"Geaux Be Well"
Who We Are?
The Sport Psychology & Counseling (SPC) area is a unit of the Athletic Training Department that is committed to fostering holistic wellness and positive mental health among all student-athletes at LSU in an effort to enhance their lives both during and after intercollegiate athletic participation. SPC provides clinical support, education, and strategic programming to ensure that wellness and mental health are vital components of all departmental services for the social, cultural, academic, and performance interests of all student-athletes. To that end, SPC works closely with the entire Athletic Department, university committees and task forces, and community affinity groups whose charge is to support the overall wellness and mental health of all LSU students, faculty, and staff.
The core tenants of the Athletic Department and SPC missions provide a strong platform from which to launch a focused vision for education, transformation, and innovation.
Departmental Goals and Objectives
Efficient, Student-Focused Counseling and Performance Services
Strategic Wellness Programming & Initiatives
Anchored Departmental Outreach
Concentrated Mental Health Development & Research Efforts
What We Do?
SPC Instagram Feed
Follow us @lsusportpsych
Issues may include, but are not limited to:
Test Taking & Study Concerns
Lack of Motivation
Performance Slumps/Distractibility in Competition
Substance Use/Drug & Alcohol Education
Sport Performance/Mental Training
Specialized Team Building & Wellness Plans
Clinical Internships for Master's Level Students
SPC Programs & Initiatives
Calendar of Events
P.A.W.S. or Personal Accountability with Sport is a Sport Psychology and Counseling initiative to increase the athletic department’s awareness of substance use. P.A.W.S. aims at promoting a culture of substance prevention amongst student-athletes by
encouraging student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, staff, and administration to be more proactive rather than reactive in regards to substance use
communicating (via email/social media) and providing resources during the semester regarding substances, NCAA guidelines, and effective refusal skill techniques
using comprehensible material that offers insight and relates substance use to poor athletic and academic performance
Meet Our Staff
Dr. LaKeitha Poole, LPC-S, NCC
Director, Student Athlete-Mental Health
Dr. LaKeitha Poole serves as the Director of Sport Psychology & Counseling for the LSU Athletic Department. As a licensed professional counselor and board approved clinical supervisor (LPC-S), Dr. Poole's clinical interests include identity development, cognitive and behavioral modifications, and interpersonal relationships. In the SPC department, she works with student-athletes to overcome depression, anxiety, grief, sport & career-related issues, stress, addiction, dysfunctional eating, and relational conflicts. She also works with individual sports teams on creating wellness, team building, and mental skills training plans to increase cohesion and strengthen overall performance.
A native of New Orleans, LA, and graduate of Florida State University, Louisiana State University, and Regent University, Dr. Poole’s research emphases include mental health and wellness techniques among college students, vulnerability and resilience in domestic minority populations, and family systems. Her clinical training included practicums and internships in the LSU Student Health Center Mental Health Services, LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs, HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two, Inc. (HAART), and the Olinde Career Center.
A former Assistant Director in the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs and coordinator of the LSU African American Cultural Center for over 5 years, Dr. Poole also serves as an adjunct instructor in the College of Human Sciences & Education, is a Board Member for the Baranko-Clark YMCA in Old South Baton Rouge, and is the owner of a local private practice, Small Talk Counseling & Consulting, which was featured in Ebony Magazine’s 2016 list of Black Mental Health Resources. Dr. Poole is passionate about the intricacies of working with diverse populations, particularly young adults involved in sport, on transitional life issues.
Her roles at LSU have allowed her to present on a wide-range of mental health topics to a number of campus community constituents and professional organizations including LSU Women and Gender Studies, the LSU Black Male Leadership Initiative (BMLI), LSU Honors College, the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education(NCORE), the Association of Black Culture Centers (ABCC), the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES), the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A), the Sun Belt Conference (NCAA Division I), and the Louisiana Counseling Association (LCA).
