Licensed Psychologist, Minnesota Board of Psychology
Certified Mental Performance Consultant


Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology – University at Albany
BA in Psychology – St. Catherine University

Doctoral Internship – Albany Psychology Internship Consortium (Albany, NY)

Dr. Erin Ayala

Sport Psychologist, Executive Director of Research and Development

Erin Ayala, PhD, LP, CMPC (she/her) is a licensed psychologist who specializes in health and sport psychology. She is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology and is listed as a licensed mental health provider on the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Mental Health Registry.  Erin approaches her work with clients in a holistic manner, recognizing that daily life, health, and athletic performance are often intertwined.

Erin began her career in sport psychology as an academic and an educator, teaching sport psychology courses while studying for her PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany in Albany, New York, and publishing research in Health Psychology while teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at Saint Mary’s University and the University of Minnesota, Duluth, respectively.  She has worked with athletes in college counseling, career counseling, medical centers, inpatient psychiatry, and community mental health, and currently helms Premier’s Research, Development, and Assessment division, conducting research and data analysis, administering client assessments, and developing new assessment instruments for Premier and the field at-large, including Premier’s own Athlete Wellness and Performance Assessment.

In her time outside of Premier, Erin is an avid endurance sport athlete and advocate, having completed nine marathons, seven half-distance triathlons, and one full-distance triathlon. She is the co-founder of a women’s cycling team in Minneapolis and regularly races in events throughout the Midwest as a semi-professional cyclist. She has also forged inroads from athletics into outreach, volunteering for a “couch to 5k” program for domestic violence survivors in New York, and serving as a mentor for “Little Bellas,” a non-profit mountain biking organization for 7-13 year-old girls.


Acceptance-Commitment Therapy, Injury Recovery, Depression, Anxiety, Confidence, Letting Go of Negative Self-Talk, Self-Care, Female Athletes, LGBTQ+, including Transgender and Non-Binary Athletes


Ayala, E. E., Waniger, K. J., Faulkner, K. P. A., & Riley-Schmida, A. (2020). Experiences that Affect Participation for Women and Gender Diverse Athletes in Competitive Cycling. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education and Leadership, 12, 10-26. Doi: 10.18666/JOREL-2020-V12-I1-9912

Ayala, E., & Taylor, J. (2019). Mental Training- Process. In J. Taylor (Ed.), Comprehensive Applied Sport Psychology: From Attitude to Athletic Success and Everything In Between. Routledge.

Hage, S., Ayala, E. E., & Schwartz, J. (2019). The experience of doctoral students at program-affiliated practicum training clinics. Training and Education in Professional Psychology. doi: 10.1037/tep0000264

Work Experience

In addition to her current work with individual and organizational clients, Erin serves as the Director of Psychological Testing for the University of Minnesota Athletic Department and in that same capacity for all other Premier clients, marshalling the administration and analysis of all of Premier’s assessments, with a particular emphasis on ADHD testing. She also shepherds research projects through Premier’s Research, Development, and Assessment division, developing original research studies to further our understanding of mental performance and our ability to meet the ever-changing demands of contemporary performers.

More of the team

Sport Psychologist, Resident

Athletic Counselor, Mental Performance Consultant, Youth Sport Coordinator

Director of Clinical Assessment, Sport Psychologist

Mental Performance Consultant

Executive Director of Client Relations

Leadership Consultant, Project Specialist

Athletic Counselor, Mental Performance Consultant, Leadership Coach

Human Resource Generalist

Office Coordinator

Athletic Counselor, Mental Performance Consultant


Executive Assistant, Project Coordinator

Mental Performance Consultant

Athletic Counselor

Communications and Social Media Specialist

Athletic Counselor, Project Specialist

Athletic Counselor

Postdoctoral Resident

Founder, CEO

President, Executive Leadership Consultant

Sport Psychologist, Assistant Training Director

Sport Psychologist, Vice President of Clinical Services

Sport Psychologist

Sport Psychologist

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