Dr. Mike Gross To Receive Marvin Bressler Award At PVC Banquet

Dr. Mike Gross, who leads Princeton’s sports psychology services and has been an invaluable resource for Tiger teams and student-athletes, has been named the recipient of the 2024 Marvin Bressler Award which is presented to that member of the Princeton family who, through heartfelt support of the University’s student-athletes and coaches, best embodies a belief in the lifelong lessons taught by competition and athletics as a complement to the overall educational mission.

Gross will be honored at the Gary Walters ’67 PVC Awards Banquet on Thursday, May 23, in Jadwin Gymnasium. For a full list of previous recipients of the Marvin Bressler Award, click here.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to honor Dr. Mike with this year’s Marvin Bressler Award in recognition of critically important and impactful work he does for Princeton Athletics” says Ford Family Director of Athletics John Mack ’00. “He cares so deeply about our student-athletes and their physical and mental wellbeing, not just within their athletic identities, but as students and as people. Dr. Mike is an invaluable resource and we are so fortunate to have him as a part of our team around the team.”

Gross is a Licensed Psychologist who specializes in Clinical and Sport Psychology. He is also a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) as designated by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. At Princeton University, Gross serves as the Head of Sport Psychology Services. In this role, he provides mental health counseling, performance consultation, and outreach services to the Athletic Department and its 38 Athletic programs. 

Gross began working at Princeton University in November 2018 due to a joint collaboration between Princeton University Athletics and University Health Services to have a Sport Psychologist embedded in Athletics. With an office in Jadwin Gymnasium, Gross has embraced the opportunity to be part of the team around the team. In Jadwin, he regularly meets with student athletes individually for mental health and sport performance related concerns; and facilitates an ongoing, weekly drop in student athlete meditation group. In addition, he delivers educational workshops and outreach presentations for teams, coaches, sports medicine personnel, the athletic department, and the campus community on a wide range of topics pertaining to sport performance and mental health. 

Gross has a specific passion for mindfulness meditation, and this is often evidenced in his work. He recently presented a workshop in Dillon Gymnasium called “Mindfulness and Acceptance Based Approaches to Enhance Performance in Sport and Life.” In an effort to support coaches and athletics staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gross facilitated a weekly meditation group for coaches and athletics staff. He also has led group meditations for the entire Athletics staff as part of Wellness programming for the Athletic Department. 

Last year, Gross was named co-leader of the Student Athlete Wellness Leader (SAWL) program. The SAWL program uses a peer helper model in which student-athletes are trained in ways to support teammates and refer them to appropriate resources. Gross has expressed that he relishes this role because it gives him an opportunity to work with and learn from the SAWLs, and engage in efforts to increase mental health awareness/reduce mental health stigma within the Athletic context. 

Outside of his role at Princeton University, Gross is Founder & Director of TriState SportPsych, a private practice in Short Hills, NJ where he works with athletes ranging from youth to professional levels. He has published several book chapters and peer reviewed journal articles in the areas of mindfulness-based interventions and sport, and mental health and sport. He currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, a journal in which he used to serve as Senior Associate Editor. Gross also continues to present at local and national conferences, including a recent presentation at the 2023 Ivy League Mental Health Summit in which he featured Princeton University’s approach to sport psychology services. 

In his free time, Gross is an avid golfer, basketball fan, and guitar player, but most of all enjoys spending time with his wife Rachel and two children, Layla (4 years old) and Bethany (2 years old).