About Erika Westhoff

My specialization is with elite youth, collegiate and professional athletes. My work is designed to give athletes the tools they need create sustainable confidence and learn how to unlock consistent performance under pressure.

I’ve worked in the field of Applied Sport Psychology since 1998, giving thousands of athletes a stronger control over their thoughts and emotions related to their sport performance.

Over the years, I’ve consulted with collegiate teams, youth sport clubs, coaches and parents who are seeking to incorporate mental skills into their training. I specializes in working with elite female soccer players, but I’ve worked in every mainstream sport, and some not-so-mainstream sports including baseball, softball, basketball, hockey, football (youth and NFL combine athletes), track and field, swimming, gymnastics, acrobatics, golf, equestrian sports (show jumping, dressage, barrel racing), taekwondo, rugby, fitness competition, and endurance sports. I also work extensively with athletes who have been diagnosed with Vocal Cord Dysfunction, helping them to manage stress factors that trigger VCD episodes.

My goal is to keep mental training simple and practical, helping athletes to put new skills to use on the field as quickly as possible.

Erika Westhoff

Published Work Includes:

Olin, J. T., & Westhoff Carlson, E. (2018). Exercise-Induced Laryngeal Obstruction and Performance Psychology: Using the Mind as a Diagnostic and Therapeutic Target. In Immunology and allergy clinics of North America, 38(2), pp. 303–315.

Description: A look at using Mental Training in the treatment of athletes suffering from EILO/Vocal Cord Dysfunction.

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Carlson, E. & Neff, R. (2016). The Business of Performance Psychology: A Case Study. In Cremedes, G. & Tashman, L. (Ed.) Global practices and Training in Applied Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology: A Case Study Approach, pp. 181-189. New York, NY: Routledge.

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Carlson, E. & Rhodius, A. (2014). Do You Need Help? Build Your Support Team and Alliances. In J. Taylor (Ed.), Practice Development in Sport and Performance Psychology, pp. 125-140. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.

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Carlson, E., Pfenninger, G. (2014). The Business of Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology in the United States. In Cremedes, G. & Tashman, L. (Ed.) Becoming a Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology Professional: A Global Perspective, pp.168-177. New York, NY: Psychology Press

For the past 5 years, I have been the Mental Training Expert for Sport Stars Magazine. My bi-monthly articles are featured in the “Level Up” section alongside Northern California’s best sports medicine and sports training experts with circulation over 150,000 magazines per month.

Conference Attendance & Presentations

  • Association for Applied Sport Psychology 2008-2013 & 2015 & 2016
  • International Conference for Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS) in Glasgow, Scotland in 2012.
  • Children’s Hospital of Oakland Sports Medicine Pediatric Update 2009-2011
  • 49ers Foundation “Think Gold” Conference for elite youth female athletes in 2010.

Education Background & Affiliations

  • Masters Degree in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University (JFKU) in 2000, completed a thesis on the Burnout Syndrome in sports.
  • B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University in 1995.
  • Adjunct Faculty at JFKU, Supervisor of Graduate Students, and taught classes including The Psychology of Coaching, Theory and Practice of Sport Camps.
  • Lecturer at San Jose State University, taught Stress Management.

Finally, I am a competitive athlete. I compete in equestrian Show Jumping, I am a 2x Ironman 70.3 finisher and marathoner. I seek to find adventure everyday in sport, business and life. I am a mom of 3 teens.

Erika Westhoff run
Show Jumping