Graduate students in the Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology Program have three options for their cumulative, capstone project:


Internships help students develop and refine their applied sport and exercise psychology service delivery knowledge, skills, and abilities. Students provide mental skills training or similar at internship sites. Internships occur in the summer between students’ first and second year in the program.

Past Internship Sites:
  • IMG Academy, FL
  • U.S. Military Academy at West Point
  • Mindset4Change
  • Mankato Moondogs, Northwoods Baseball
  • Elite Sport Psychology, FL
  • Salvo Soccer Club
  • Mankato YMCA
  • Mankato Peppers Softball
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato Counseling Center
  • Mental Training Inc., Texas
  • Positive Coaching Alliance, Minnesota


Manuscripts are original research studies that students design and implement. Students who plan to pursue doctoral study are encouraged to complete a manuscript, which is often referred to as a thesis. Students can present their research at national conferences and submit their work for publication.

Past Manuscript Projects:
  • Media Representation of Newly Hired NCAA Division I Basketball Coaches, Mikaela Fischer
  • LGBTQ Inclusion Policies and Practices: A Review of US Professional Sports, Frida Farstad Eriksson
  • Athlete Retirement and the Impact on Response to Reinjury, Jenna Halvorson
  • Mindful Running: A Qualitative Exploration, Megan Gossfeld
  • Fun, Failure, and Fulfillment: A Case Study Approach to Informal Leadership in Minor League Baseball, Phil Imholte
  • The Blueprint of Grit: Examining the Development of Passion and Perseverance of Long-term Goals, Jaxson Judkins
  • Athletic Identity: Adding Fuel to the Fire of Burnout in Collegiate Athletics, Connor Croan
  • An Exploration of Parents’ Psychological Needs that Are Met through Their Child’s Sporting Careers, Justine Jagga
  • Performance Demands in E-Sport, Steven Rencher
  • The Impact of Imagery on the Stress Response and Resilience in a High Performance Pursuit (Music Performance), Haley Larson

Alternative Plan Project (Applied Project)

Alternative Plan Papers prepare students for their careers and areas of interest. Students develop expert knowledge in a specific sport, exercise, or performance area and develop a project that they could use to work with that population. Projects can take multiple forms. For example, projects could be websites with written and video content or mental training manuals for specific populations, such as coaches, parents, military/tactical performers, exercisers, and athletes. Students are encouraged to be creative in their project development and format.

Past APP Projects:
  • Thank you, Coach: Person First Coaching for Player Development, Megan Svir
  • Corporate Wellbeing: Health Behavior Change in the Workplace, Sam Crowley
  • Military Resilience: A Mental Guide to Basic Military Training, Jordan Hazel
  • High School Coaches Leading Mental Toughness Training, Teddy Mickelson
  • The Run Down: An Interactive Handbook to Assess and Prevent Burnout in Coaches, Molly Burmeister
  • One Pitch at a Time: An Athletes Guide to Mastering the Psychology of Hitting, Jessica Eichner
  • Facilitating Environments that Combat Childhood Obesity: An Internet-Based Approach, Eydie Kramer
  • Athlete's Guide to Mental Training for Tennis, Laura Reitlinger