Dr. Sarah Castillo completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at UCLA, her master’s degree in kinesiology at Cal State Long Beach and her PhD in education at the University of Idaho. Her graduate research projects built on one another, with her master’s thesis focusing on the impact of coach and athlete compatibility on levels of team cohesion, and her dissertation centered on the creation of a two-year intervention program with a newly formed NCAA Division I women’s soccer team. She is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) and approved CMPC mentor through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). She currently serves on the AASP executive board as the professional standards division head, overseeing activities related to certification, ethics and continuing education.
Dr. Castillo comes to UWS from National University in San Diego, Calif., where she served as the program director for the bachelor’s in sport psychology program, acted as editor-in-chief for the online Journal of Performance Psychology and was co-director of the Center for Performance Psychology. Prior to her tenure at National University, she spent nine years as a performance enhancement instructor at the United States Military Academy, West Point. During her time with the Army, Dr. Castillo worked extensively with more than 15 intercollegiate, intramural and club athletic teams.
Dr. Castillo’s passion is working with individuals and teams in their search for peak performance in any area of life. She currently works with various collegiate teams and individual athletes in the San Diego area, as well as the USOPC Paralympic track and field team.
One of Dr. Castillo’s main areas of interest is the implementation of interventions designed to allow performers to reach their potential through the application of mental skills and mindfulness training. Her goal is to collaborate with performers to help them become fully engaged in competition despite adverse thoughts, emotions and playing conditions.