If we can’t share our feelings and our emotions, especially being away from family, that can be a kryptonite environment and start to be cancerous and bring teams down so we need to create that environment where people can speak.”

TJ Perenara, All Black halfback

During mental health week earlier this year a number of All Blacks opened up about mental health and mental fitness.

 The All Blacks are no longer expected to be gruff, stoic, hard New Zealand males, who don’t show emotions. Having the courage to speak honestly about emotions. To be authentic, vulnerable and open about their emotions are some important messages leading All Blacks have been sharing.


he statistics show that in New Zealand one in five Kiwis suffer some form of stress, anxiety and depression. Hence why is it so important to start talking more about this area and how we fell.


A wonderful site www.headfirst.co.nz defines that being mentally fit can mean different things to different people, but for most it’s about being able to live your life with freedom and enjoyment. Coping with life’s ups and downs, recognising your potential, adapting to change and achieving your goals, are all key factors to being mentally fit.

That site goes on to say that mental fitness is very similar to physical fitness. We train hard so that we can perform to the best of our ability. The same goes for our mental fitness. Making sure we have the skills and support we need to tackle challenges allows us to enjoy life more. Everyone has different ways of dealing with stress, as well as different amounts of stress they can cope with. The good news is that mental fitness is something everyone can grow and develop. 

A core component and major aspect of mental fitness is our emotions, hence our Emotional Fitness is so important to both feel OK and also perform at our best in sport.

All Blacks TJ Perenara and Ardie Savea reveal battles with mental health

It wasn’t normal for our friends to talk on an emotional level. Once we started that it made things better. Not just our relationships but things at home. Ever since that I’ve realised how important it was to talk.”

Ardie Savea, All Blacks flanker

A wonderful article appeared in the NZ Herald detailing more about how All Blacks TJ Perenara and Ardie Savea deal with emotions and mental health. Click here to read that article.