We do our best to place you with your provider of choice, however not all providers are taking new clients. If your first choice provider is not available, we will work with you to find the provider that is the best fit for you.


Dr. Ben Merkling

Vice President of Clinical Services, Sport Psychologist


Trauma therapy, anxiety, depression, injury rehabilitation, mindfulness, goal setting, mental blocks


Licensed Psychologist, Minnesota Board of Psychology


Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology – Saint Mary’s University
MA in Counseling and Psychological Services – Saint Mary’s University
BA in Psychology – University of St. Thomas

Doctoral Internship – University of St. Thomas Counseling and Psychological Services

Work Experience

Ben’s work with student-athletes has continued in his time with Premier, having worked with athletic departments at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, and consulted directly with both coaches and athletes at St. Thomas through their complicated and historic transition from a Division III to a Division I designation. His work extends into the professional ranks, where he serves as a consultant to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and is heavily involved in draft profiling projects for both NBA and NFL clients.

Ben also serves as the Vice President of Clinical Services for Premier, which has him overseeing day-to-day clinical operations of Premier staff, and directing the mental health and mental performance training for pre-licensed consultants and post-doctoral residents pursuing state licensure.


Ben Merkling, Psy.D, is a Licensed Psychologist who specializes in sport and performance psychology.  Ben aims to help athletes enhance motivation, increase present-moment awareness, and manage the many mental health concerns common in athletic populations, from self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, to anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and body dysmorphia.

Ben came into the field comparatively late in his academic career, having accumulated professional mental healthcare experience in college counseling centers and the Courage Kenny Rehab institute, and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in Counseling Psychology, before finding a home in his work with the student-athletes at Saint Mary’s University, and later, St. Thomas and the University of Wisconsin, Lacrosse.  A varsity basketball player in high school and competitive golfer from a young age, Ben’s approach to mental health and mental skills training—from mindfulness to leadership to values-based goal setting—is a natural fit in performance environments, where his aims are to use the skills that enhance performance to improve overall wellness and sport/life enjoyment.

He still enjoys playing golf, shooting hoops, and introducing his three children to the joys of sport and competition.

More of the team

Founder, CEO

Assistant Training Director, Sport Psychologist

Sport Psychologist

Director of Clinical Assessment, Sport Psychologist

Director of Clinical Training, Sport Psychologist

Sport Psychologist, Leadership Consultant

Sport Psychologist

Athletic Counselor, Mental Performance Consultant, Leadership Coach

Postdoctoral Resident

Postdoctoral Resident

Director of Youth Sports & Outreach, Athletic Counselor

Mental Performance Consultant

Mental Performance Consultant

Athletic Counselor

Athletic Counselor, Mental Performance Consultant

Athletic Counselor, Project Specialist

Hockey Performance Consultant

Advanced Doctoral Practicum Student

Advanced Doctoral Practicum Student

President, Executive Leadership Consultant

Executive Director of Client Relations


Leadership Advisor

Director of Operations

Research and Development Consultant

Human Resources Manager

Leadership Consultant, Project Specialist

Office Coordinator

Intake Specialist


Evening Receptionist

Intake Specialist

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