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  • SDPA Committee Webinar - The Field of Sport Psychology: What's Trending and How to Get Involved

SDPA Committee Webinar - The Field of Sport Psychology: What's Trending and How to Get Involved

  • 09/01/2020
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • zoom


SDPA Sport Psychology Committee Webinar

Committee Co-Chairs: Dr. Kimberly Wagner and Dr. Michael Saleh

The Field of Sport Psychology: What's Trending and How to Get Involved

September 1st, 2020
7 – 8 pm
Via Zoom


The goal of the webinar is to educate and spread awareness about the benefits of sport psychology by engaging mental health professionals and graduate students in a discussion about the principles of sport psychology, ways that sport psychologists and other mental health professionals can help athletes, and ways that those interested in the field can get involved and start to build experience. 

Overview of Sport Psychology: Sport Psychology applies psychological principles to various aspects of the athletic experience such as performance enhancement, goal setting, and injury recovery. There is a growing breadth of research in this area that helps to inform the application of mental skills training. Skills taught include relaxation training/breathing practices, visualization, and stress and injury management as well the treatment of common clinical issues (depression/anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, etc.). 

Facilitator: Dr. Michael Saleh

Panel Members: Dr. Kimberly Wagner, Dr. Shira Oretzky, and Mr. Brian Alexander 

Kimberly Wagner, PsyD

Dr. Kimberly Wagner is a licensed clinical psychologist and sport psychologist.  She has a private practice in Solana Beach, CA.  Dr. Wagner received her doctorate degree from Alliant International University, California School of Professional Psychology, in San Diego.
While in graduate school, Dr. Wagner focused on clinical psychology as well as specializing in sport psychology. With a background as a competitive athlete and a passion for psychology, her doctoral dissertation research focused on sport psychology. She specifically studied the mental skills and characteristics which enhance performance in Major League Baseball players.  She has presented her research at multiple international and national conferences. 

Dr. Wagner has experience working with high school, collegiate and professional level athletes on improving the mental component of their game as a way of facilitating peak performance. Dr. Wagner has worked with the student athlete population at San Diego State University (SDSU), University of San Diego (USD), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and California State University at San Marcos (CSUSM).

Dr. Wagner is also an Adjunct Faculty Member at National University in San Diego.  She teaches in the Sport and Performance Psychology Master’s Program.  

Lastly, Dr. Wagner is Co-Chair for the San Diego Psychological Association (SDPA) Sport Psychology Committee.

Shira Oretzky, PhD, CMPC

Shira A. Oretzky, Ph.D., CMPC is a clinical and sport psychologist, who has dedicated her career to helping top-tier athletes develop a high-performance mindset and well-being strategies to reach their full potential. She has a private practice in Del Mar, where she works with athletes from high school through elite levels. Dr. Oretzky is a consultant to the University of San Diego’s Athletic Department and athletic programs throughout San Diego. During her faculty appointment at San Diego State University, Dr. Oretzky developed the Student-Athlete Mental Health and Wellness program with the Athletics Department. This program now serves 19 Division I teams. She is a member of the Auxiliary Medical Advisory Committee for Major League Rugby and is listed in the Referral Directory of Mental Health Service Providers for the National Basketball Association. Dr. Oretzky has served on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Psychological Association and chaired the SDPA Sport Psychology Committee. She has presented at various national conferences including the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine, American Osteopathic Association Annual Medical Conference, and the American Psychological Association and her work has been featured in publication.

Brian Alexander, MA, CMPC

Brian Alexander is a certified mental performance consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). He is also the co-founder of the WellU Mental Training app and podcast. Prior to pursuing a career as a mental performance coach, Brian competed with Team USA in the sport of water polo for eight years through four FINA world championships as well as an Olympic alternate for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams. His experience as an elite level athlete paired with his educational training in the psychology of human performance has shaped his desire to help athletes and other performers.

Brian has coached and served the psychological performance needs of athletes at the Olympic, national, professional, collegiate, high school and junior/youth levels of sport and performance. His experiences as an Olympic level athlete paired with education in sport psychology and vocational training in business leadership development have shaped his ability to advise and consult with clients of all ages and at all levels. One of his primary roles currently is supporting the USA Men’s National water polo team in their pursuit toward the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021.

Brian’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Master of Arts in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. He has also studied organizational leadership under the mentorship of well-known leadership guru, Dr. Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager and co-creator of Situational Leadership, as well as a number of other professionals at The Ken Blanchard Companies. Brian is an adjunct faculty member in the John. F. Kennedy University Sport Psychology graduate program and the National University Performance Psychology programs.

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