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Sport Psychology

SLU Sport Psychology Services provides sport performance optimization for individual athletes and teams at Saint Louis University's Department of Athletics and to athletes and teams across the St. Louis region.

A successful sports program is reflected by athletes, coaches, and teams performing at their highest potential. The SLU Sport Psychology team provides evidence-based sport psychological services to individual athletes and teams to achieve optimal performance in their sport. Our team is comprised of doctoral students in clinical psychology with an emphasis on sport psychology who serve as Sport Psychology Consultants (SPCs) and are provided to athletes and teams from all sports within the greater St. Louis region. The primary focus of the SPCs is to understand and improve the mental aspects of an athlete's and a team’s performance by enhancing mental toughness, optimizing arousal and emotional regulation, improving concentration and attention, sustaining motivation, assisting with injury rehabilitation, and managing sport related stressors. Professor of Psychology Michael J. Ross, Ph.D., serves as the director of SLU Sport Psychology Services and provides supervision of all sport psychology consultants.

Individual Services

Individual services involve one-on-one meetings between an athlete and a sport psychology consultant (SPC). The length of time in sport psychological training can vary and largely depends on the athlete’s 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 skills training (10 weeks or longer). Student-athletes seek these services with a variety of goals and/or areas of development in mind. Some may simply want to increase their mental toughness during sport, decrease the effect of negative self-talk, and improve their ability to reach a flow state (“Get into the Zone”). Other athletes may be experiencing barriers to performance such as anxiety, difficulties adjusting to a new team, a lack of confidence, concerns regarding motivation, or difficulties related to injury. These services are available to all SLU student-athletes.

Biofeedback Training

Biofeedback is a 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 regulate these processes.

Team Services

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 mental 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 mental aspects of the team during practice and games to enhance athletic performance. Additionally, individual athletes receive their own data and recommendations for mental performance skills training.

Specialty Groups

The Sport Psychology team also provides specialty services to student-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 and/or student-athletes.

Meet the Team

Ross for web

Director Michael J. Ross, Ph.D.

Michael J. Ross, Ph.D., ABPP has been a professor of psychology at Saint Louis University for over three decades. Ross, along with his former graduate student, Joanne Perry, Ph.D., founded the Saint Louis University Sport Psychological Sciences and Consultation Lab in 2015. He is a board-certified clinical psychologist, fellow of the Academy of Clinical Psychology, and member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. He has served as the university’s NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative since 1990 and provides consultant and oversight of academic integrity, NCAA rules compliance, and student-athlete welfare for SLU Billiken Athletics. Ross’ areas of research and scholarship include flow state, biofeedback and Heart Rate Variability, adjustment to athletic injury, coping, athletic values, motivation, and mental health. His scholarly works include over fifty peer reviewed publications and over one hundred professional conference presentations. Ross enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and students, and enjoys all of SLU’s Billiken sport teams, coaches, and student-athletes.


Collins for web

Assistant Director Jordan Collins, M.S.

Jordan Collins, M.S. earned his bachelor's degree in psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he was a sprinter on the men’s track and field team. He obtained a Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the Illinois State University and is currently pursuing his doctorate in clinical psychology at Saint Louis University. Collins' research examines values and coping in collegiate athletes. He provides individual and team sport psychological services to student-athletes through SLU’s Sport Psychological Sciences and Consultation Lab


Bella for web

Assistant Director Bella Fiorenzo,  M.S.

Isabella Fiorenzo, M.S. is currently a third-year student in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at SLU. She received her B.S. in biology and B.A. in psychology at the University of Mississippi, where she also competed on the women’s soccer team. Her research interests include examining the psychological impact of injury in athletes and understanding the implications of interruptions in sport on well-being. In her free time, she enjoys watching a number of sports, especially soccer, and spending time outside with friends.


Becca for web

Associate Director Becca Steins, M.A.

