Kai Laird | Dominican University
Kai Laird | Dominican University

Developing the Next Generation of Mental Performance Consultants | Kai Laird, MA, CMPC, LPC

In this episode of Athlete Mindset, host Lisa Bonta Sumii shares insights with Kai Laird. Kai is a Senior Program Director at the Dominican University of California’s Applied Sport and Performance Psychology Program. He is a distinguished figure in sport and performance psychology, as well as a mental health advocate. With an extensive background that bridges athletic performance and mental well-being, Laird brings knowledge and experience to this enlightening conversation.

This 3-part podcast series is titled: Developing the Next Generation of Mental Performance Consultants. About:

Dominican‘s Applied Sport and Performance Psychology (ASPP) department trains students to be ethical, professional, and culturally competent practitioners who work with performers in a variety of domains. Our program is committed to supporting both the professional and personal growth of students to become practitioners and leaders of Sport and Performance Psychology who integrate the art and science of mental skills training.

“Developing the Next Generation of Mental Performance Consultants | Kai Laird” Highlights:

  • Kai Laird has a background in sport and performance psychology from the Dominican University of California. His work at The Performance Pursuit explores the nuances of mental performance consulting versus traditional mental health clinical work. His dual expertise offers a unique perspective on optimizing athletes’ mental health and performance.
  • Laird emphasizes the importance of mental performance consultants establishing a strong referral network, especially for cases requiring more intensive mental health interventions. This approach ensures that athletes receive comprehensive care tailored to their specific needs.
  • For those interested in pursuing a career in mental performance consulting, Laird provides valuable advice on education, certification, and the development of a clear professional path. His insights are based on his own experiences and the evolving needs of the field.
  • Sharing his journey from Trinidad and Tobago to becoming a leader in his field, Laird discusses his motivations for pursuing dual roles in sport psychology and mental health counseling. His passion for supporting individuals in reaching their potential shines through his work and advocacy.

Presented and produced as part of the podcast network by SportsE Media, the Athlete Mindset podcast focuses on mental health in sports, offering listeners profound insights into overcoming challenges and achieving mental resilience.

About Kai Laird:

  • Background: Laird’s career is marked by his dedication to helping athletes and high performers achieve their best, both on and off the field. His work spans consulting with diverse clients, from DI colleges to professional athletes, and leading initiatives to improve mental health services.
  • Education and Certifications: Holding an M.A. in Counseling with a specialization in Sport and Health Psychology, and a B.S. in Business Management, Laird is also a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
  • Current Roles: As the Managing Director at The Performance Pursuit and the Director of Integrative Health at the WISC, Laird continues to make significant contributions to the fields of sport psychology and mental health counseling.

For more details on Kai Laird’s work and the Dominican University of California’s programs in sport and performance psychology, you can visit the Performance Pursuit website​ (The Performance Pursuit)​ and the Dominican University’s official page​ (Dominican University of California)​​.

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