Center for Performance
Psychology

Seek collaborative relationships with academics, coaches, parents, athletes, and organizations to foster coaching and performance excellence.

The National University Center for Performance Psychology is dedicated to disseminating the latest research on performance psychology for coaches, athletes, and organizations. The Center works collaboratively with coaches, parents, athletes, and organizations to foster coaching and performance excellence.

Based in San Diego, the Center utilizes the latest technology and research in sports and psychology to assist athletes in achieving their performance goals and to help coaches improve their team building and communication skills. Through its conferences, workshops, speaker series, and certificate courses, the Center helps to advance the public’s knowledge of performance psychology in both athletics and organizations.

Center for Performance Psychology

The Center for Performance Psychology provides students and coaches at all levels the unique opportunity to learn about current research on sport psychology, athletic performance, and coaching excellence.

About the Center

The Center for Performance Psychology is uniquely positioned to serve high school athletes, parents, coaches, and organizations through its community activities, research efforts, superior academic programs, leading experts in the field of sport psychology, and commitment to reaching the broader international market.

The goal of the Center is to provide students and coaches at all levels the unique opportunity to learn about current research on sport psychology, athletic performance, and coaching excellence, as well as the intersection between the mind and the body and the fine arts, and the power of performance psychology for teams and individuals in business and organizations.

Our Experts

Dr. Sarah Castillo

Academic Program Director, BA Sport Psychology program, National University

Dr. Sarah Castillo’s areas of expertise: Sport and performance psychology.

Dr. Sarah Castillo, a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), is the academic program director for National University’s BA Sport Psychology program and the Co-Director of the Center for Performance Psychology.

Sarah’s passion is working with individuals and teams in their search for peak performance in any area of life. Prior to her tenure at National, Sarah spent 9 years as a Performance Enhancement Instructor at the United States Military Academy, West Point. During her time with Army, Sarah worked extensively with over 15 intercollegiate, intramural, and club athletic teams. She currently works with various collegiate teams and individual athletes in the San Diego area.

Of particular interest to Dr. Castillo is the implementation of interventions designed to allow performers to reach their potential through the application of mental skills and mindfulness training. Her goal is to collaborate with performers to help them become fully engaged in competition despite adverse thoughts, emotions, and playing conditions.

Click here to listen to Dr. Castillo’s interview with NFL Veteran, Isaac Byrd.

Chancellor Cunningham

Dr. Doug Barba

Academic Program Director, MA Performance Psychology program, National University

Dr. Doug Barba’s areas of expertise: Sport and exercise psychology.

Dr. Douglas Barba is a sport psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Letters and Sciences at National University. He holds a doctoral degree in sport and exercise psychology from the University of Florida and a master’s degree from the School of Human Behavior at United States International University.

Previously, Dr. Barba served 12 years as an adjunct faculty member at San Diego State University lecturing in the School of Exercise & Nutritional Sciences as well as serving as a sport psychologist for a number of the university’s intercollegiate athletic teams. Dr. Barba has consulted with a wide range of athletes from both the amateur and professional ranks. Prior to his collegiate academic career he played professional baseball. He has coached at several levels of competition, including college baseball and golf. While at the University of Florida, Dr. Barba served as a sport psychology consultant for the Gators’ athletic department. Dr. Barba’s academic interests include motivation, mediating factors affecting performance, and youth sport participation and health.

Click here to listen to Dr. Barba’s interview with NFL Veteran, Isaac Byrd.

Chancellor Cunningham

Dr. Chelsea Wooding

Associate Faculty, Assistant Professor, Sport Psychology and Performance Psychology Programs, National University

Dr. Chelsea Wooding’s areas of expertise: Mental performance in traditional and non-traditional sport and performance domains.

Dr. Chelsea Wooding is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. She received her doctoral degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology and Master’s in Counseling from West Virginia University, along with a Master’s in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.

In over 10 years of consulting, Dr. Wooding has worked with individual performers and teams from high school and collegiate dance, DI women’s volleyball, DI women’s tennis, DI rifle, high school and DIII softball, high school boys’ volleyball, ultra-endurance athletes, professional sports, and others. Similarly, she has presented in a variety of settings, including collegiate student-athlete leaders, collegiate music majors, and nursing students to name a few. A former pre-professional dancer herself, Dr. Wooding is passionate about helping performers in any setting learn strategies and develop an effective mindset to reach their potential and enjoy what they do.

Center for Performance Psychology

What We Offer

The Center for Performance Psychology offers coaches, athletes, parents, and organizations online resources, in-person seminars, certificates, and consulting services.

The Center has a significant community outreach component designed to reach performers with diverse interests and talents, including youth sports, coaching excellence, body-mind relationships in daily living, organizational behavior, and corporate leadership.

The broad reach of performance psychology as a discipline, the significant community outreach and public relations opportunities, and the potential for growth in the delivery of certificates, symposiums, and corporate consultation creates an opportunity for a diverse range of participants in the Center for Performance Psychology.

