What is Sport & Performance Psychology?

Sport and Performance psychology focuses on identifying and applying psychological principles that facilitate peak sport performance, enhance people’s participation in physical activities and help athletes and performers achieve optimal human performance.  Areas of focus include but are not limited to:  Performance anxieties, elite performance support, stressors stemming from college recruiting, team management, management of “in/out” of season stress.

Individual sessions help an athlete improve their mindset and/or deal with any psychological/emotional issues that may be impacting their performance, health, and/or well-being. Many athletes deal with a lot of pressure, performance anxiety, mental blocks or loss of confidence. At Newtown Therapy & Wellness Center, we individualize each session for the athlete/performer/coach. We work with them to build a strong mindset that is not only applicable in sport, but also in many areas in life.

We have three providers at Newtown Therapy and Wellness Center that specialize in Sports and Performance Psychology. Based on your sport and what goals you hope to achieve through sport psychology, we match you with an appropriate provider.  Dr. Stacy Hunt, Rob Tuckman and Giannina Ciopolloni’s Bios are below.

Stacy Hunt, PhD

Dr. Hunt has been providing clinical psychology and sport psychology services to help individuals succeed for more than 10 years.  As a professional member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, Dr. Hunt enjoys helping people improve, whether in mental skills training to enhance performance, or in a clinical situation calling for psychotherapy, stress management or better life adjustment.  The goal is to perform better at whatever you do.

Dr. Hunt’s dual focus in Sports and Clinical Psychology provides expertise to handle personal as well as performance-related issues, allowing for the highest standard of professional care.  She is also a Board Member of the Philadelphia chapter of IAEDP (International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals), and specializes in eating disorders and substance use as well.

Athletic Background
As a teen, Dr. Hunt was a competitive equestrian, gymnast and ballet dancer.  Through her undergraduate studies at New York University she continued to attend George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center.  In her 20’s, she trained as a cyclist and became a certified ‘Johnny G’ spinning instructor with Debbie Rocker at ‘The Ride’ in Los Angeles.  Dr. Hunt enjoyed fitness, teaching indoor cycling classes, personal training and racing in triathlons, while raising her 5 children and completing her graduate studies.  Once living in Pennsylvania, she continued training and teaching indoor cycling classes while growing her private psychotherapy practice in Bucks County. Most recently, Dr. Hunt has opened a yoga studio, Newtown Yoga, in Newtown PA with her husband.   

Unique Perspective
Dr. Hunt has a unique blend of skills, knowledge and experience.  Some of her  areas of focus are working with young athletes (high school, college, pro), female athlete triad syndrome, long term goals, loss of athletic identity for various reasons, college decisions, finding balance, transitions, pressure, choices, as well as food and body concerns, eating disorders and addictions.  Dr. Hunt works closely with medical doctors and dietitians to coordinate care for athletes.  In the last 10 years, Dr. Hunt has provided psychological services to professional equestrians, competitive high school and college gymnasts, tennis players, professional hockey players, dancers, cheerleaders, as well high school and college level swimmers, soccer players and lacrosse players.  Her available services include performance coaching as well as comprehensive mental health counseling. Her perspective as a parent of an athlete and several musical performers, adds to her understanding of the complexity of this lifestyle.

Rob Tuckman, MA



Rob Tuckman has been working for the past 25 years as a school counselor providing psychological support for students in all three levels (elementary, Middle and High) of schools.  Along with his responsibilities as a mental health professional, Rob has also coached athletes at the varsity, junior varsity, middle school and collegiate levels in sports ranging from Lacrosse (men’s), basketball (men’s and women’s), soccer (men’s and women’s), and wrestling. 

The combination of Rob’s experience providing psychological support and his athletic coaching experience has provided an expertise in working with both male and female athletes. A member of multiple sports boards and organizations, Rob has presented to student athletes, parents, coaches, etc. on many topics dealing with athletic performance from “How to bring your play from good to great”, “Love the Game! A presentation to parents on how to keep the love of the game in youth sports” and ” Overcoming your mental: How to get out of your head and onto the field.”

Athletic Background
Rob’s athletic experience spans over forty years as he has played at the high school (Soccer, Wrestling, Lacrosse), collegiate (Lacrosse), and post collegiate (Lacrosse) levels.  Along with team play, Rob has also trained for and completed seven Marathons.  For the past twenty five years, Rob has coached a multitude of sports, with his primary in Men’s lacrosse where he continues to coach at the High School Varsity Level.  Rob is also the father of a son playing Lacrosse in the NCAA with another son going off next year to play as well.  Rob has taught yoga and personal training and uses both in his coaching experience. 

Unique Perspective
With his many years of coaching, playing and counseling experience, Rob brings an understanding and an insiders perspective to the challenges that athletes are facing today.  Highly involved in college recruiting for athletes as a school counselor, coach and a parent, Rob is well versed in the stressors that accompany this process and can be a great asset in managing and finding the right fit.  Rob also works well with males and females in youth, high school and college athletics in areas such as student/athlete balance, confidence, pressure, transitions, loss of play, performance anxieties, etc.   Along with his experience in sports, Rob also has a comfort and understanding in working with artists, musicians, and thespians as he has a daughter who finds her happy place on the stage (sometimes with Rob playing along). 

Giannina Cipolloni, MS

Giannina has been involved in athletics, as a player and a coach, for over 20 years.  She believes athletes and performers can improve their physical skills by incorporating mental training that will enhance their performance.  Giannina delivered mental skills training as a summer mental conditioning coach at the world-renowned IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.  Here she worked with an eclectic group of athletes in sports such as baseball, basketball, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and track & field.  Aside from psychotherapy, Giannina holds a specific set of skills that allows her to work with individuals beyond the clinical setting.  Some of these expertise skills include, but are not limited to: focus/concentration, relaxation techniques, building confidence, handling pressure, controlling the controllables, imagery/visualization, goal setting, recovering from injury, consistency.

Athletic Background
Giannina competed at an elite level in both basketball and softball.  As a teen, she played AAU and two years of Varsity high school basketball before devoting her athletic career to softball.  In high school, Giannina played for Nazareth Academy and finished her career with two championship wins, two MVPs, and her jersey number retired.  Giannina continued her athletic and academic success at the University of Virginia, where she was a 4-year starter in centerfield and leadoff batter.  At UVA, she broke the single season stolen base record (32), the career stolen base record (89), and is in the top 10 of a few other career categories.  After her collegiate career, Giannina played professionally in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league for the NY/NJ Comets and played with and against the best of the best in the sport of softball.

Giannina’s coaching career began immediately after college, coaching the 12U California Worth Firecrackers to a national PGF championship.  She then coached as a graduate assistant for the Temple University softball team, where they led the nation in homeruns.  Giannina has also coached at the 14U and 16U age group, finishing 13th in the nation at PGF in 2015, 5th at PGF in 2016, and winning the WFC nationals in 2014.

Giannina continues to use her athleticism and mental toughness to run Spartan Obstacle Course Races in her spare time, varying in distances from 3-5miles, 8-10 miles, and 13-15 miles.  She has finished 10 Spartan races altogether and completed 2 Spartan Trifectas.

Unique Perspective
Giannina’s playing and coaching experience combined has given her the strong foundation of learning and teaching life skills through sports, which she believes leads to a lifestyle of excellence.  Her passion for athletics and also helping athletes achieve their goals, on the field and in life, is her driving force for doing counseling and performance coaching.  Giannina enjoys working with individuals, but also thrives working in a group or team setting.  She continues to embody the role of a coach in sessions and strives to empower those she works with to eventually “coach” themselves.