for our research activities.
Inclusion in Sports and Sports Psychology
The Sport Psychological Service Team provides individual and team services throughout
the athletic department. They are primarily focused on understanding and improving the
mental aspects of athletes' performances. Overall, this team works with athletes to
increase mental toughness, improve sport experience, provide support through sport-
related experiences, and enhance overall performance. Below is a more detailed
description of the services offered.
Individual services include one-on- one meetings between an athlete
and a sport psychology consultant (SPC). The length of time in sport psychological
training can vary and this largely depends on the athlete's presenting goals. Some athletes
choose to schedule one to two sessions that focus on specific skill development (e.g.,
confidence, relaxation, developing a mental warm-up), while other athletes prefer to
engage in more advanced skill training (10 weeks or longer). Athletes present to these
services with a variety of goals and/or areas of development. Some simply want to
increase their mental toughness during sport, decrease reactivity to negative experiences,
and improve their ability to reach a flow state. Other athletes may be experiencing
barriers to performance such as anxiety, difficulties adjusting to a new team, a lack of
confidence, or concerns regarding motivation. These services are available to all SLU
student-athletes. If interested in setting up this training, email Zach Merz
to request an appointment.
This is one type of technique incorporated into the individual
training. During biofeedback, athletes learn how to maintain control over physiological
processes that enhance the likelihood of achieving a flow state. SPCs will introduce and
train a variety of mental skills that help control these processes.
SPCs are often requested to work with teams in a variety of capacities.
Options for this training include one-day workshops, multisession team trainings, and
team assessments. Team workshops typically focus on 1-2 skills or topics, while
multisession team trainings include the introduction and application of a variety of skills.
Team assessments are often requested by the coaching staff and include the evaluation of
a variety of mental aspects using questionnaires and biofeedback techniques. Following a
team assessment, coaches are provided with team and individual data and
recommendations. Recommendations strive to enhance the mentality of the team during
practice and games. Additionally, individual athletes receive their own data and
recommendations for mental performance.
The Sport Psychological Service Team also provides specialty
services to populations of athletes experiencing unique stressors or transitions. Examples
include injured athletes (e.g., increasing coping and rehabilitation adherence), freshmen
athletes (e.g., supporting the transition to a new team, coach, and/or role), and senior
athletes (e.g., helping with the transition out of sport). These services often occur in a
workshop format and are requested on an as needed basis by the athletic department staff