Dr. Colleen Hacker Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Dr. Colleen Hacker    

Mental Skills Coach for the USA Women’s Olympic Soccer & Ice Hockey Teams

Dr. Colleen Hacker has served as a member of the United States coaching staff for six Olympic Games as a Mental Skills Coach and Performance Psychology Specialist. Dr. Hacker began her National Team service in 1995 working with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and most recently served on the Gold Medal staff for USA Ice Hockey in the 2018 Olympic Games. During her 12-year tenure with USA Soccer, the National Team won the first Gold Medal awarded in women’s soccer at the 1996 Olympic Games followed by a dramatic overtime victory over China in the historic ‘99 World Cup securing USA’s second star. Dr. Hacker also served on the National team Staff for the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. Named as an Assistant Coach in 2000, the National Team won a Silver Medal at the Sydney Olympic Games and a second Gold Medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The National Team won their third Gold Medal in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing China where Dr. Hacker also served as the Mental Skills Coach for the Olympic Field Hockey Team. Serving as the Mental Skills Coach for USA Hockey (reigning World Champions), Dr. Hacker was a member of her fifth Olympic Coaching Staff as Team USA won a Silver medal in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia followed by a dramatic shoot-out victory to win the United States first Gold Medal in 20 years during the 2018 Games in S. Korea. Dr. Hacker has served on the coaching staff for more than 10 World Championship events in soccer and ice hockey.

In addition to her work with National Teams, Dr. Hacker serves as the Mental Performance Consultant to professional, international and Olympic athletes in a variety of sports including MLB, the NFL, PGA, LPGA,MLS, NWSL, USA swimming, crew, speed skating, track and field, and tennis to name a few. She has also served as the Mental Skills Coach for the Under 16, Under 19 and the Under 21 United States Youth National Soccer Teams. Her strategies for peak performance are sought by corporations, business groups, professional sport teams, civic organizations and both print and television media. With more than 30 years experience in higher education, she is currently a Professor in Kinesiology specializing in Sport and Exercise Psychology in Tacoma, Washington. Dr. Hacker has conducted extensive, applied research in the field of sport psychology with particular emphasis on peak performance, team building, leadership, mental toughness and psychological skills training for excellence.

Dr. Hacker has received numerous professional awards including the Distinguished Professional Practice Award from AASP (the first woman to do so), the American Psychological Association’s Presidential Citation, the American Psychological Foundation Bevan Lecturer in Psychology and Public Policy, the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award (the highest teaching honor awarded by the University), the NAGWS Pathfinder Award, the NASPE Inspiration Award, the Presidential Medal from PLU, the NSCAA Letter of Commendation and the National Award of Excellence, to name a few. She has been inducted into 7 Hall of Fames both as an athlete and a coach including the Pacific Lutheran University Hall of Fame as a coach and later as a member of 3 National Championships teams, the Pierce County Hall of Fame, the NAIA National Soccer Hall of Fame, the Lock Haven University Hall of Fame (as an athlete and coach), the Washington Youth Soccer Hall of Fame, and the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame (the first female coach to be inducted). Dr. Hacker received the NAGWS Honor Award, the most prestigious award presented by that organization. ESPNW named Dr. Hacker as one of 30 women in the country who “change the way sports are played”. Dr. Hacker is a member of the National Advisory Board for the Positive Coaching Alliance and is a Fellow in the National Academies of Practice. She has served on the United States Olympic Committee Performance Enhancement Team, is certified by the US Center for SafeSport, is a member of the USOPC Sport Psychology and Mental Training Registry and is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant.

Much in demand as a speaker and consultant, Dr. Hacker has delivered over 200 professional presentations and published more than 45 articles, chapters and a book. Dr. Hacker has worked with corporations such as Morgan Stanley, NIKE, Martha Stewart Living, Meredith Corporation, S.C. Johnson Company, Boeing, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, PitchBook, ESPNW Summit, FOX Sports Network, MTV Networks, Infinity Broadcasting, Wolfpack Endeavors, Verizon Media Group, Thrivent Insurance Company, The New Yorker Magazine, Citadel Broadcasting, Conde Nast, Million Dollar Round Table, Bankers Association, GLAMOUR, Parent’s Magazine, House and Garden, Franciscan Health Care Systems, Better Homes and Gardens, Westwood One, General Mills, Deloitte, and Equinox as well as civic groups and organizations. She has published widely in professional journals and books. Her work has been featured in Jere Longman’s book, Girls of Summer, Lauren Gregg’s The Champion Within, Michelle Akers’ book, The Game and The Glory, The Soccer Bible, Brandi Chastain’s It’s Not About the Bra and Tom Farry’s book Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions of Our Children . Following the Rio Olympic Games (2016) The Olympic Channel featured Dr. Hacker’s work in an episode entitled Gold Medal Entourage: The mastermind behind Olympic success.

Dr. Hacker has delivered lectures and invited papers at such diverse groups as the Miller Humanities Lecture at the University of Arizona, the American Psychological Association, the National Institutes of Health, the Pan American Sports Organization, the Association of Applied Sport Psychology, SHAPE America and the United States Olympic Committee Coaching Summit. Articles about Dr. Hacker’s work have appeared in Newsweek, Olympic Magazine, PCA, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, The APA Monitor, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Time, Inc. among others. Dr. Hacker has been featured on national television outlets including CNN, NBC, FOXsports, ESPN, Discovery Channel, ESPN2 and Extra. Her publications and presentations have impacted audiences both academic and corporate. Dr. Hacker’s book, Catch Them Being Good (Penguin Books) co-authored with champion soccer coach Tony DiCicco, has been a mainstay in coaching education. Her insights into topics such as the psychology of excellence, leadership, team building, performance psychology, mental toughness, and “The secret of the slight edge” strike a chord with organizations and corporate audiences both nationally and internationally.

Related Speakers View all


More like Dr.