Biographical Sketch

Dr. Kristen Dieffenbach has a Ph.D. in exercise science with an emphasis in exercise and sport psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Currently she is the president of the National Committee for the Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) and a member of the Association of Applied Sport Psychology executive board. She also serves on the research committee for the International Council on Coaching Excellence (ICCE). Dr. Dieffenbach’s areas of educational, research, and consultation concentration include coaching education, professional issues in coaching, ethics in coaching, performance enhancement, athlete talent development, and understanding and preventing under recovery. She has worked on numerous grants, projects, and consultations in these areas for the United States Olympic Committee, US Anti-Doping Agency, United States Tennis Association, USA Cycling, USA Hockey, USATriathlon, US Paralympics, USA Water Polo, Peaks Coaching Group, and Carmichael Training Systems.

Dr. Dieffenbach has published research articles in scientific journals, authored and co-authored numerous book chapters, and has written for applied publications such as Olympic Coach, VeloNews, and Dirt Rag. She has also served as an expert panelist or consultant for features in publications such as Performance Conditioning for Cycling, Runner’s World, Backpacker, Bicycling, Adventure Sports Magazine, and on the Outdoor Life Network.

Together with Steve McCauley, Dr. Dieffenbach co-authored Bike Racing for Juniors in 2009, a book for coaches, parents and young cyclists. She has also written or co-authored chapters for US Tennis, USA Cycling, and the U.S. Marine Corps. As an Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology certified consultant (#193), Dr. Dieffenbach works with a wide range of athletes and coaches as a consultant and educator. 

As a coach she holds an elite level USA Cycling license and has earned a Level II endurance specialization from USA Track and Field. She has coached at the high school, collegiate, adult recreational, and elite levels. Currently, she coaches both semi professional and professional, elite and professional level road cyclists, mountain bikers and adventure racers. She specializes in working with junior and Espior elite athletes and runs a regional mountain bike development camp for USA Cycling. 

A former Division I runner and road cyclist, Dr. Dieffenbach now enjoys endurance and ultra-endurance multi-sport racing. She specializes in 24-72 hour adventure racing events.

Certifications

  • Association for Applied Sport Psychology Certified Consultant #193
  • USA Cycling Certified Elite Coach
  • USA Track and Field level II Endurance Coach

Committees and Memberships

  • Director of the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Science (CACSS) in CPASS
  • Bud Colton Center for Sport Ethics  - Head of Research
  • AASP Sport Psychology Certified Consultant #193
  • USA Football – Coaching Education Advisory Board
  • Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) - Executive Board Member

Professional Highlights

  • International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) - Research Committee
  • National Committee for the Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) - Chair
  • Research emphasis on coach development, professionalization of coaching and moral reasoning in coaching
  • Written and run grants and contracts with the USOC, USA Cycling, USA Hockey, USADA and other sport organizations.
  • Over 20 years professional coaching experience with athletes from the youth through Olympic level, specializing in working with long term athlete development

Research Interests

  • Professionalism and ethics in coaching, coaching education and long term coach development
  • Long term athlete development facilitation through quality coaching
  • Overtraining and underrecovery prevention