top of page

Athletes and Mental Health with Daphne Faldi

In this episode of The Know with Nikki Spo, we're joined by Daphne Faldi, a former Division 1 athlete and a current educator and mental health advocate.

This episode explores the critical role of mental health in student-athletes and professionals, with Daphne introducing NDUR, an app offering essential mental health resources. Daphne's heartfelt conversation with Nikki Spo highlights the power of acceptance and encouragement in order to achieve high performance and, most importantly, happiness. Our goal on The Know is to build a sense of community. And that is exactly what we are doing. 


In this episode…

Academic challenges

Learning disabilities 

Overwhelming world of college athletes

Daphne’s professional journey 

Suicide and mental health in athletics 

Mental health in professional athletes 

Retaining the magic of sports

How we can be our best selves in sports 

Knowing why you are doing something 

About NDUR- An app to support mental health for athletes 

Peer-to-peer connections 

Anthropology, nutrition, and the human body 

The unrealistic expectations of student-athletes  


“Academics were hard for me. I am dyslexic, so the academic challenges were tough. Where I found my release, confidence, and joy was on the field. Stepping on the field meant I could be my authentic self and shine.”

“For many people, college was their best 4 years. For me, college was hard.” 

“My niece lost her best friend to suicide 27 years after I lost my best friend. I realize that we really have come a long way in terms of awareness and talking about mental health. But I still do not feel like we have hit the next step of offering tangible tools and support.” 

“It is one thing to talk about mental health, but it is another thing to offer tools and support.”

“Growing up, I did not have a lot of motivation to study and do well. Growing up into the adult that I am today, I have realized how insecure I am about whether or not I am intelligent.” - Nikki Spo

“I want to take what I have learned by the feelings I have had to work through and help empower and support others.” 

“The pressure on student athletes right now is astronomical.” 

“There is a message in team sports, especially as you get older, that a lot of it is sacrifice. It is an old-school way of thinking. Everything is so sacrifice driven. It is refreshing to come back to the idea that this ultimately should be fun. ” - Nikki Spo

“Within the NDUR app, we give student-athletes a peer-to-peer connection and community so that you can feel supported and feel a sense of belonging. We want athletes to know that what they are feeling, others are feeling as well.”

“You don’t need to be happy every day. You do need the tools and the people in your life to help you get through those harder times.”

“If you are accepted and encouraged as a whole person, you will give your best and perform at your best. You are going to be awesome because you are embraced as a whole person.” 

Time stamps:

0:00- 2:20 | Introduction

2:30- 7:45 | Academic challenges and shining in athletics 

7:45- 14:00 | Daphne’s journey in mental health 

14:00- 21:00 | Mental health for professional and semi-professional athletes 

21:00- 26:30 | Why playing sports is important 

26:30- 31:30 | Why Daphne started NDUR 

31:30- 34:30 | The unrealistic expectations of student-athletes  

34:30- 36:25 | Outro

Connect with Daphne Faldi

Connect with Nikki 


SANA SKIN STUDIO is my #1 go-to spot for self-care. My favorite facial is the Super Glow, and you can get $25 off of your first facial when you book at with my code THEKNOWGLOW.


bottom of page