“As an athlete, when you have an injury, you need to trust someone to help you regain your life and your ability to do what you love the most.”

Dani weatherholt

What You will learn

  • Firsthand experiences from being drafted, traded, and playing internationally.
  • How Dani found her small wins when she was enduring rehab.
  • Advice from a player on how to be a better practitioner.

Being drafted in professional sports sounds like an amazing opportunity, but does it live up to what we expected? And we hear about player trades in the media all the time, but as a player, how does the trade really go down? In this episode professional women’s soccer player Dani Weatherholt shares some stories on these topics and how she uses her platform to help the next generation of youth soccer players.

Dani is a professional women’s soccer player for Angel City FC in Los Angeles and previously of OL Reign in Seattle, Orlando Pride, and Melbourne Victory in Australia. She has an incredibly kind soul who is constantly giving back to young women and youth athletes.

Dani is an advocate for Voice in Sport – a community of women and girls in sport that provides educational resources and mentorship for women of all ages. She also consistently participates in Football for Her – an organization that provides a safe space for all to play soccer.

Dani is about to enter her 8th professional season. In this episode she shares with us a player’s perspective on some of the behind-the-scenes processes with agents and front offices when players are traded, how medical and performance practitioners can best care for the players, and some insight into the challenges pro athletes face when battling back from injuries.

Listen here – Finding Small Wins Podcast:

006 | Dani Weatherholt: Business of trades, Rise of Women’s Soccer, and Giving Back to the Youth

Notable Quotes

“No matter how many credentials someone has, they really don’t know how you feel, you need to communicate that clearly.”

dani weatherholt

“At the very early stages of my career, I realized I needed to figure out what made me, me.”

dani weatherholt
Photo courtesy of Cody Cunningham codywcunnigham

Key Takeaways:

[1:42] What would the title be if there was a book about Dani?

[2:27] Dani talks about the first chapter of her career in professional sports.

[3:29] Did Dani always dream of becoming a soccer player?

[4:31] When did Dani get serious about soccer?

[6:42] At 21 years old, Dani leaves the West Coast to go to Orlando.

[8:49] Dani spent four seasons in Orlando.

[9:50] Dani’s next step was in Seattle; she shares about this change.

[12:13] Did Dani advocate for her contract, or did she have an agent?

[13:14] Adam shares some aspects of hiring an agent.

[14:04] Dani talks about what makes a good agent from her perspective.

[15:19] Dani sees an opportunity to play in North Carolina.

[16:37] Dani speaks of moving to Seattle and her experience during the pandemic.

[18:51] What happens when an expansion team comes in?

[20:54] Dani talks about how her family attends every game.

[23:14] Dani speaks of the amazing fans they have in LA.

[27:27] Dani advises: ‘Reach out to other Teams and learn from them.”

[28:48] A successful coach gets to know each player, taking the time to learn about their differences and building trust.

[30:02] As an athlete, when you have an injury, you need to trust someone to help you regain your life and ability to do what you love the most.

[30:49] How does Dani build a successful relationship with a physical therapist?

[32:18] Dani explains why she thinks more is learned when you are injured than when you are playing.

[34:26] How did Dani find the small wins while recovering from an injury?

[39:10] Dani takes pride in following her instincts and honoring how she feels in the moment.

[42:10] How to tell when is the right time to move to the next step in the rehabilitation process.

[45:22] Adam and Dani discuss the value of  ‘second-hand confidence’.

[45:46] What are the qualities that make a pro athlete successful?

[47:57] Dani shares on Football for Her.

[50:19] Dani talks about Voice in Sport and its impact on a national level.

[51:38] Dani explains her role as a mentor.

[52:45] What are the teenage girls asking?

[53:40] Dani shares how being in a B Team feels.

[55:19] Dani answers a round of rapid-fire questions.

[58:10] It is Adam’s turn to answer questions about his passion and experience as a physical therapist.

Adam Loiacono

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