Premier Sport Psychology, PLLC helps athletes on and off the field. We provide mindset training and counseling services to professional, Olympic, elite, collegiate, high school, amateur, recreational, and youth athletes, as well as musicians, actors, performers, and business professionals. We also work with the University of Minnesota Athletic Department, providing sport psychology services to 750+ student-athletes. Our mission is to help athletes reach optimal performance, mental health, and enjoyment in their sport and life endeavors.
Justin Anderson, Psy.D., LP is a Licensed Psychologist who specializes in sport psychology. He helps athletes, coaches and teams of any level tap into their strengths to achieve more from their sport. “Our biggest opponent is often ourselves…Having your mind work for you, rather than against you, is the key to any elite performance.”
Carlin Anderson, Ph.D., LP, CMPC is a Licensed Psychologist who specializes in sport psychology. She is a certified consultant for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and listed in the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sport Psychology and Mental Training Registry.
Erin Ayala, PhD, LP, is a Licensed Psychologist who specializes in health and sport psychology. Dr. Ayala works alongside athletes to help them identify goals, enhance self-awareness and motivation, and overcome barriers to reaching peak performance. She approaches her work with clients in a holistic manner, recognizing that daily life and commitment to sports are often intertwined.
Ben Merkling, Psy.D., is a Licensed Psychologist who is specializing in sport psychology. Dr. Merkling aims to help athletes enhance motivation, attention to the present moment, and coping with a variety of concerns, such as self-defeating thoughts/behaviors, stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, eating concerns, and more.
Marissa Norman, Psy.D ., is a Postdoctoral Fellow holding a M.S., in Sport and Exercise Psychology and a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology. Considering each athlete’s individualistic needs, Marissa aims to help them reach their full potential both in athletics and in their personal lives.
Alexandra Wagener, Ph.D., LP. is a Licensed Psychologist with a specialization in sport and performance psychology. She aims to create mindful awareness, focus, and openness with athletes to fully engage in sport and in life to help them achieve their optimal potential consistently. Dr. Wagener is from Minneapolis, MN and obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology (B.A.) from the University of Tampa. She went on to earn her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology from Wichita State University.
Simon Almaer, MA MBA is bringing his playing, coaching and business experiences to the field of sport psychology. He works with athletes, performers, coaches, administrators and business teams to help them improve their performance or the performance of others.
Russ Flaten, Ed.D., is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) who specializes in peak performance/player development and leadership. Russ supports a wide range of training and product development within Premier Sport Psychology. Russ aims to equip players, coaches, and leaders to more effectively meet demands that they will face, not just the task to be performed.
David is Premier Sport Psychology's Leadership Expert. He works on the Leadership U initiative at the University of Minnesota, helping student-athletes build emotional intelligence and leadership skills. In addition, he provides support for the Premier Mindset Program as well as supports our sport psychologists with presentations and workshops for teams and organizations.
Elizabeth Best is Premier Sport Psychology’s Office Coordinator. Elizabeth takes care of the day-to-day operations in the office. She manages the sport psychologists’ schedules, provides continuous support to the psychologists, as well as greets our clients and aids in directing our internship program.
Taylor Finley is Premier Sport Psychology's Office Manager. Taylor oversees the day-to-day operations in the office and coordinates various projects. She assists with the Leadership U program at the University of Minnesota, manages client engagements, works on the Premier Mindset Program, provides continuous support to the psychologists and staff, and aids in directing our sport psychology internship program.
Kayla Clark is Premier Sport Psychology's Office Administrator. During her time at Premier, she has helped to support our staff and clients through organizational alignment and streamlining our processes and procedures. Kayla now oversees the overall operations of Premier; helping to organize and manage our clients, coordinating with staff and management, and works directly with our owners to support and execute the organization’s strategic plans.