58: Haley Perlus, PhD – Sport & Performance Psychology Expert, Speaker, Consultant, and Author Shares Her Unique Journey, Experiences, and Advice

Dr. Haley Perlus is unique. Since she was 12 years old, Dr. Perlus aspired toward a career in sport psychology as a junior world champion athlete. Within one year of earning her PhD at the age of 28, she became a professor, well-known public speaker, consultant to national team and division I scholarship athletes, published author, and appointed industry leader. Together with her personal experience as an elite athlete and coach, and her fitness and nutrition certifications, Dr. Perlus takes a unique 3D approach to helping people achieve their highest standard of performance in sport, business, and wellness. In this podcast, Dr. Perlus shares her unique journey and advice to those interested in the field of sport psychology and those who want to make a difference in their own life and their clients’ lives. Dr. Perlus is from Toronto, ON Canada and has a unique story to share regarding how she chose her career as a sport psychologist. She states, “I had a fabulous coach when I was 12 years old, who put a lot of pressure on me. In fact, one race he pulled out a $100 bill and put it in front of my face and told me that he had bet on me to win.” She explains that her coach really taught her about preparation from a mental standpoint to help her perform better. She adds, “he also brought a sport psychologist to come and speak to my team…and so putting the two together, how he was coaching me and what the sport psychologist was saying, there was one day when I went home, and I told my parents that I wanted to do sport psychology and I was 12 years old.” Dr. Perlus received her BA in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario and her MS in Sport Pedagogy from the University of Florida. She attended the University of Northern Colorado for her PhD in Sport Psychology because she always loved Colorado. Although the advisors, curriculum, and research were wonderful, she admits that she chose the school because it was in Colorado, and she loved the changing of the seasons and she could continue skiing. She shares that the number of PhD programs in the field of sport psychology was really “slim pickings” at the time in that area of the country. She recalls Denver University had a combined master’s program and now they have a “fabulous” program thanks to Dr. Mark W. Aoyagi. On her website, YouTube channel, and in her practice, Dr. Perlus shares Mental Toughness Tools and sport psychology tips. She also shares advice with those interested in the field of psychology. Throughout her journey, she surrounded herself with people who could mentor her and share their experiences and advice. She also states, “I really looked outside of academia as well” and “observed and watch what people who were applying the art or science of sport psychology was doing.” She mentions that being a sport psychologist is good and bad. She states, “sport psychology is great because you have this niche. Sport psychology is bad because you have this niche.” Some people may think that you can’t broaden your horizons or apply sport psychology outside of the sports field. However, you can and should. Dr. Perlus mentions one of her mentors, Dr. Jim Loehr, who is a sport and performance psychologist who “completely went into the corporate world” with his sport psychology. If you are new to the field, you may wonder what is sport psychology or sport and performance psychology? According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “sport psychology is a proficiency that uses psychological knowledge and skills to address optimal performance and well-being of athletes, developmental and social aspects of sports participation, and systemic issues associated with sports settings and organizations.” Sport psychology has been coined the “Science of Success” because it studies how successful people optimize their psychological and emotional states for maximum results. Dr. Haley Perlus is a disruptor and firmly believes that she can apply her specialize...


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