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Raylene Ross, PHD, LPC, LCPC, NCC, CHWC

Raylene Ross, PHD, LPC, LCPC, NCC, CHWC

Raylene Ross, PHD, LPC, LCPC, NCC, CHWC

Director of Sport Leadership and Mental Performance

In January 2022, Dr. Raylene Ross began the newly created position of director of sport leadership and mental performance to assist University of South Carolina student-athletes and coaches maximize performance, manage mental stressors and cope with the pressures inherent to their highly visible environments.

In her role at South Carolina, Ross’ reach is broad as she provides education and outreach to student-athletes, coaches and other athletics staff on well-being, leadership, resilience and mental performance through sport psychology team sessions, presentations and workshops. She works both with both individuals and with whole teams, providing insight on mental performance-enhancing interventions. Ross collaborates with the sports medicine, mental health, sport science, nutrition and strength and conditioning staff as Gamecock Athletics embraces a multidisciplinary approach to student-athlete performance.

Dr. Ross utilized a client-centered approach emphasizing the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors while incorporating aspects of mindfulness – specifically acceptance, awareness, and commitment. Her clinical interests include working with student-athletes to address athletic/identity development, imposter syndrome, end of athletic career transition, performance anxiety, and general confidence and self-esteem issues.

Ross began her career in mental performance as a mental resilience trainer-performance expert at the U.S. Army base in Fort Polk, Leesville, La., before settling in at Fort Jackson, S.C. Serving as a performance consultant at the United States Drill Sergeant Academy and within the 193rd Infantry Brigade, she taught mental skills techniques to maximize performance in rifle marksmanship qualification and the Army combat fitness test. Her work with soldiers and officers focused on performance, resilience, and well-being.

Pursuing her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling while working at Fort Jackson, Ross completed that degree by serving an internship in Gamecock Athletics just before taking on her new position.

Ross got her bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology in 2000 from Swarthmore College, where she ran track. She followed that with a master’s degree in psychological services with an emphasis on athletic counseling from Springfield College in 2003. Ross completed her doctoral program in developmental foundations with cognates in sports psychology and counseling in 2010 and added her master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Louisiana-Monroe in 2021. She maintains the credentials of National Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Professional Counselor-Association (LPCA-SC), Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor (LGPC-MD), and Certified Health and Wellbeing Coach (CHWC).

Certified as an academic performance trainer and assistant primary resilience instructor (level 3), Ross is a member of the American Counseling Association and Association for the Advancement of Sports Psychology.