Sport Psychology

Sport psychology is a unique specialty that requires an understanding of the sport experience along with experience of psychological issues.

I have extensive training and experience as a sport psychologist. My first experience was as an All American 5,000 meter runner while at Long Beach State University. I know that I met my running goals due to the mental skills training and performance enhancement work that I completed  with a sport psychologist during my college years. Since that time I have been passionate about pursuing my education and establishing my expertise in working with athletes.

After completing my doctoral training, I completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The Ohio State University where I provided comprehensive performance consulting and counseling services to athletes. I traveled with teams, worked closely with coaches and medical staff and provided individual consultation to  athletes.

Traveling to Hungary and Jamaica, I have served as a sport psychologist to the World Youth and Junior USA Track and Field teams as a member of the USA Track and Field Sport Psychology Team.  Since 1999, in my private practice I have worked with a range of athletes including Olympic, professional, elite, and high school athletes.

What to expect from Individual Consultations

During my first meeting with an athlete, I gather information and history to fully understand what your goals are and what may be getting in the way of reaching those goals. From this, we develop a plan for the skills that are needed. I find that athletes have numerous skills which have lead to their success in the past. Often we just need to fine-tune skills, at other times it is necessary to learn new skills to cope with new demands.

Once we start to learn skills to address anxiety management, focus and concentration, goal-setting, coping with pressure or fears, to name a few; we then set up a schedule of appointments to check in. Just like performance skills, mental skills take practice. We will check in every 2-4 weeks depending on your needs to see how the skills are going and to learn the next skill.

My goal is to teach you all you need to know so you can continue to use the skills in your career. I often hear back from athletes I have worked with in the past who say they still use the performance imagery recording we developed together to help them before competition.

Sport Psychology Services

  • Individual Performance Enhancement and Mental Skills Training
  • Team Consultation
  • Workshops and Seminars
  • Adjustment Counseling
  • Injury Recovery
  • Coaching Education


Association for Applied Sport Psychology Resource Center:


Bessel,  J. (2005). “The 800 and 1500 Meters: Racing Fast and Controlled.” In R.  Vernaccia & T. Statler, The Psychology of High Performance Track and Field. Track and Field News Publications.

Bessel, J. & Tuffy-Riewald, S. (2005). “Eating Disorders in Track and Field.” In R.  Vernaccia & T. Statler, The Psychology of High Performance Track and Field. Track and Field News Publications.

Bessel, J.L. &  Gevirtz, R. (1998). Effects of breathing retraining versus cognitive  techniques on cognitive and somatic components of state anxiety and on  performance in female gymnasts. Biological Psychology (abstract).