About Dr. Zapata
Dr. Zapata is a skilled and dedicated mental health, sport performance, and wellness professional specializing in sport and performance psychology with Elite/Pro/Olympic athletes.
She has provided mental health and sport performance services to Division I collegiate athletes, elite and professional athletes, and has curated training programs for teams, coaches, and affinity groups such as injured athletes, LGBTQIA+ and athletes of color.
Additionally, Dr. Zapata has served on organization boards and assisted sport business executives with the development and management of various mental health initiatives.
Dr. Zapata was born in Panama City, Panama, and credits her Afro-Caribbean roots as the foundation for her values and worldview. She grew up in Newport News, Virginia having learned the art of adapting and flexibility early as a military dependent.
Throughout her lived experiences she has identified strengths related to resiliency, resourcefulness, and sheer will and motivation.
As a first-generation college student, Dr. Zapata earned a BA from Marymount University, her first graduate degree from the George Washington University, and continued to earn a MA and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University in San Diego, CA.
Dr. Zapata is currently the Director, Sport+ Personal Development at SOL Performance + Consulting. SOL Performance + Consulting is dedicated to elevating athletic and personal potential and provides tailored solutions for individuals and teams seeking to enhance their sports performance and overall wellness.
The offseason is often a tough few months for athletes. However, VIS™ Expert and Sports Psychologist, Ashley Zapata, encourages us to all change our perception of the offseason. The offseason can instead be a period where we rediscover balance and progress as both athletes and people!
Zapata works with athletes of all ages, including with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lynx, and at the University of Minnesota, on both mental health and sports performance. When it comes to prioritizing mental health for athletes, her message is clear:
“Athletes are more than just athletes."
“I think about athletes who are, for example, transitioning to college and to collegiate teams, not having the opportunity to establish the relationships with one another because they are virtual,” said Zapata. “That does create a significant shift in how they get to support and experience each other.”
"What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month, to me, is one month of reflecting on the contributions made by Black people over decades and centuries. For me, it is a month of concentrated attention on truths that myself and many Black people reflect on daily. The meaning of the month transcends the limit of 28 calendar days and instead bolsters the pride and joy I have as a Black woman. It is both an honor and privilege to celebrate Black innovators and change makers and know that their Spirit is shared amongst the Black community."
Dr. Zapata shares her thoughts on the United States Tennis Association's newly launched mental health initiative amind Naomi Osaka's withdrawal from the French Open in 2021.
Dr. Zapata chats about coping with the mental discomfort of living through the pandemic, how to create boundaries for ourselves and learn to prioritize our mental health on a daily basis. Dr. Zapata offers some important ways to distinguish between discomfort and anxiety when it comes to our mental health, and provides a few of her strategies to help us all cope with anxiety.
Dr. Zapata joins Angela Davis to talk about athlete mental health and the response from the US Tennis Association to Naomi Osaka.