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About Me

Dr. Melissa I. White

Sports have always been a major part of my life growing up. I participated in gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, softball, basketball, and track and field. I became a state qualifier amongst the first group of female pole vaulters in the state of Pennsylvania. I then went on to pursue a collegiate career in the pole vault and javelin at Bethany College in West Virginia. 

For the past 15 years I have been a 6th grade teacher and coach in Western Pennsylvania. I began with a ten year career coaching middle school and college cheerleading. I then coached middle school pole vault. Currently, I am the varsity pole vault and javelin coach for Hempfield Area School District. I am also entering my second year as the mental performance coach for the Hempfield Spartan varsity football team. 

After my first few years as a varsity track coach I realized that I was missing a big piece to the puzzle. I was able to provide my athletes the physical side of the sport with technical training, weight training, and speed training, but the mental performance piece was missing. At an indoor track meet I was working alongside a longtime colleague whose pole vaulter would have amazing warm-ups, but could not execute those same jumps when the competition started. He was his own worst enemy. His coach looked at me that day and said, "Say something to him, please." I did not know the right words to say; however, I knew if I talked with conviction, he would believe me. After warm-ups had concluded I told him, "Your warm-ups looked awesome." He acknowledged this fact but said, "What if I can't get that to carry over into the meet?" I said, "YOU CAN. It's going to be a great day." I gave him a high five and he ended up jumping well that day. It was by no means what I said, it was just the truth. Most of the time all an athlete needs is someone to believe in them. Then, and only then, do they realize that they can believe in themselves as well. 

I replayed that moment in my head until an idea materialized. The next day I began researching and by the weekend I was enrolled in an Exercise Science: Sport Psychology master’s program at California University of Pennsylvania. I finished one year later and my passion for the mental performance aspect of sports grew stronger. I enrolled in a doctoral program for Sport and Performance Psychology at University of Western States. I earned my degree in December (2018) and started Performance Edge Consulting to be able to help athletes gain their maximum potential by strengthening their mental routines. 

I thought back to my childhood and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think this would be my reality. I never thought I would earn my master’s degree let alone my doctorate degree. I never thought my passion for sports would lead me in this direction until one of my athletes asked, "When you were little what did you want to do when you grew up?" I thought about it for a second, "I wanted to make a difference in kids lives." So, upon reflection, I am living out my childhood dream just in a different way than I imagined. Every day I remember that childhood dream and I work hard to make a difference. 


Dr. Melissa I. White

Wendy Lou

Sports Psychologist Dr. Melissa I. White and service dog Wendy Lou.jpeg

Wendy Lou is a 3 year old Australian Shepherd. She was born in a barn in Alverton, Pennsylvania. Wendy came to Melissa at 8 weeks old and began her training at 10 weeks. Since this time she has been in many different classes to help her socialize and learn different manners for working with Melissa's clients. She has had puppy class, puppy plus manners, obedience 1, 2, and 3, dog tricks, scent work, K-9 fitness, rally obedience, agility, flyball, and therapy dog classes. Wendy is able to attend sessions with Melissa (upon the request of the client) and work with the clients in different ways easing the stress of an appointment. She especially loves pole vault, javelin, and football. In her spare time she enjoys playing with her sister Rio, (who is owned by a family nearby), swimming, going on walks, playing in her yard, and practicing agility course work. 


  • Goal Setting

  • Motivation

  • Performance Routines

  • Visualization

  • Confidence

  • Focused Breathing

  • Concentration

  • Attentional Cues

  • Achievement Reminders

  • Positive Self-talk

  • Mental Rehearsal

  • Overcoming Distractions

  • Anxiety Management

  • Preventing/Overcoming Burnout

  • Performing in the Zone

  • Mental Blocks (YIPS)

  • Injury Recovery (mental side)

Mentla Performance coach Melissa I. White supporting varsity football team
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