Becca Steins, M.A., is currently a first-year student in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at SLU. She is originally from St. Louis and received her B.A. in psychology and exercise science from Drury University, where she also played basketball. She received her M.A. in kinesiology at McGill University in Montréal, Quebec. Her research interests include the psychology of sport injury and concussions, particularly coping with injury and injury-related body image and eating disorders, as well as neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation of sport-related concussion. In her free time, Becca enjoys cooking for her friends, hiking with her dog Stevie, watching hockey, and exploring different restaurants in St. Louis.


Kimberly Lowell, M.S.

Senior Consultant

Kimberly Lowell, M.S., is currently a fourth-year student in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at SLU. She is from San Jose, California, and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Her research interests include neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation following injury and neurologic conditions.


Tanesha Johnson, M.S.

Senior Consultant

Tanesha Johnson, M.S. is currently a fourth-year student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Saint Louis University. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis on family and marital studies from Hampton University. Her research interests broadly are in racial discrimination and socioeconomic status in African Americans, more specifically Black teens and families. Clinically, she enjoys working with teens and children (and their parents). In her spare time, her enjoys reading, hanging out with her dog, Nemo, and watching anime. She enjoys watching college basketball and professional football


Sascha Eisenstein, M.S.

Senior Consultant

Sascha Eisenstein, M.S., is currently a third-year student in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at SLU. He is from Raleigh, North Carolina, and received his M.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his B.A. from North Carolina State University. His research interests include neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation of sports injury and sport-related concussion. In his free time, he likes to play soccer, throw the frisbee, and walk his two dogs, Cosima and Edie.


Alex Chang, M.S.

Senior Consultant

Alex Chang, M.S., is currently a third-year student in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at SLU. He is from San Diego, California, and earned his bachelor's degree in psychology at Grinnell College in Iowa. His research interests center around child and adolescent mental health.


Rachel Hawk, B.A.

Rachel Hawk, B.A., is currently a second-year student in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at SLU. She is from Columbus, Ohio, and received her bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Her research interests broadly include PTSD and maladaptive behavioral outcomes of childhood trauma. In her free time, she loves finding new walking trails and doing puzzles.


Jacob Arett, B.S.

Jacob Arett, B.S., is currently a second-year student in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at SLU. He is from Plymouth, Minnesota, and received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests include body image in both athletes and non-athletes, as well as anxiety, trauma, and stress related concerns. In his free time, Jacob enjoys playing tennis and soccer, watching basketball (particularly the Timberwolves), and dabbling in pickleball.


Charlotte Payne, B.S.

Charlotte Payne, B.S., is currently a second-year student in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at SLU. She is from St. Augustine, Florida, and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida. Her research interests include neuropsychological evaluation and outcomes related to brain injuries and diseases. In high school, Charlotte played soccer, lacrosse, and golf. In her free time, she enjoys walks in the park and playing pickleball with friends.


Bryce K. Davis, B.S.

Bryce K. Davis, B.S., is a second year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D program at Saint Louis University. Prior to becoming a Billiken, Bryce earned his bachelor’s in psychology and Sociology at Bowling Green State University, where he also completed the McNair Scholars program. Bryce has previous clinical experience in community mental health, school based mental health, and adolescent residential behavioral health. Bryce’s clinical and research interests include experiences related to race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and emerging adulthood.


Emily Wiegers, B.A.

Emily Wiegers, B.A., is currently a second-year student in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at SLU. She is from Springfield, Missouri, and received her bachelor's degree from Drury University. Emily's clinical and research interests are broadly focused on child and adolescent psychopathology. She loves hiking, biking, and the occasional puzzle.


Monica Grace, M.A.

Monica Grace, M.A., is currently a second-year student in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at SLU. She received her B.S. in health science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She earned her M.A. in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Her research interests include health behaviors, disordered eating, and panic disorder/anxiety, specifically around adolescence to early adulthood. In her free time, she loves hiking, playing frisbee, and camping.



Contact

To learn more or to request an appointment with one of SLU’s Sport Psych Consultants, please contact Jordan Collins or Bella Fiorenzo. The Sport Psychology Services office is located in room 2808 in Morrissey Hall.

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