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 - Sport Psychologist
Erica C. Force, Ph.D., CMPC, is a licensed psychologist in the states of Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Alabama. She is a certified mental performance consultant by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and is 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 with a focus on adolescent athletes in sports medicine.
Dr. Force has worked with youth athletes, collegiate athletes, and numerous professional athletes. She currently works with athletes individually and is a team sport psychologist for a collegiate equestrian team and a WNBA team. Her passion is helping athletes of all ages achieve well-being, balance, and peak performance by empowering them with skills to handle stressors in life and the pressures of competition.
As a lifelong athlete, Dr. Force’s sport background includes equestrian show jumping and 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.
Dr. Jay Darr - Sport Psychology Consultant
Jay E. Darr, Ph.D. is a licensed professional counselor in the states of Texas, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. He is a National Certified Counselor, Advanced Certified Telebehavioral Professional (use of apps, secure video conferencing, etc. to provide mental health services), and holds a Project Management Professional credential. His doctorate in Executive Counseling Education and Supervision, with a specialization in crisis management was completed at Duquesne University.
Dr. Darr’s approach to working with athletes, coaches, and enhancing performance at all levels is shaped by his education and experiences as a Division I football player at West Virginia University, U.S. Army Commission Officer, coaching youth sports, and providing mental health services in diverse settings. This includes enhancing performance of military personnel, sales professionals, and delivering inclusive clinical services. Currently, Dr. Darr is a senior staff member at UNT Counseling and Testing Services where he supports the well-being of performers and student-athletes through consultation, direct services, and participating in ongoing research in the areas of substance use and telebavioral health. Dr. Darr assists clients by facilitating awareness of initiate strengths with the goal of developing healthy solutions for performance and life challenges
Dr. Scott Martin – Center Faculty
Dr. Scott Martin received his doctorate of philosophy degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is a fellow of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, a member of the United States Olympic Committee's Sport Psychology Registry, Certified Mental Performance Consultant, and an invited member of the Texas Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Partnership. Dr. Martin has extensive knowledge in health and performance psychology, physical activity and fitness, and sport which has provided him the opportunity to interact with numerous coaches, athletes, musicians, military personnel, and business leaders about their performance. He has authored or co-authored over 70 refereed professional articles, 10 non-refereed articles, five book chapters, and 200 presentations at state, national, and international conferences. Dr. Martin has received over $2 million in funding from organizations and agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (Science Education Partnership Award), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Association for Sport and Physical Education, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, The Cooper Institute, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and Girls in the Game. His research interests include examining psychosocial factors associated with physical activity, physical fitness, and body composition; attitudes toward psychology skills and services; effective coaching behavior and leadership styles; and mental skills and strategies associated with performance success. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American College of Sports Medicine; Association for Applied Sport Psychology; American Psychological Association - Division 47; and Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America). Dr. Martin serves on several advisory and editorial boards (e.g.,Journal of Applied Sport Psychology; Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology). He also served as an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology and co-edited a Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport Supplement on Texas youth physical fitness.