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 sports 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 sports 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 sports 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.
Tommy Fritze, Psy.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow holding an M.A. in Sport & Performance Psychology and a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He specializes in performance excellence and holistic psychological health. Maximizing effectiveness and engagement with any endeavor is Tommy’s focus on working with people.
Adam Gallenberg, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow specializing in performance and sport psychology. He strives to help athletes develop a growth mindset, enhance motivation, and promote positive coping skills for a variety of sport performance and personal concerns. Dr. Gallenberg is from Rochester, Minnesota and completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology at Drake University. He then earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas and the University of Iowa, respectively.
Ben Merkling, Psy.D., is a Licensed Psychologist who is specializing in sports 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 ., LP is a Sport Psychologist, holding an 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.
Jaimie Rubin, Psy.D. (she/her/hers) is a Postdoctoral Fellow specializing in Counseling and Sport Psychology. She takes a holistic and individualized approach aimed at providing a space for individuals to develop an understanding of self, increase awareness, and establish the mental skills and mindset necessary for readiness to consistently perform at their optimal level in both athletic and life endeavors. Dr. Rubin is an LGBTQ affirmative counselor.
Alexandra Wagener, Ph.D., LP. is a Licensed Psychologist with a specialization in performance and sport 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.
“Set your goals high and don’t stop til’ you get there” (Vincent “Bo” Jackson, American former baseball and football player and an All-Star in both baseball and football)
This quote sets the tone for what it is that Dr. Zapata enjoys about Sport Psychology and her work with collegiate athletes. She emphasizes the importance of motivation, encouragement, and energy in her work with athletes to optimize performance, whether that be in sport or in daily life.
Carlos Coto (“Coto”) is a Bilingual Mental Performance Consultant and will graduate with his M.A. in Sport & Performance Psychology in June 2020 from Denver University in Colorado. Coto is currently pursuing his CMPC (Certified Mental Performance Consultant) accreditation through AASP and specializes in performance enhancement through mental skills training and development, both in English and Spanish.
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.
Taylor Finley is Premier Sport Psychology's Director of Premier Mindset Academy and Client Services. She oversees our mental training programming, online products, and assessments under Premier Mindset. Taylor also manages our client engagements, front office operations, business development, and assists with the Leadership U program at the University of Minnesota.
Kayla Clark is Premier Sport Psychology's Office Administrator. During her time at Premier Sport Psychology, 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 Sport Psychology, helping to organize and manage our clients, coordinating with staff and management, and working directly with our owners to support and execute the organization’s strategic plans.
Chrissy is Premier Sport Psychology's Project Specialist and part-time office admin. She helps with specific projects for Premier Sport Psychology as well as helps operate the front desk, provider’s schedules, and client care. Chrissy worked as an assistant rowing coach at the University of Minnesota from 2015-2019. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology and communication studies from the University of Michigan (May 2014) and went on to get her master's degree in sport and exercise psychology from Brunel University London in the UK (September 2015).
Savanna Townsend (she/her/hers) is one of Premier Sport Psychology’s Leadership Consultants. She assists with the management of the day-to-day operations of the University of Minnesota Leadership U program within Gopher Athletics. In addition to Leadership U, she supports Premier Sport Psychology’s human resource development.