In her free time, she enjoys taking trips home to New Orleans to visit family and attend festivals, traveling, reading, and lounging around with her Shih Tzu-Maltese, Cody.
Office: (225) 578-8939 • Cell: (225) 773-5555
Bruce Buggs, II, LPC-S, NCC
Assistant Director, Student-Athlete Mental Health
Bruce Buggs II, a native of Alexandria, La., began his career with LSU in August 2017 as a Coordinator of Mental Health for Student-Athletes. Bruce is responsible for providing counseling, mental health education and treatment resources for LSU student-athletes.
Bruce obtained his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Southern University in 2004, and completed his master’s degree in Psychological Counseling at Nicholls State University in 2006. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and board approved Counselor Supervisor. In 2013, he was qualified as an expert in the field of Licensed Professional Counseling by the 17th Judicial District Court.
After obtaining his master’s degree, Bruce worked 7 years for the Lafourche Parish Drug Treatment Court as a substance abuse counselor and operated his part-time private practice until 2013, when he moved to Lafayette, La. He was employed by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office as a mental health counselor and psychiatrist liaison for Department of Public Safety & Corrections inmates. Bruce was promoted to the position of Clinical Supervisor for Youth Services in 2014. He left the Sheriff's Office in 2015 to accept a position in the counseling department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He also served as a Title IX Confidential Advisor at UL-Lafayette.
Bruce is a member of the Louisiana Counseling Association and also conducts board approved Motivational Interviewing presentations. With experience in areas of substance abuse, youth and families, private practice, and presenting at various trainings and conferences, Bruce brings well-rounded professionalism to the LSU Athletic Training staff.
In his spare time, Bruce volunteers as a big brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters and enjoys playing basketball, working out, and traveling. He is married to Sara Rodrigue Buggs.
Office: (225) 578-1274 • Mobile: (225) 394-9901
Christine Sotile, LCSW
Coordinator, Student-Athlete Mental Health
Christine currently serves as Coordinator of Student-Athlete Mental Health in the LSU Athletic Department’s Sport Psychology & Counseling Services. A Master’s graduate of the LSU School of Social Work, Christine interned at the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center and LSU Mental Health Services.
Sotile began her employment as a Strategy Tutor in the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes in 2010. In this capacity, she worked with student-athletes, facilitating their transition into college and helping them adapt to the challenges of university life. She received the Tutor Spotlight award in 2013 and Tutor of Distinction award in 2015 from peers for her service and commitment.
In August, 2017, the Athletic Department hired Christine as Coordinator of Student-Athletes Mental Health. Her duties include assessing and treating common psychological issues and working with teams and coaches on program development.
Christine resides in Baton Rouge with her husband, Steven. They have three children, Caroline, Stephanie, and Joseph.
Office: (225) 578-0903 • Cell: (225) 337-3087
Counseling Intern, 2019 - 2020
Abby Blanchard was born and raised in Thibodaux, Louisiana, where she received her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Family and Consumer Sciences from Nicholls State University in 2017. She is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in the in Counselor Education Program at LSU, with hopes of graduating in May of 2020. She served as a practicum intern at Baton Rouge Community College during the Spring 2019 semester where she offered mental health counseling and coordinated disability services to undergraduate students, and will be interning with the Sport Psychology and Counseling department for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters.
Abby has been working as a graduate assistant at LSU’s Center for Freshmen Year for almost two years. At UCFY, she serves as an academic advisor to freshmen students, while helping them utilize LSU’s vast resources to make the transition into the university setting as smooth as possible. Abby also serves as a Lighthouse advocate for interpersonal violence survivors and is currently serving as Secretary on the Louisiana Association of Counselor Graduate Students’ Executive Board. She also serves as Panhellenic Advisor for Phi Mu Fraternity’s Kappa Eta chapter at Nicholls State University.
In her spare time, she loves traveling, walking the University Lakes, listening to podcasts, and attempting to cook.