Name: Mariah Bullock
Industry Position:
Sport Psychologist
Organization/ Team: Canadian National Women’s Soccer Team
Catch Phrase: “And how did that make you feel?” ???? JK.

What’s your favorite thing about working in soccer?
I played soccer growing up, collegiately, and then professionally, so my favorite part about working in soccer is being able to stay involved in the game I love.

What are you most excited about for the 2023 Women’s World Cup?
Selfishly, I’m most excited to experience the environment. It was a dream of mine to play in a World Cup. That obviously didn’t happen, but to be here as a staff member still feels like a dream come true. For the game, I’m most excited about these amazing athletes being able to be showcased globally and continuing to grow the women’s game.  

You’re a team doctor and sports psychologist. What are your top 3 priorities for World Cup preparations?
In no particular order: helping players feel prepared, confident, and clear on their role and goals. 
What advice would you give someone who wants to become a sports psychologist in the soccer industry?
Firstly, determine whether you want to be doing mental health, sports performance, or both. Make sure you have the appropriate training, get good supervision when you’re starting, and then just start doing it wherever you can get in. Like anything else, it’s about getting repetition so you get a feel for your style and what works for you and the people you work with. Have a process for how you want to handle confidentiality and how to balance the privacy of the players with the collaboration of other staff.

What impact do you think more women and unrepresented folks working in soccer will have on equity in the industry?
In general, I feel that having a diversity of backgrounds and voices creates a more versatile team, helps reach more people, and accounts for experiences that a homogenous group just wouldn’t know or consider. As more qualified, underrepresented people gain opportunity and visibility, and there are systems in play that protect against biases in different forms of equity (like hiring and pay), it starts to change the social norms and consequently opens even more doors for future equity. 

Mariah, huge thanks for taking the WIS squad behind the scenes of your World Cup journey!

This WWC23 Starting XI Behind The Teams spotlight is brought to you by Women in Soccer in partnership with Talisman & Co.