Applied Sport Psychology Program

The Applied Sport Psychology Program at UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) offers many services designed to meet the needs of the student-athlete population. The program consists of mental health providers with specialized training in sport and performance psychology.

Many student-athletes consider talking to a Sport Psychologist for performance-related issues such as extended slumps, decrease of motivation, conflict with teammate or coach, or recovery from injury. Often, student-athletes find it helpful to talk abut personal issues outside of athletics such as relationships difficulties with parents, friends, and romantic partners, academic or career issues, disordered eating, substance abuse, or other issues that may impact performance.

Sport Psychology Counseling for Student-Athletes 

Individual Performance Enhancement Counseling
Student-athletes can meet individually with a Sport Psychologist to address sport and performance related concerns. The counselor will assess the current problems impacting performance and create a plan utilizing mental and emotional skills to help the athlete improve performance. Example topics include: confidence, focus, motivation, and performing under pressure. 

Individual Mental Health Counseling
Counseling Services offers short-term individual counseling. Student-athletes seek counseling for a wide variety of reasons including, but not limited to, coping with major life challenges, relationship issues, dealing with depression or anxiety, a desire for personal growth and greater self-knowledge.

Transitioning Out of Collegiate Sport
Transitioning out of collegiate sport can lead to changes in athletic or personal identity, shifts in relationships, modified athletic involvement, and uncertainty about graduation and life after college. A Sport Psychologist can help with those transitions.

Injury Recovery and Rehabilitation
Develop and utilize various mental and behavioral skills to enhance student-athletes' performance throughout all phases of injury, recovery, rehabilitation, and the return to competition. 

Educational Programming
Educational programming includes various topics such as diversity in sport as well as student-athlete physical and mental health topics. Programming can be requested for a team, a classroom, and/or as a stand-alone training. 

Group Workshops
Group workshops focus on a variety of topics that are generally student-athlete driven. They are a great way to meet other student-athletes to explore particular issues related to mental performance or mental health issues. Participants often remark that they like talking with other student-athletes who can relate to them.

Sport Psychology Consultation for Teams 

Team Presentations and Workshops
A Sport Psychologist can assist with enhancing performance from pre-season to post-season focusing on goal setting, team cohesion, communication, concentration, leadership, imagery, cultural issues, and body image issues.

Direct Service at Practices
A Sport Psychologist can attend a practice to help student-athletes and coaches incorporate mental skills into practice and competitions.


Sport Psychology Consultation for Coaches

Coaching Development
A sport psychologist can work with coaches to further develop skills needed for successful coaching. These skills vary but examples include motivational techniques, individual or team character, and multicultural competencies. Mental health counseling is not available through Counseling Services for coaches. Coaches can seek counseling through the Academic and Staff Assistance Program.

Crisis Management
A Sport Psychologist can help with crises such as responding to a student athlete death, a mental health concern for an athlete or coach, or team problems.

Eligibility and Cost

Clinical aspects of the Applied Sport Psychology Program are available at no charge to all registered UC Davis student-athletes. Non-clinical aspects of the ASPP are available at no charge to all registered UC Davis student-athletes, teams, and coaches.

Counseling Services
219 North Hall

Dr. Jennifer Gildner
Dr. Fernando Frias

To schedule an appointment with an Applied Sport Psychology Program provider, call (530) 752-0871 and ask to be scheduled with a Sport Psychologist or email