Meet our Sport Psychology Faculty
The UNT Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence is comprised of faculty from the Departments of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation and the Department of Psychology. The faculty members hold national and state recognition as sport psychology practitioners, including: (a) licensure as psychologists in the State of Texas, (b) certification as a Sport Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, and (c) membership in the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry. In addition, they are Fellows in certain international organizations, including the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. The Center for Sport Psychology Faculty are devoted to providing the highest quality sport psychology services to individuals and teams from any and all competitive levels.
Dr. Trent Petrie - Center Director
Trent A. Petrie, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Psychology at UNT, and has served as the Director of the Center for Sport Psychology since its inception in 1998. Dr. Petrie has worked in the field of sport psychology since 1987, beginning when he was a doctoral student at The Ohio State University (he graduated from OSU in 1991). He has worked with athletes, coaches, and sport teams at all competitive levels, and currently oversees UNT’s sport psychology services. He is a licensed psychologist in the State of Texas, a Certified Sport Consultant, Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology, and a member of the 2012-2016 United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry. Dr. Petrie also is an accomplished athlete, having been the co-captain of the 1984-1985 Ohio State University Men’s Volleyball Team while an undergraduate. Since that time, he has competed as a triathlete and runner, and coached at the college level. His research, which has been funded by grants from the NCAA, AASP, and NASPE, has focused on developing a Champion Mindset in performers, psychological antecedents and consequences of athletic injury, eating disorders and body image, professional training issues in sport psychology, and developing positive youth sport environments. Dr. Petrie has published over 100 articles and book chapters, given over 150 presentations at national and international conferences. His 2010 book, coauthored with Dr. Doug Hankes and Dr. Eric Denson, is entitled "Academic and Life Skills for College Student-Athletes" (3rd edition) and is published by Wadsworth/ITP. He is the current past-president of Division 47 (Exercise & Sport Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, and a Fellow in both the American Psychological Association and the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology.
Dr. Erica Force - Associate Director
Erica C. Force, Ph.D., CC-AASP, is a licensed psychologist in the states of Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Alabama. She is a certified sport psychology consultant by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and a registered Sport Psychologist with the United States Olympic Committee.
Dr. Force brings a broad background of experience and knowledge in working with athletes at all levels. She completed her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology, with a specialization in Sport Psychology, at the University of North Texas. Her clinical internship was completed with the U.S. Air Force, followed by three years of active duty military service as a psychologist. Following her military service, Dr. Force completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children with a focus on adolescent athletes. She is now on staff at TSRHC as a sport psychologist in the Sports Medicine Center where she specializes in sport injury and recovery with adolescent athletes, and is involved in ongoing research on coping with injury. Over the last decade, Dr. Force has worked with youth athletes, collegiate athletes, and numerous professional athletes. She currently is a team sport psychologist for a collegiate Equestrian Team and a WNBA team.
As a lifelong athlete, Dr. Force’s sport background includes over 15 years competing in equestrian show jumping, and 8+ years in competitive dog sports. She trained for multiple years with a former coach of the U.S. Show Jumping Team, and is well-versed on the training and dedication required to compete in high level sports. As a sport psychologist, Dr. Force helps athletes address both personal and performance related concerns with the goal of achieving optimal performance.
Dr. Scott Martin – Center Faculty
Dr. Scott Martin is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation. He received his doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is a Fellow and Certified Consultant of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, and a member of the 2008-2012 United States Olympic Committee's Sport Psychology Registry. Dr. Martin has extensive experience in sports at the NCAA Division I level that has allowed him to help numerous coaches and athletes with performance and personal concerns. Dr. Martin has authored or co-authored over 40 refereed professional articles, 10 nonrefereed articles, two book chapters, and given over 110 presentations at state, national, and international conferences. He has received over $1.5 million in funding from organizations and agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Association for Sport and Physical Education, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and The Cooper Institute. His research interests include attitudes toward sport psychology, social and psychological factors associated with physical fitness and body composition, effective coaching behavior and leadership styles, and mental skills related to performance success. He is a member of several sport and exercise psychology professional organizations, including: the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP); American Psychological Association (APA) Division 47; International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP); North American Society for the of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA); American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM); and American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD). Dr. Martin is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, co-editor of a Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport Supplement on Texas youth fitness, and is on several editorial and advisory boards.
UNT Center for Sport Psychology Services
Top level athletes know that to achieve performance excellence, they have to be at their best, not only physically, but mentally as well. Are you doing everything possible to ensure that you are mentally prepared to perform consistently at the highest level?
Whatever your skill level, your age, gender, or sport, we can help you evaluate your current performance and develop the skills and mindset needed to reach your optimal level of performance and enjoy what you are doing. We offer specialized services and resources for:
Graduate Education in Sport Psychology at UNT
At UNT, there are two educational options for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in sport psychology. First, within the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation, students can pursue a master’s degree in Kinesiology that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of sport. To learn more about this degree option, click here.
Second, students can pursue a doctorate within the Psychology Department’s APA-accredited counseling psychology program and then select sport psychology as their specialization. Students who graduate from the doctoral program will be eligible for licensure as a psychologist and certification as a sport consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. To learn more about this degree option, click here.