Dr. Steve Portenga, PhD, aka Dr. Steve, has dedicated himself to understanding the Performing Brain®, performance psychology and the clinical aspects of helping athletes perform to their best capacity.
In his sports psychology practice, he brings together the theories of human performance, neuroscience, technology and behavior change. He applies them in a hands-on setting that delivers results.
Dr. Steve’s mission is to help young and seasoned athletes alike consistently perform in the upper range of their knowledge, abilities and skills across competitive and pressure situations.
Sports psychology goes far beyond ‘mental skills and toughness.’ With a PhD in sport & counseling psychology, Dr. Steve has developed a proprietary model for how athletes can maximize their talent and mental resourcefulness to perform under pressure.
Steve Portenga is the Director of Sport Psychology for the University of Denver. He provides sport psychology consulting services to all 17 DU NCAA Division I athletic teams, student-athletes and coaches. Portenga teaches performance enhancement skills, facilitates team building and works with coaches to develop a positive team environment. These practices help develop athletes’ athletic success, and more importantly, lead to excellence in the classroom and in life.
Portenga has served as a sport psychology consultant to collegiate athletic departments since 1997. He was invited to provide sport psychology services to USA Track & Field, traveling this past summer to the Dominican Republic to work with the 2006 NACAC Under-23 Championship Team. In 2004, Portenga received the first Student Practitioner Award presented by the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology.
Portenga has made numerous national and international presentations on issues such as injury, coaching and team development, and training in sport psychology. Prior to Denver, he was at UC Davis where he did his APA Internship and a Post Doctoral Fellowship in sport psychology. After his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Portenga coached alpine skiing for the Vail Development Team for four years. He then earned an M.S. degree in exercise and sport science from the University of Utah and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Portenga is also the Acting Director of the newly formed Sport and Performance Psychology Program in the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology.
From his practice in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Steve is able to dedicate himself to his athletes and teams while raising the next generation of his own family.
When you are considering a sports performance professional, be sure to evaluate the breadth of their qualifications and expertise. Dr. Steve brings his studies in neuroscience and how it underpins expert performance and applies it in a very practical setting.
He is both a professor and a practitioner with a unique perspective on how athletes can maximize their talent.
Dr. Steve works with carefully with athletes to ensure their identity as performers is aligned with their own identity and values. Through his sessions each athlete learns how to manage individual moments that lead to deliberate practice and ultimately leave equipped with the tools to manage pressure.
Performance psychology is a term that is used by many, but understood by few.