Meet Our Inspiring Woman: Darleen “Coach Dar” Santore

For Darleen Santore, overcoming life’s obstacles has been a blessing. Not only have they sharpened her, but now Santore, known as Coach Dar, takes the lessons she’s learned and coaches others to be the absolute best versions of themselves.

On Wednesday, August 23, Fever fans who register now will get a chance to hear Coach Dar before the Fever’s game against the New York Liberty. On Inspiring Women Night, presented by Merrill Lynch, Coach Dar will help attendees of her pregame presentation Raise the Bar.

“You have to have vision, you have to believe in where you’re going, you’ve got to be obsessed with what you’re doing, and you’ve got to block out these naysayers that are going to come along the way,” said Coach Dar in a recent interview. “And the other part is this relentless discipline. A lot of times, people will start to envision things and they’ll want to but they won’t take action. They don’t have the discipline to do the things that other people don’t want to do.”

At the age of 25, Santore had a stroke. While recovering, she learned the type of discipline needed to come back even stronger than before. After years as working as an occupational therapist, helping people overcome traumatic brain injuries and strokes, she realized that she could use some of the same tools that helped her rehab patients and take it to an even broader audience.

“I have got to help people so they aren’t living with regret,” Santore explained. “And shift their mindset now, and that’s where the passion for this is. After I had my stroke and went through a divorce and just life situations changing, I was like, ‘I gotta go live, and I’ve gotta help people live more, this is crazy.'”

Part of the way Coach Dar encourages change in people is by getting them to Raise the Bar, which is a way for people to evaluate their current set of circumstances and demand more from themselves.

It can be as simple as doing an extra set of weights at the gym or as serious as going back to school to learn a new trade. But whatever the task is, Coach Dar preaches the importance of putting all of your focus and energy behind it.

“You’ve gotta put effort into these areas,” Coach Dar said. “Without this effort in your life, you can’t expect results.”

Coach Dar’s Highlight Reel