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What is a

Sports Psychologist?

Arms Raised in Sports Huddle

A licensed sport psychologist is typically a doctoral-level trained clinician who has achieved formal state board qualifications as a licensed psychologist, with additional specialized training in sport and exercise science and/or other applicable areas of human performance. When you choose to work with a sport psychologist (distinguished from a mental skills coach, performance specialist, or other non-licensed individual), you are making a choice that helps to ensure a high and broad level of mental health training, and adherence to the legal, ethical, and privacy standards adopted by the clinician's state psychology licensure board. Credentials matter!


Although there is variation based on individual background and training, sport psychologists generally offer the following types of services. Many of these services can also be applied to performing arts, business, and optimal functioning in everyday life.

  • Managing psychological aspects of sports injury

  • Navigating transition in athletics

  • Managing performance anxiety

  • Reducing mental blocks (avoiding “choking”)

  • Getting in the Zone (Achieving the Zone of Optimal Functioning)

  • Promoting mental toughness

  • Facilitating team cohesion/dynamics

Luke Patrick, M.S., Ph.D.
Licensed Counseling and Sport Psychologist

Experience & Qualifications


Current roles/designations

Licensed Psychologist, Luke Patrick PhD LLC, Beaverton, OR

Mental Health and Wellness Team Psychologist, Pilot Athletics, University of Portland


US Olympic and Paralympic Committee Mental Health Registry

NFL Players Association Mental Health Clinician Directory


Team Psychologist, Portland Thorns FC


Ph.D., Counseling Psychology

University of Iowa

M.S., Kinesiology

Kansas State University

B.S., Psychology

Four-year NCAA Division 1 track athlete

Drake University


Team Psychologist, Portland Trail Blazers


Licensed Psychologist, Northwest Occupational Medicine Center, Tigard, OR


Psychologist Resident, Northwest Occupational Medicine Center, Tigard, OR

Insurance Network Participation

Portrait of Luke Patrick PhD Sport Psychologist
Beacon Health
BCBS (BlueCross BlueShield)
First Health
Providence Health Plan


Licensed Psychologist, Wildwood Psychiatric Resource Center, Beaverton ,OR

On cultural competence in delivery of psychological services:


For psychological therapy to provide meaningful and lasting benefit, the therapeutic alliance must be founded on trust. This trust necessitates a culturally informed approach by the psychologist. Cultural awareness involves recognition of the ways that factors such as ethnicity, spirituality, socioeconomics, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sports culture influence the client's world view and ways of healing. The diversity and richness of these factors is something to be not only acknowledged, but honored and celebrated! Culturally-informed therapy is grounded in education and lived experience, and also incorporates a dynamic, ongoing learning process between clinician and client.

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