Athlete Mindset

In this episode of Athlete Mindset, host Lisa Bonta Sumii shares insights with Kai Laird, 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)​​.

Click here to Contribute to the Athlete Mindset Community
By supporting the Athlete Mindset community, you will contribute directly to the mental health of athletes. With your amplification, we can ensure more voices are heard and more individuals are impacted. Thank You for making a difference!
Connect with host, guest, and podcast production team:
Related episodes to "Developing the Next Generation of Mental Performance Consultants | Kai Laird":
Music credit:

Creators & Guests

Lisa Bonta Sumii
Athlete Mental Health & Performance| Oakland Roots SC|CEO & Founder of AthMindset®|Published Author|Pro Podcaster & Guest|Speaker: Tedx, Keynote, International|Listed -NFLPA Directory, USOPC Registry, MLR Directory
SportsE Media is a digital sports media brand & production co for executives & entrepreneurs engaged in sports.

What is Athlete Mindset?

This is the Athlete Mindset podcast. Presented and produced by SportsEpreneur. Part of the KazSource Podcast Network.
And this podcast is all about mental health in sports.

This podcast series is a space for conversations with athletes, coaches, practitioners, and stakeholders in sports. And it’s where those individuals share their perspectives, experiences, and thoughts on mental health in sports.

Hosted by Lisa Bonta Sumii, LCSW

Eric Kasimov, Founder of KazSource and the creator of SportsE Media, is generously hosting the Athlete Mindset podcast on his platform as he deeply believes these conversations are essential and deserve to be prioritized.

If you are looking to start a podcast or create original content, you have to talk with the team at SportsE Media. I work with them and I vouch for them. It’s that simple.

About Lisa Bonta Sumii, LCSW

Lisa is a mental health therapist with over 21 years of clinical experience, licensed in both CA and NV. She is a private practice clinician and the CEO and Founder of AthMindset, LLC.

Lisa supports the elite athlete to achieve optimal mental health and peak mental sport performance. She works with adolescent sport teams, collegiate student-athletes, Olympians/Olympic hopefuls, as well as professional athletes and teams.

Lisa is the first-ever Mental Health & Sport Performance Specialist for the Oakland Roots Sports Club. The Roots are a men’s professional soccer team and purpose-driven club. Seeing the elite athlete as a multidimensional human, navigating various roles and identities, is integral to Lisa’s approach. Focusing on the role that interpersonal trauma, culture, race, gender, and sexual orientation play as the athlete navigates life on and off the field, is at the center of her work.

Lisa is listed in the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Mental Health Registry and the National Football League Player Association’s Clinician Directory.

Lisa is often an invited podcast guest and conference speaker. Besides hosting the Athlete Mindset podcast on the SportsE+ podcast platform. She spoke at TEDxWilmington on the intersection of race, mental health, and sport.

She has been featured in Time Magazine, Teen Vogue, BBC World News, and Women’s Health Magazine.
AthMindset, LLC, supports the mental health of the elite athlete and their ecosystem. This includes serving the spouses/partners, family members, coaches, teams, referees/umpires, agents, and athletic trainers, with clinical services and sport performance consultation.

To get more content like this check out and