When we neglect the mental game, common struggles include:

  • Concentration problems
  • Performance anxiety
  • Choking or slumps

Developing mental toughness is one of the top challenges for athletes. At Ohio State, we have both sport psychologists and a sports psychiatrist to help you develop the skills necessary to rise above performance struggles, whether they are mental, physical or a combination of both. This resource helps you go from fear of failure to embracing the process, regardless of the outcome.

Our expertise in mental health and its impact on sports performance can give you a distinct advantage. We understand the demands of the unique athletic culture, and our goal is to help every athlete maintain good mental and physical health, effectively manage the stress of competition, support recovery and build quality relationships. Ultimately, this can improve your performance both on and off the field.

Our comprehensive approach

Ohio State Sports Medicine is one of the few programs offering both sports psychology and psychiatry support. So, what’s the difference, and how can you benefit?

Sport psychologists are licensed clinical or counseling psychologists with a specialty in sport psychology. They have six or more years of graduate training in mental health treatment and sport science.

Sport psychologists provide counseling to address mental health and mental training for peak sport performance. They listen to athletes to understand their worlds and unique needs. They teach skills to cope with emotion effectively, including treatment for anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders and the emotional aspects of injury. Athletes spend countless hours training their bodies, and sport psychologists add an important skillset by training the mind. Athletes and other performers who manage their energy, stay focused, bounce back quickly from mistakes and work harmoniously with their teammates have a distinct performance edge.

These psychologists help with concerns that impact not only sports performance, but also daily life.

Sports psychiatrists complete medical school followed by four additional years of training in general psychiatry as a resident physician. Some also complete additional subspecialty training in a fellowship of their choice, such as addiction medicine, sleep medicine, or consultation-liaison psychiatry. As physicians, they have Dr. in front of their name, or they can have an MD or DO after, which stands for “doctor of medicine” or “doctor of osteopathic medicine,” respectively.

Based on their training, a sports psychiatrist can provide therapy like a psychologist, but can also offer medical management of mental health conditions which often involves prescribing medication. If an athlete is struggling with their mental health – particularly if it is impacting more than just sports – this combination of medicine and therapy may be especially helpful for reducing symptoms while working toward long-term strategies for success.

Whatever your sports performance issue, having access to both a sports psychiatrist and a sport psychologist means you’ll receive the targeted treatment you need for best results.

Our Services

Our Services

We base our services, timing and pricing on a thorough assessment of your needs and performance goals.

  • More +

Why choose The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for sports mental health and performance?

As the providers for more than 5,000 central Ohio competitors and performers, including sport psychology and psychiatry consultation for Ohio State’s athletes and varsity teams, we have an in-depth understanding of high-pressure athletic environments.
Our Providers who specialize in sports mental health and performance

How we can help with the mental aspect of your game

Why Counseling?

Sport Psychologist Dr. Jamey Houle breaks down the stigma of seeking counseling with a simple explanation of how seeking professional help with our mental game has the positive effect of creating strategies that make us happier.

Schedule an appointment with Ohio State Sports Medicine by calling 614-293-3600.

The Psychology of Sleep

Dr. Jen Carter discusses strategies and skills for getting better sleep, as ultimately, it could be one of several factors affecting your athletic performance.

How Can I be Less Stressed?

Sport Psychologist Dr. Jamey Houle shares his top tip for how to reduce stress in our lives. 

Schedule an appointment with Ohio State Sports Medicine by calling 614-293-3600.

On The Sideline

Dr. Jen Carter shares how the benefits of sport psychology extend beyond office visits and to the sideline. Our experts attend practices, meet with coaches and even consult with school administrators.