As someone who used to play sports and who used to work in sports — first as a traveling beat writer and then in collegiate athletics — I’ve often wondered how sports might influence my daughter’s life. The idea behind the So This is Fatherhood podcast series is to interview females who have either carved out a career in sports or who were athletes at a high level and how sports have affected their lives, especially growing up.
The latest in our podcast series features someone who I became friends with when I was working at UC Santa Barbara.
Dana Vargas was a two-time All-American setter and after college she played professionally in Europe. She was one of the first people I thought of when I created this podcast series because she had talked to me before about the influence her father has had on her – not just in athletics, but in her overall life.
Dana grew up in some pretty large athletic shadows. Both her father and her mother were United States Olympians. Not only that but her mom is oftentimes considered one of the best setters to have ever played volleyball. Furthermore, her older sister was an All-American setter for perennial top-25 Long Beach State. So, yeah, Dana could have easily decided against playing sports.
Rather, she excelled in a sport where she was able to create her own name and not be considered “Debbie Green’s daughter” or “Nicole Vargas’ sister.”
On top of all of that, she has a tremendously positive attitude and an infectious laugh. She shared some advice on raising daughters around sports and how it readied her for the real world once she was finished playing volleyball professionally.