Sport Psychology

About Sport Psychology

Sport psychology services are a unique resource to athletes, coaches, and sport medicine staff at Shattuck-St. Mary's. The goal of sport psychology is to help student-athletes increase mental toughness, maximize athletic performance, and cope with various sport-related concerns commonly experienced by athletes. Sport psychology services are used by those who want to perform with greater confidence, consistency, and satisfaction. Most athletes realize the importance of physical preparation, and great athletes recognize that placing emphasis on mental preparation as well as physical preparation facilitates optimal performance.

Optimal performance mindsets can be managed through proper use of psychological skills such as relaxation/energizing techniques, visualization, positive self-talk, use of focus and coping plans, and the use of pre-performance routines. Once athletes gain awareness of the mental components of their game that can be improved, they can learn, practice, and apply targeted sport psychology skills in real-time. Through consistent sport psychology sessions, student-athletes learn strategies that help them proactively manage their lives by developing healthier ways of thinking and behaving.

Here are some topics and mental skills that student-athletes often seek assistance for:
  • Focus and concentration
  • Low confidence
  • Adjusting to a new team
  • Coping with injury and rehabilitation
  • Managing competition stress and anxiety
  • Goal setting
  • Relaxation skills
  • Imagery/visualization
  • Energy management for competition
  • Eating behaviors and body image

How Do I Make an Appointment?

Students can schedule an individual appointment by emailing Dr. Farrell at, or by calling her office in the Kramer House at (507) 333-1581. Individual sessions are free of charge, confidential in nature, and can be worked around the student-athlete’s schedule.


Dr. Jen Farrell has a Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also is a licensed social worker in the state of Minnesota and a certified sport psychology consultant through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology. She received her BA in psychology from Bryn Mawr College and her MS in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois. Dr. Farrell has been consulting with athletes and performers since 2005. She has experience with individual athletes and teams at the high school, NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III and adult amateur level. Dr. Farrell also has numerous scholarly publications and has presented on both sport psychology research and best practices at national and international conferences.

Prior to SSM, Dr. Farrell was a faculty member at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and served as an Assistant Professor in Sport and Exercise Psychology while also providing sport psychology services to student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, and athletic support staff. She also worked as a performance enhancement specialist for the Victory Program at McCallum Place, a specialized eating disorder treatment program for athletes in St. Louis. Before moving to St. Louis, she worked as a consultant in Miami, and for Wake Forest University athletics in North Carolina. She is a Certified Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (CC-AASP). Dr. Farrell is a former collegiate soccer player and continues to use sport psychology skills herself as an avid runner, having completed 14 marathons and numerous endurance trail races.