The History and Creation of the PSI


It started with a question: "How can we train students to have the same mindset as elite performers?" 

The question was posed by one of our creators: NFL Head Football Coach, and former USC Head Coach, Pete Carroll.  The answer, as it was conceived by Pete, David Belasco (Executive Director of the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies) and Dr. Michael Gervais (Performance Psychologist for the Seattle Seahawks), was The Performance Science Institute.

The PSI was founded on the core belief that long term high performance comes as much from mindset as it does from skillset, and that steps can be taken to practice and improves one's mindset to improve performance at the individual and organizational level.  

The PSI took shape with the addition of Dr. Glenn Fox, a USC-trained neuroscientist, coming from the Brain and Creativity Institute. Dr. Fox began by teaching his course, The Science of Peak Performance, in conjunction and complement with David Belasco's course, Taking the Leap. The PSI helped launch a Minor in Performance Science, and began its research into high performance populations with the Reconnaissance Marines at Camp Pendleton -- in conjunction with the USC Center for Body Computing.

We soon added Haley Barrows and Dr. Arianna Uhalde, and Dr. Ben Houltberg to round out our research team. Under Dr. Houltberg's direction, we specialize in rare data sets that help demonstrate the role of mindset in high performance. The PSI's research is at the forefront of research into personal purpose and relationships in high performance settings. Dr. Houltberg is experienced in working with elite athlete populations and helped establish the science of purpose. Our research team has now done work with the elite athletic and business populations.