Welcome to our team page!
We are a group of dedicated professionals with a passion for sports and mental fitness.Our team includes Hans Skulstad, Jennie Gorres, John Kaiser and Carrissa Wolyneic, each with their own unique background and expertise in helping athletes overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
Hans C Skulstad, MA LMFT
Enjoys working with athletes and their families in all sports and at all levels in order to help them achieve their athletic and life goals. He and his wife created the Center for Sports and The Mind to integrate their passions for sports and working with people. He served as the 2013 Chair of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award and awarded to Drew LeBlance of Saint Cloud State. He currenlty is on the Board of the Hobey Baker Foundation, and serves as the National Director of the Hobey Baker Boys High School Character Award. He has been a coach, and served on committees devoted to fair play. He served as the Hockey Development Coordinator at Armstrong Cooper Hockey for 6+ years. He works with teams and individuals. He has helped teams win championships and worked with high school, college, professional and Olympic athletes and coaches. He received his Masters in Counseling Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of St Thomas.
Jennie Gorres, MS LMFT
Works directly with individuals of all ages for over 13 years. Jennie has a powerful interest in sports and competition, dating back to the days when she was a leader of her high school sports teams and a three-sport athlete. Currently Jennie works with clients to conquer emotional obstacles in order to achieve their goals. She uses unique techniques to overcome distressing performances that continue to haunt athletes. She has worked with high school and college athletes. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Child Development and Family Science, Jennie specializes in the changing and complex needs of young athletes.
Carissa Wolyneic, MA Mental Conditioning Coach
Carrissa Wolyneic provides mental skills training to athletes. She has a master’s degree from St Mary’s. and is currently working toward becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Carissa’s education, experience, and success as a college basketball player has taught her the importance of mental fitness training. She knows it is an important part of being a consistent athlete. She shares her passion and experience to help athletes, coaches, and parents. She works with athletes of all ages and sports. In her career at Concordia University, she set the record for 3 pointers in a season and a career. She has given back to the game by coaching girls’ basketball. She loves helping her clients gain the mental edge that comes with developing mental fitness. She has worked with college and high school athletes. She knows the that mental fitness improves physical performance. She works with athletes and teams to create a process for self-coaching and staying out of your head.
John Kaiser, MA LMFT
John brings a unique set of experiences to the Center for Sports and the Mind. In addition to 10+ years working with adolescents and young adults as a counselor and therapist. John has been a Minnesota State High School League referee for 18 years and has officiated numerous MSHSL basketball and football state tournament games. John also officiated D2 and D3 basketball for five years. He is a graduate of hte University of Minnesota. Prior to obtaining his MA in Counseling and Psychological Services from and post master's certificate from Saint Mary’s University and post master’s certificates, he worked in public relations and marketing roles with the New York Knicks, and with broadcast partners of the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings. John views his role with the Center for Sports and the Mind as an opportunity to help athletes meet their potential.
Our story starts with a young sports fan growing up in southern Minnesota. From an early age, Hans was an intent observer of sports. He played team sports in his community growing up, and organized impromptu games with neighborhood kids. He recorded colorful play by play ‘broadcasts’ of fictional football games, celebrating touchdowns that only occurred in his imagination. Despite being raised in an area that was not a hockey mecca of the time, Hans was a keen spectator of the sport, acquiring vast knowledge of the intricacies of the game. His appreciation of the physical skill involved in playing hockey would grow exponentially later when he took on the daunting task of learning to play the game as an adult.
At the same time, 150 miles away, there once was a girl named Jennie. She loved to play sports and was naturally athletic. On a farm in western Wisconsin, with only her three sisters as teammates, the challenge was being creative enough with rules to be able to play a competitive softball or volleyball game. As she matured, her drive to improve her skills, her intensity for competition, and her leadership skills emerged at the high school level. She enjoyed such honors as being named team captain, team MVP, and All-conference selections in two sports.
While Jennie was playing high school sports, Hans was developing the same competitive skills in a different arena. Hans realized he had a natural gift for speech and debate and elected to pursue that talent hoping one day for a career in politics. He became proficient at organizing his thoughts, staying calm and focused, and thinking quickly on his feet. He elected to showcase his speaking abilities by performing in school drama productions. After a lot of training and research, Hans was able to lead his high school team to the Minnesota state speech and debate tournament and land himself a college scholarship.
Young adulthood took Hans and Jennie on different paths. Hans pursued his dream of a life in politics and spent time in Washington D.C, interning at the White House and United States Capital. Jennie transitioned out of her identity as a competitive athlete, instead focusing her energy on a degree in Psychology and participation in a national community service group. Their paths began to converge when they each completed master’s programs in Marriage and Family Therapy, one in Minneapolis, Minnesota the other in Fargo, North Dakota.
After several years of what seasoned veterans refer to as ‘the trenches’, both Hans and Jennie earned their stripes as licensed professionals. Although separately they worked to hone different skills, neither lost their love of athletics. They began to see the effect of problematic family dynamics and lack of mental skill strength with young athletes. Sport Psychology became another topic of interest to tackle. As they learned more about brain physiology, it became obvious to them that most athletes strengthen their bodies and their skills, but few strengthen their brains. Hans and Jennie partnered to form two businesses: Foundations Counseling and The Center for Sports and the Mind. While opening and developing these businesses, each has also had experience teaching in master’s programs and supervising new clinicians.
Today Hans and Jennie take pride in the ability to evolve, but continue to stay observant. They watch the impact of social and psychological issues on athletes. More personally, they observe from a different perspective: as the parents of a young athlete, whom they hope will learn all of the valuable skills they took from competition
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