Brian Baxter, MA Sports Psychology
Brian has been working with athletes and teams for over 10 years since earning his MA in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in California. He joined Sport Psychology Institute Northwest as a sport psychology consultant in 2007, and took over as director in 2011. Brian’s interest in sport psychology bloomed from his background as a high school field goal kicker, college soccer player, and USSF C licensed soccer coach, where he found the mental game to be important, but under-taught.
Brian’s philosophy in working with athletes, and helping them with performance enhancement involves a two-pronged approach:
First, he strives to help the athlete identify and build awareness of the difficulties they’re facing, areas for improvement, and their strengths and sports motivation. From this awareness, the athlete can then develop strategies for enhancing strengths and breaking down weaknesses.
Second, Brian guides his athletes through the process of implementing their strategies so that they become second nature. With an emphasis on how to focus, how to control emotions, positive self-talk, visualization, and other sport psychology techniques, the athlete can use these skills to improve athletic performance.
As a coach with 20+ years experience, Brian also specializes in team workshops and coaching education. Performance enhancement through mental strength is a key sport psychology philosophy used in all group workshops. Brian’s focus for groups will help dealing with pressure in sports, improve focus and confidence, and boost leadership and communication.
As a sport parent for 8 years now, Brian brings a unique angle to help parents be the best support for their young athletes as possible with his Parent Education Workshops.
Brian is originally from Gainesville, FL, but has lived all over. Brian and his family moved to Portland from the Bay Area in 2005 because they wanted to stay on the west coast, but in a smaller city with better access to the outdoors. So far, they love being in the Pacific NW and consider it home. His wife Debbie is a photographer, and they have 2 boys: 13-year-old son, Hawk, and 5-year old son Zavier. The family also includes Murphy, a black lab.