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Washington's Brooke Nelson Finds Opportunity In Downtime

(Photo by Red Box Photography)

Freshman year of college is the start of a journey filled with new adventures for many. Brooke Nelson’s first year at the University of Washington was the beginning of her lifelong dream of becoming a Husky. While the shortened season detoured her softball campaign, it opened up a new door for Nelson—podcasting.

Nelson in the month of May started to produce Off the Dirt with Brooke Nelson. For the first two episodes, Nelson talked with Washington teammates Taryn Atlee and Morganne Flores about their personal lives and softball paths.

“I wanted to dive deep into topics surrounding softball because the people who are going to listen are big softball fans,” Nelson told Softball America in a phone interview. “Just to be able to share what we know and our perspectives on things, things we wished we had known when we were younger.

“...I never heard of a podcast with a current student-athlete about things they were experiencing as they go. I thought it was a unique thing to start.”

Prior to starting the podcast, Nelson didn’t have any experience in this type of endeavor other than a bit of videography in high school. She does her interviews on Zoom and does most of the editing herself. She’s always been interested in having a post-softball career around sports, with sports broadcasting drawing her attention. Nelson recently got into the Communications department at Washington and is looking to double major in Communications and Psychology.

The podcast is a part of a team project to keep Washington busy and connected with its fans during the time when it's usually wrapping up its run at the Women’s College World Series. Madison Huskey has been doing a cooking show and the trio of Flores, Pat Moore and Noelle Hee have a roundtable show discussing various topics.

“Everyone is missing out on these things, whether it be going to a camp, watching softball on TV, watching a game in person. There’s so many things we can’t do right now,” Nelson said. “It’s just like, okay, how creative can we get to still make that connection and relationship? To showcase Husky softball as it is to our fans and community.”

Nelson’s new hobby also allows her to create a stronger bond with her teammates despite being apart from each other.

“That’s the one thing that I absolutely love about doing these podcasts,” she said. “I ultimately learn so much about my teammates and dive deep into things they’re passionate about. We share things with the fans and the public that we are collectively passionate about. Learning about my teammates’ journeys and different experiences is one of the coolest things.”

Nelson was able to learn about Atlee’s experiences during her freshman year at Rutgers and a memorable conversation she had with Washington coach Heather Tarr about what she thought she wanted to major in back in eighth grade.

She loves the versatility a podcast gives a person because of the multitasking experience of being able to listen while doing household chores or activities such as working out. Nelson finds herself listening to ESPN’s 7 Innings Podcast and The Joe Rogan Experience.

Once Nelson’s routine of being a student-athlete returns to normal, she hopes to continue the podcast and even mentioned the possibility of adding different dynamics to it.

“I genuinely love doing these,” Nelson said. “If everything works out, I would love to continue doing these. Maybe I'll continue with just the audio piece, maybe I'll include video with it once we are allowed to be around each other.”

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