#96 – Brooke Neal | Dear Olympian

Brooke Neal is a former Olympic Hockey Player for New Zealand, yoga teacher, wellbeing coach and speaker.

Brooke specialises in helping young female athletes in helping them navigate the space of sport as they grow up. Lewis And Brooke talk about how mindfulness, yoga and meditation can play a big part in helping athletes manage their well-being on and off the field that positively impacts their performance. As well as the interesting topic of pain as an athlete, how athletes play through it, need it and can overtraining to overtrain.

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This episode at a glance

  • Brooke Neal shares her thoughts and emotions when she wrote the letter, Dear Olympian. [3:25]
  • You can be grateful and heartbroken at the exact same time. [7:03]
  • Recognize and be aware of your emotions. [12:00]
  • Elite athletes are conditioned to work through pain. [17:23]
  • To consistently and sustainably perform at a higher level, you must prioritize your well being. [20:46]
  • Lewis and Brooke talk about an injury they both experienced, patellar tendinopathy and how yoga helped a lot in their recovery. [23:50]
  • Brooke shares how her being in pain from injury spilled over into her work and personal relationships. [27:05]
  • The mental side of injury is not talked about enough. [29:10]
  • Everyone wants to feel special. We enjoy special treatment. [30:17]
  • We wear our pain like a badge of honor. [30:32]
  • Brooke shares her experience with Reiki healing, when she accidentally fell on her knee 4 days before her flight to the Rio Olympics. [32:59]
  • Coaches should be more open to alternative forms of healing. [35:17]
  • The different kinds of pain you will experience in life and the tools you will learn to manage them. [38:43]
  • Brooke’s story and how she got into hockey. [41:04]
  • Brooke describes how she dreamed of getting to the Rio Olympics. [45:11]
  • What makes a good hockey player. [48:14]
  • How Brooke reframes moments of self-doubt. [52:00
  • I am not my thoughts, and I am so much more than a hockey player. [57:07]
  • What got Brooke into yoga. [59:36]
  • Brooke’s practice of balance [1:04:12]
  • Being flexible with and incorporating mindfulness practice in your daily life. [1:07:21]
  • Brooke shares when she started to do meditation before games. [1:10:03]
  • On mindfulness and meditation: “I encourage you to start and make a habit out of it”. [1:12:18]
  • What support athletes need and is currently missing. [1:14:05]
  • Brooke’s book recommendation. [1:20:40]


Episode Sponsored By Sport Yogi

The app that introduces Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation to Athletes all without the fluff. Choose from over 100+ sessions to improve flexibility, strength, recovery, focus, stress, nerves, anxiety on and off the field.