Athlete Mindset

In this episode of Athlete Mindset, host Lisa Bonta Sumii shares space with Doug Middleton, a six-year NFL veteran and mental health advocate. Doug shares his journey through professional football, his transition to becoming a yoga instructor and studio owner of Dream Yoga and Wellness, and his passionate advocacy for mental health through his leadership of the Dream The Impossible Foundation. From discussing the importance of building relationships and enjoying the journey in the NFL to his passion for yoga and mental health, this episode explores resilience, purpose, and well-being.

This is the Athlete Mindset podcast. And it’s all about mental health in sports. Presented and produced as part of the podcast network by SportsE Media.

"Doug Middleton | From NFL to Mental Health Advocacy and Dream Yoga + Wellness" Highlights:
  • Doug Middleton's insights into the critical role of relationships and intangibles in the NFL.
  • The significant impact of yoga on physical and mental well-being.
  • The importance of mental health advocacy, inspired by personal loss and the desire to support others.
  • The mission of the Dream The Impossible Foundation -- to focus on the mental health of African American male student-athletes.
  • The perspective and lessons Doug hopes to impart to his daughter, emphasizing faith, positivity, and being present.
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About Dream Yoga + Wellness and Doug Middleton:

Doug Middleton played 6 years in the NFL. During his career, he learned from some of the best athletes in the world. One common theme across Doug’s career that he observed with these elite athletes was their attention to detail and their personal investment in wellness resources, emphasizing both mind and body, which led to their success on the field. Doug was also able to see that these athletes had access to some of the best medical providers across the country. Dream Yoga and Wellness was created to bring the same luxury wellness resources to those who may never step foot in an NFL locker room but deserve the same level of care. Dream Yoga and Wellness will have 5 minority partners who have also played in the NFL with a combination of over 40 years of NFL experience. These partners also believe in the importance of Yoga, Mental Health, and the focus on investing in one's personal wellness. 

In 2017 Doug Middleton lost his best friend to suicide. This event became a pivotal moment in his life - leading to a passion and purpose in advocating for mental health education and resources. Doug has spoken at numerous corporations, foundations, high schools, and colleges. He has also won numerous awards, including the NFL Community MVP and Appalachian State 2022 Young Alumni Recipient, amongst many others. Doug and his wife also created their foundation, Dream The Impossible, which has helped over 10,000 youth over the past 5 years, connecting them to mental health resources, career and goal-setting education, and financial literacy. Doug discovered yoga in 2014 and became a yoga teacher in early 2022. Doug uses his background in athletics and his experience in mental health to provide a unique yoga experience focusing on mind and body. 

Connect with host, guest, and podcast production team:
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Music credit:

Creators & Guests

Lisa Bonta Sumii
Athlete Mental Health & Performance| Oakland Roots SC|CEO & Founder of AthMindset®|Published Author|Pro Podcaster & Guest|Speaker: Tedx, Keynote, International|Listed -NFLPA Directory, USOPC Registry, MLR Directory
SportsE Media is a digital sports media brand & production co for executives & entrepreneurs engaged in sports.

What is Athlete Mindset?

This is the Athlete Mindset podcast. Presented and produced by SportsEpreneur. Part of the KazSource Podcast Network.
And this podcast is all about mental health in sports.

This podcast series is a space for conversations with athletes, coaches, practitioners, and stakeholders in sports. And it’s where those individuals share their perspectives, experiences, and thoughts on mental health in sports.

Hosted by Lisa Bonta Sumii, LCSW

Eric Kasimov, Founder of KazSource and the creator of SportsE Media, is generously hosting the Athlete Mindset podcast on his platform as he deeply believes these conversations are essential and deserve to be prioritized.

If you are looking to start a podcast or create original content, you have to talk with the team at SportsE Media. I work with them and I vouch for them. It’s that simple.

About Lisa Bonta Sumii, LCSW

Lisa is a mental health therapist with over 21 years of clinical experience, licensed in both CA and NV. She is a private practice clinician and the CEO and Founder of AthMindset, LLC.

Lisa supports the elite athlete to achieve optimal mental health and peak mental sport performance. She works with adolescent sport teams, collegiate student-athletes, Olympians/Olympic hopefuls, as well as professional athletes and teams.

Lisa is the first-ever Mental Health & Sport Performance Specialist for the Oakland Roots Sports Club. The Roots are a men’s professional soccer team and purpose-driven club. Seeing the elite athlete as a multidimensional human, navigating various roles and identities, is integral to Lisa’s approach. Focusing on the role that interpersonal trauma, culture, race, gender, and sexual orientation play as the athlete navigates life on and off the field, is at the center of her work.

Lisa is listed in the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Mental Health Registry and the National Football League Player Association’s Clinician Directory.

Lisa is often an invited podcast guest and conference speaker. Besides hosting the Athlete Mindset podcast on the SportsE+ podcast platform. She spoke at TEDxWilmington on the intersection of race, mental health, and sport.

She has been featured in Time Magazine, Teen Vogue, BBC World News, and Women’s Health Magazine.
AthMindset, LLC, supports the mental health of the elite athlete and their ecosystem. This includes serving the spouses/partners, family members, coaches, teams, referees/umpires, agents, and athletic trainers, with clinical services and sport performance consultation.

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