Academic Programs

National University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Sport Psychology and a Master of Arts in Performance Psychology. All of these degrees can be completed entirely online, entirely onsite, or in a hybrid format.

John F. Kennedy University, an affiliate of the National University System, offers a graduate certificate in Sport Psychology and a Master of Arts in Sport Psychology. The Master of Arts in Sport Psychology links to the JFK University Doctor of Psychology program. Both the certificate and the master’s degree can be completed 100% online. Please click here to request more information.

Resources

The Center for Performance Psychology offers free online resources to coaches, parents, athletes, and peak performers. In addition to an ongoing series of articles and coaching resources, the Center’s staff works with teams and coaches to develop performance plans on goal setting, effective thinking habits, motivation, coach-athlete communication, imagery, emotional self-regulation, focus and concentration habits, leadership development, effective sport parenting, healthy team dynamics, etc.

Explore the links on this page for the latest resources from the Center for Performance Psychology..

Educational Presentations

Center for Performance Psychology Staff offer quarterly High School Sport Psychology Labs for parents, coaches, and athletes in San Diego County. Sport Psychology Labs are 3 hours long and cover topics appropriate for the athletic calendar, including “Motivation in the Off-Season,” “Making the most out of Pre-Season Practice,” “Big-Game Psychology,” and “Balancing Athletic and Academic Responsibilities.”

Individual and Team Consulting

The Staff of the Center for Performance Psychology has over 30 years of combined experience in Performance Enhancement programming with coaches, athletes, and parents from a vast variety of sports.

Although our pre-designed group programming is a great introduction to Performance Enhancement Training, we realize that all athletes, coaches, and teams are different, and that you may have more specific areas of concern. We are available to meet with you or your team to design and implement training programs for your specific areas of interest, including goal setting, effective thinking habits, motivation, coach-athlete communication, imagery, emotional self-regulation, focus and concentration habits, leadership development, effective sport parenting, healthy team dynamics, etc.

Contact a member of the CPP Team for more details.

National University Center for Performance Psychology Conference

The 2019 National University Center for Performance Psychology Annual 2-day Conference will take place at the Sanford Education Center on Friday, Jan. 25 & Saturday, Jan 26.

The conference will bring together academics, professionals, athletes, parents and coaches to present and learn about the future of athletics and peak performance.

The themes of the conference are sport psychology, applied research, peak performance, youth coaching, and coaching education.

The Center looks forward to bringing together the greatest minds in coaching and performance psychology in an atmosphere accessible for parents and performers of all ages and ability. For additional information, please contact Sarah Castillo at scastillo@nu.edu.

Past Conferences

Center for Performance Psychology

The Journal of Performance Psychology

The Journal of Performance Psychology is an online peer-reviewed journal committed to the dissemination of relevant and timely research in the field of performance psychology.

The Journal of Performance Psychology’s mission is to make performance psychology research and applied techniques accessible to a wide range of performance populations. Articles focus upon the research and application of performance psychology techniques with athletic, military, corporate, or fine arts populations, and incorporate practical suggestions that can be applied by leaders in each realm.

Submission Guidelines

Mission

The Journal of Performance Psychology is an online peer-reviewed journal committed to the dissemination of relevant and timely research in the field of performance psychology. The JPP’s mission is to make performance psychology research and applied techniques accessible to a wide range of performance populations. Articles submissions should focus upon the research and application of performance psychology techniques with athletic, military, corporate, or fine arts populations, and incorporate practical suggestions that can be applied by leaders is each realm.

General Guidelines

There are no deadlines for submissions. The length of a manuscript can be up to 20 pages long including tables, graphs, and diagrams.

The Journal for Performance Psychology utilizes a blind review process. Submissions are reviewed by three or more reviewers, and final decisions are sent electronically, typically within three months. Manuscripts must be at a high professional standard free of spelling, formatting, and grammatical errors. Manuscripts with errors of spelling, formatting, or grammar will not be reviewed.

The article must be in APA format and be the original work of the author(s) not published in any other publication.

Cover Page

Include a cover page as a separate file attachment. To facilitate anonymous review, indication of authorship should appear only on this document, and should contain:

  • Title of paper
  • Names of authors
  • Academic departments or disciplines of authors
  • Institutional affiliations of authors
  • Positions of Authors
  • Mailing addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers

Review Panel:

Sarah Castillo, Ph.D.

Professor
Department of Psychology
National University

Doug Barba, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
National University

Traci Statler, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Kinesiology
California State University, Fullerton

Charles “Mac” Powell, MBA, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow
Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities

Bernie Holliday, Ph.D.

Director of Mental Conditioning
Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Club

Lauren Tashman, Ph.D.

Align Performance, LLC

Ashley Samson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Dept of Kinesiology
Mental Performance Consultant, Matador Atheletics
California State University, Northridge

Bart Lerner, Ph.D.

Campus Academic Dean
West Coast University