American Todd Rogers has accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish in beach volleyball. With partners including his current teammate, Phil Dalhausser, he has accumulated more than 50 event wins on the U.S. Association of Volleyball Professionals tour and more than a dozen victories on the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball World Tour – for a total higher than any other active American player.
He’s been named Rookie of the Year, Best Defensive Player, Best Setter, Most Inspirational Player, half of Team of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and “God of the Beach.” He and Phil earned the first World Championship by U.S. men, and in 2008 they came home from Beijing with Olympic gold.
What’s left? “I’d like to win the U.S. domestic and international tours in the same year,” Todd states. “It’s never been done. And the plan is to shoot for the 2012 Olympic Games.”
Initially, Todd joined his California high school’s indoor volleyball team, but when the coach recommended cross-training with the beach game, the teenager was “hooked for life.” At the University of California Santa Barbara he was a two-time All-American, and after graduation, Todd (aka “The Professor”) turned pro and developed a 10-year plan that led to his Olympic medal.
When Todd isn’t on the road he enjoys time with his wife and children, and he’s also involved in the Dig for Kids Education Foundation, which provides achievement opportunities for youth. Despite his busy schedule, he states, “I’ve been able to strike a really great balance because my career allows for several months where I have a lot of freedom.”
Todd has been able to find a similarly great balance with Phil Dalhausser. Together they have scored more career wins than any other active U.S. team. “It’s become a real give and take, a great example of what teamwork can look like in action,” says Todd.
While he pursues competitive goals, Todd has another important objective: to see beach volleyball expand in public popularity and participation. “I don’t want it to be one of those sports that people enjoy only once every four years when the Olympics are on,” he notes. Walking that talk, Todd and Phil headline Red Bull Spiked, where they take on amateur teams. “Ultimately, my number-one goal is to enjoy myself,” Todd comments. “I think that’s the key to my personal success.”