Athlete Services

Psychology

Two people with crossed legs and closed eyes, meditating

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee offers eligible Team USA athletes and teams access to sport psychologists who are all licensed mental health professionals. USOPC sport psychologists integrate psychology and sport science expertise to support athletes in achieving sustained competitive excellence and holistic well-being.

Over the four-year cycle, the sport psychologists build and maintain in-depth relationships with athletes and teams, regularly traveling with them to major competitions to help develop and sharpen the psychological tools necessary to perform well under pressure. The comprehensive training background of the sport psychology team allows them to approach everything in the psychological life of the athlete as a performance issue at the Games. 


When an athlete experiences a performance-impairing mental health crisis or illness, the sport psychologists work closely with the USOPC mental health services team to coordinate care and ensure the well-being of Team USA is supported across all levels. Learn more about mental health offerings by visiting 
TeamUSA.org/mentalhealth

 

Sport Psychology Services:

Team USA athletes should contact their National Governing Body to learn more and verify eligibility. 


Services include:

  • In-house sport psychology staff
  • Contractor sport psychology staff as requested
  • Registry of sport psychology and mental training consultants available to all athletes (there may be a cost for some services)
  • Confidential one-on-one counseling
  • Mindfulness and mental skills training
  • Team/group mental training sessions
  • Sleep education and monitoring
  • Support for coaches

Sport Psychologist Registry:

Athletes also have access to more than 150 sport psychology providers via the USOPC’s sport psychology registry. Providers are available nationwide and screened by the USOPC for education and credentials in sport psychology. Athletes do not have to be eligible for Elite Athlete Health Insurance to take advantage of this benefit. 

Providers typically charge for services and it is the athlete’s responsibility to discuss costs directly with the provider. Providers may offer pro bono hours to athletes on a case-by-case basis as determined by the athlete’s NGB. 

Some providers have clinical training and can address mental health issues as well as performance issues; others have more educational training and provide only performance interventions. When athletes, coaches, or sports request sport psychology services, the USOPC sport psychology team can review the need and make referrals to an appropriate provider with the appropriate qualifications on the registry.

 

Team USA athletes should contact their National Governing Body to learn more and verify eligibility. 

Providers: The USOPC Sport Psychology Registry has been in existence since the 1980s and is a list of vetted Sport Psychology providers who serve as referral resources for Olympic and Paralympic athletes and NBGs. To be considered for the registry, providers must have:

  • A doctoral degree in psychology or sport sciences (programs that emphasize sport applied psychology)
  • A Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) certification, and
  • A membership in either the American Psychology Association (APA), Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), or American Counseling Association (ACA).
  • Professional Liability Insurance

To apply to be part of the registry, please go to TeamUSA.org portal or contact cssportscience@usopc.org for more information.  

 

Tips from USOPC Sport Psychologists

Caroline Rodriguez | Tips from USOPC Sport Psychologists
16 views  
06/26/2021
Sean McCann | Tips from USOPC Sport Psychologists
16 views  
06/26/2021
Understanding How the Mind Works | Tips from USOPC Sport Psychologists
7 views  
06/26/2021
Mindfulness at the Olympic Games | Tips from USOPC Sport Psychologists
7 views  
06/26/2021