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Faith and Spirituality in Sport Psychology Practice

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Session Length: 75 minutes


Nicole Gabana, PhD, CMPC, Private Practice
Kweku Akyirefi Amoasi (Ramel Smith, PhD, LP, HSP, CMPC), BLAQUESMITH Psychological Consultative Services, Inc.


Understanding an athlete’s personal and cultural identity is integral to a holistic approach to sport psychology. For a sport psychology practitioner to be multiculturally competent, one must be cognizant of how an athlete’s faith and spirituality may impact their worldview and psychosocial well-being (Watson & Nesti, 2005). The call for sport psychology practitioners to become culturally proficient requires attention to the spiritual dimension of the athlete-person (Sarkar et al., 2015). Exploration of faith and spirituality may reveal core values and belief systems, where athletes derive meaning and purpose, and how they cope with adversity (Egli et al., 2014). Spiritual beliefs can also impact performance-related factors such as views on success and failure, sportsmanship, leadership and communication styles, motivation, and regulatory strategies (Watson & Nesti, 2005). Sport psychology practitioners may feel hesitant to explore an athlete’s faith and spirituality due to lack of training, negative personal experiences, ignorance, or fear. In this webinar, presenters will provide a conceptual overview of faith and spirituality in the context of mental performance consulting and mental health counseling. The presentation will include case studies to illustrate considerations and practical applications of faith and spirituality in sport psychology practice, as well as opportunities for discussion and reflection.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  1. Receive a conceptual overview of faith and spirituality in the context of mental performance consulting and mental health counseling with athletes.
  2. Engage with case studies to explore how faith and spirituality can be incorporated into sport psychology practice.
  3. Discuss personal and professional perspectives and experiences relevant to faith and spirituality with practical considerations for sport psychology practitioners.
  4. Have a space to pose questions for discussion and reflection.


  • Egli, T. J., Fisher, L. A., & Gentner, N. (2014). AASP-certified consultants’ experiences of spirituality within sport psychology consultation. The Sport Psychologist, 28(4), 394-405.
  • Sarkar, M., Hill, D. M., & Parker, A. (2015). Reprint of: Working with religious and spiritual athletes: Ethical considerations for sport psychologists. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 17, 48-55.
  • Watson, N. J., & Nesti, M. (2005). The role of spirituality in sport psychology consulting: An analysis and integrative review of literature. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 17(3), 228–239.

CE Credit
This program has been approved for 1.25 CEUs to partially meet the continuing education recertification requirement for Certified Mental Performance Consultants® (CMPC). 

Program Format
You can attend an AASP webinar from your home or office. All you need is an internet connection. You can see the presentation slides on your computer or mobile device, and listen to the audio through your device, or call in with a phone. Registrants will be provided with login information the day prior to the session. The webinar will also be archived for those who wish to watch it at a later date.

About the Speakers

Nicole Gabana, PhD, CMPC is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Mental Performance Consultant® working in private practice. She specializes in working with high-performing individuals to optimize mental well-being and mental performance, by cultivating positive mental, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual health. She is passionate about helping her clients thrive in sport and life by facilitating self-awareness and self-actualization using a collaborative, strengths-based approach. Nicole’s work is tailored to meet individuals’ unique needs, goals, and experiences through a holistic lens which explores the mind-body-spirit connection.

Nicole has worked with a range of professional, collegiate, and youth athletes, as well as teams and coaches from Division I-III institutions. She is also listed in the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee Mental Health Registry. Prior to private practice,

Nicole served as the Director of Sport Psychology for the University of Massachusetts Athletic Department from 2020-2022. From 2017-2020, she was an Assistant Professor of Sport Psychology at Florida State University, where her research focused on athlete mental health and well-being, specifically how cultivating gratitude can help individuals thrive and perform at their best. Her work has been published in a variety of academic journals. 

Nicole's professional and clinical interests include Christ-centered counseling and consulting, athletic identity, performing under pressure, injury recovery, emotion regulation, interpersonal dynamics, adjustment/transitions, and exploring meaning and purpose in sport and life. Nicole completed her undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross where she rowed for the Division I crew team. She obtained her MS from Springfield College and PhD from Indiana University Bloomington. 


Kweku Akyirefi Amoasi (Ramel Smith, PhD, LP, HSP, CMPC) is the President and CEO of BLAQUESMITH Psychological Consultative Services, Inc. He earned his Doctorate in the area of Urban Education with an emphasis in School Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2003. Smith has worked as a licensed clinical psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. While at the DOC, he also served as a negotiator for the SWAT Team.

Smith has taught in the Milwaukee Public School system at the elementary and high school level. In addition, he has held adjunct instructor positions at both the graduate and undergraduate level at multiple institutions including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marian University, Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology and Springfield College (Milwaukee campus). He has authored multiple journal articles, book chapters and edited and co-authored two books.

As a consultant, over the past 20 years, Smith has worked with multiple companies and organizations ranging from school districts to the federal governments on a plethora of issues (e.g., workplace performance, diversity and inclusion, mental health). Smith has been featured on,, CNN, PBS News Hour, and is in the documentary Growing Up Milwaukee being streamed on HBOMax. In addition, Smith has hosted two different television shows (i.e., Asque the Blaquesmith and Unspeakable Truth) to discuss mental health issues.

Smith served as the full-time Team Psychologist for the Milwaukee Bucks where he provided clinical services to the players, coaching staff and organization and conducted assessments and interviews for the NBA Combine and Draft. Smith is used regularly for Nike’s EYBL to provide training for players, coaches and parents. In addition, he has been used by multiple NFL teams to help address multiple topics for the Rookie symposium and served on the NFL Clinical Advisory Team. Currently, Smith has a contract with the University of Wisconsin Badgers as a Senior Clinical and Sport Psychologist.


Students – $25.00

Members – $35.00

Non-members – $50.00

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