Dr. Erin Ayala

Dr. Erin Ayala

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.

Experience, Education, and Training

Dr. Ayala grew up near Green Bay, WI.  She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from St. Catherine University, followed by her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University at Albany in Albany, New York.  She has worked with athletes in college counseling, career counseling, medical education, inpatient psychiatry, and community mental health over the past several years. In addition to her work at Premier Sport, she serves as a core faculty member at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, where she teaches Applied Sport Psychology at the doctoral level, supervises dissertation research, and mentors psychologists-in-training.

Athletic Experience

Dr. Ayala participated in track, cross country, basketball, and volleyball as a high school student in Wisconsin.  She began running in graduate school, which led to her participation in triathlon and other endurance sports.  She has completed ten marathons, seven half-distance triathlons (70.3 miles), and one full-distance triathlon (140.6 miles).  Currently, Dr. Ayala is a member of a women’s cycling team in Minneapolis and competes in road, gravel, and cyclocross events.  In 2017, she claimed a top 10 finish in the Dirty Kanza 100 mile gravel race, earned the MN State Cyclocross Rider of the Year award and Road Rider of the Year award for category 4/5 women, and upgraded from category 5 to category 3 after one cyclocross season.  She plans to compete in the Dirty Kanza 200 mile endurance event in 2018.  Dr. Ayala has previously volunteered for a couch-to-5k program for domestic violence survivors in Upstate New York, and is committed to introducing more women to the benefits of sport.

License and Certifications

Dr. Ayala is licensed by the Minnesota Board of Psychology as a psychologist.  She is a member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), the American Psychological Association, the Society for Sport, Exercise, & Performance Psychology, and Minnesota Psychological Association.  She is currently working toward certification as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant through AASP.


Recent publications are listed below.  For Dr. Ayala’s full CV, please click here.

Ayala, E., Roseman, D., Winseman, J., & Mason, H. (2017). Prevalence, consequences, and perceptions of alcohol and drug use of U.S. medical students. Medical Education Online, 22, 1-7. doi: 10.1080/10872981.2017.1392824

Ayala, E., Omorodion, A., Nmecha, D., Winseman. J., & Mason, H. (2017). What do medical students do for self-care? A student centered approach to well-being. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 3, 237-246. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2016.1271334

Ayala, E., Berry, R., Winseman, J., & Mason, H. (2017). A cross-sectional snapshot of sleep quality and quantity among U.S. medical students. Academic Psychiatry, 41, 664-668. doi: 10.1007/s40596-016-0653-5

Ayala, E., Ellis, M. V., Grudev, N., & Cole, J. (2017). Women in health service psychology programs: Stress, self-care, and quality of life. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 11, 18-25. doi: 10.1037/tep0000141