Our Mission

Swim Sport Psychology is focused on mind and body in action for sport, health and performance.

Swim Sport Psychology develops training materials which blend contemporary sport psychology and behavioral medicine, and traditional Asian Mind-Body systems.

These are based on Dr. Heil's work with Olympic, professional and aspiring athletes, as well as his experience as a coach and athlete. They also incorporate input from coaches and athletes.

Swim Sport Psychology's underlying unifying principles, services and products reflect mind-body interaction and performance under pressure.

Swimmer from top doing butterfly
Freestyle race across lanes



Our Swim Sport Psychology Training Materials are designed to systematically prepare the athlete for a competition environment that demands maximal effort, with attention to pacing and precise technical execution, pain & fatigue tolerance, and for a long duration race day which requires optimal recovery. Swim Sport Psychology’s overall program supports a wide range of performance skills ranging from the specific, like goal setting, to the holistic such as optimizing sport-life balance.

These training materials are an outgrowth of Dr. Heil’s work with the International Swim Coaches Association, where he serves on the Sport Science Board. They are also based on consulting with individual swimmers, as well as experience with Modern Pentathlon Army World Class Athlete program.

Swim Sport Psychology’s training materials fill a unique niche within sport psychology in that they are swimming-specific. The visual enhancement of the otherwise traditional eye-closed approach to mental training offers a wider range of applications and enhances the training to performance skill transfer.

John Heil head shot


My focus on mind and body in action began at Devon Prep as a high school distance runner, where I was coached in the Zen tradition. It continued at Lehigh University where I pursued a degree in psychology, continued competing as a distance runner and developed an interest in Asian Mind-Body systems. A series of running injuries requiring extensive rehabilitation introduced me to the psychology of sport injury. While working on a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at St. Louis University, I began training in fencing, sparked by an interest in Modern Pentathlon. I continued to explore various mind-body systems and meditation in and out of the classroom, applying these to sport training. Back at Lehigh University, I completed a doctorate in Sport and Health Psychology, began coaching fencing and distance running, and started training in stage combat.

While on the psychology faculty of Roanoke College, I began a sport psychology practice and taught mediation in the classroom, while continuing to coach fencing, running and stage combat. Subsequently, I completed Post-Doctoral training in Behavioral Medicine and Pain Management at the University of Utah Medical School, while continuing a sport psychology practice.

Currently, I am a partner in Psychological Health Roanoke where I have a combined clinical and sport performance psychology practice, while doing extensive research and writing in the psychology of sport injury. 


Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Certified Mental Performance Consultant
United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry
Fellow, Association for Applied Sport Psychology
Fellow, American Psychological Association
Major League Baseball-Substance Abuse Counselor
Past President, Society for Sport, Exercise & Performance Psychology


Psychological Health Roanoke, Roanoke, VA
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Roanoke, VA- Lecturer, Psychiatry (since 2009)
Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, VA-Psychology Consultant, Medical Rehabilitation Unit (since 2019)
Veterans Affairs Medical Center Psychology Internship, Salem, VA (since 1992)
Roanoke City Police Academy, Roanoke, VA (since 2003)
International Swim Coaches Association, Sport Science Board (since 2013)
USA Fencing Sport Psychology Consultant (since 1995)

Chip head shot

Chip Magdelinksas

Chip Magdelinskas has been involved in the field of communications for over 35 years. For 12 of those, Chip headed Focal Point Productions, a corporate communications firm he founded. Here he worked with a roster of Fortune 500 clients including Sports Illustrated, CBS Broadcasting, Forbes Magazine, and Group W Broadcasting.

Productions for Readers Digest and LifeFleet have been Telly and New York International Film Festival award winners.

Chip has also held senior communications positions in the health care field at CareLine, Inc., MedTrans, and American Medical Response.

Currently Chip performs communications consulting services while serving as head of Celebrate Life! Productions.