Author: Premier Sport Psychology

Olympians and occasional athletes faced the same foe this past year: uncertainty.

COVID-19’s rapid spread canceled competitions and temporarily closed several gyms.

What’s the best approach for climbing over the pandemic wall and getting back on track? Two mental health professionals shared advice for building resilience and staying motivated for athletes of all levels.


Carly Anderson is a licensed psychologist who directs sport psychology services at the University of Minnesota. She is also co-owner of Premier Sport Psychology, PLLC.

Kate Miller is the leadership and well-being coordinator for Columbia Athletics at Columbia University in New York.

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Girls Gone Gravel sit down with Sport Psychologist, Researcher and Cyclist Dr. Erin Ayala. Erin shares her experience researching mansplaining and how to identify microaggressions in the cycling community.

Erin also discusses her experience with realigning herself with brands who are in line with her values, staying humble and creating lasting change.

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Sports psychologists don’t only work with athletes and their coaches. They also often do trainings for business professionals interested in bringing an athletic mindset to partnerships and high-stakes negotiations.

People assume that the streets are paved with gold for a 7-foot-tall basketball player — that at that height, achieving the pinnacle of athletic success should be as easy as a slam dunk. But the truth is that participation in competitive athletics, while offering many benefits, can also cause stress, anxiety and even bouts of depression for young participants.

That’s just what Minneapolis resident Sara Kietzmann observed in her son Will last year as the 7-footer struggled under what felt like the unrelenting pressure of coaches, fans and well-meaning observers when his high school graduation approached and he pondered the next steps in his athletic career.

Even when basketball isn’t part of the picture, Kietzmann explained, “there is an extreme amount of pressure that comes with being 7-feet-tall. Basically people want to come up and talk to him all the time, want their picture taken with him.” Add basketball to the mix, she added, and the pressure is even higher.

Read full article at MinnPost here.