Anya Alvarez, former LPGA golfer, advocate for women in sports and founder of MajorLeagueGirls.com joins the show to talk pro sports, empowering women and inspiring girls.
Hi everybody I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.com
and this is the WorkinSports podcast.
A few weeks back I met Anya Alvarez virtually a cordial introduction on LinkedIn where she told me about the new sports site she had just launched called Major League Girls.
I’ll be honest – I’ve become hardened to many of these pitches. It happens a lot. Someone reaches out as CEO of JS enterprises which sounds impressive, but then you realize their name is Joe Smith and being CEO of their own enterprise isn’t exactly the same as connecting with Elon Musk.
But I always do my diligence. When someone reaches out, I check them out before I decide to invest any time.
First thing I see -- Anya Alvarez is a former LPGA golfer – right there, Ok she’s legit.
She’s written for ESPN, Rolling Stone, Slate, Vice Sports and more. – Ok she’s really legit.
Now I’m interested.
I start reading her articles and they are raw and emotional, balanced and measured, insightful and intuitive – I’m drawn to her style and her persuasiveness and as a writer myself I’m not all that often impressed. I feel most journalists rush the story and don’t pay enough attention to the craft.
But that is not the case for Anya, not at all. In fact, her story for Vice Sports
, about her being sexually abused as a child and later as a junior golfer… had me in tears.
I have a 10 year old daughter, I’m prone to crying, and then punching things, when I think of anyone laying a hand on her and I can’t for a second comprehend what this experience has been like for Anya, a person I don’t even know.
The fact she’s turned her traumatic experiences into advocacy for women and girls in sports – now that’s worthy of admiration.
Anya and I jump on a call to discuss her project Major League Girls – and I’m blown away. She’s articulate and passionate and I really enjoy talking shop with her.
And of course, the next thing I say is… let’s do a podcast interview.
So here she is, former LPGA golfer, womens sports advocate and founder of MajorLeagueGirls.com, Anya Alvarez:
Questions for Anya Alvarez, former LPGA golfer and founder of MajorLeagueGirls.com
1: Your have a very unique perspective – having been a student-athlete, and then a professional athlete on the LPGA tour who has now transitioned into sports entrepreneurship post-career – there is so much I want to get into in regarding your playing days and in your current career launching Major League Girls – but let’s start with this – how important of a role does passion play in your success, both on the course and now as an entrepreneur?
2: Would you consider yourself a naturally competitive person?
3: You had a passion for golf at an early age and the discipline to become on
e of the best in the world. Tell us about the recruiting process – most of us have no idea what that is like? When did you know you could make a pro career out of your talent, and what was it like having colleges come looking for you?
4: I made the argument a few podcasts back, that student athletes are at a great advantage working in the sports industry because they can leverage acquired skills like time management, teamwork, discipline, leadership, competitiveness and even just the knowledge of having been a part of the sports machine and seeing how things work. Do you feel like your experience being a student-athlete helped or hurt your career moving forward?
5: Let’s talk about life on tour – you played at University of Washington, graduated and qualified for the LPGA tour. You hear so many people talk about it becoming more of a business, a job, when you go pro. What was it like for you, was it as much fun to play professionally? Did you have the same passion?
6: You wrote an article for Vice Sports after your playing career, where you detail the harrowing experience you went through being molested by a family friend when you were young. You wrote the article two years ago before #metoo and #timesup – before the women’s empowerment movement had really gained steam – when you look at the current culture for women do you feel a sense of pride knowing you had the courage to share a story that may have led others to feel strong enough to share their own?
7: You played on tour for three years and transitioned into a freelance writing career after you were done. Two years ago you launched Major League Girls a site dedicated to sharing the stories of young female athletes - stories to empower and enlighten – how much did your previous experience expressed in the Vice story, influence your desire to help other young women?
8: Tell us more about Major League Girls – what are your goals for the site?
9: As a father to a 10 year old girl who is an avid soccer player, I love knowing there are people like you out there trying to guide and advise a generation of girls. As you venture into entrepreneurship, what are the skills or attributes you acquired as a pro athlete that you think translate to your current success?
10: What is your core message you want all young women and girls to know and understand about playing sports or working in sports?
1: Who is your dream foursome and where would you play?
2: Tell us your favorite story on Major League Girls.
3: In all your travels during your golf career do you have a favorite country you have visited?
4: Favorite book you read during the last year?
5: Last one – I coach my daughters soccer team and it’s honestly one of the most enjoyable and purest things I get to do – what advice do you have for youth coaches out there, how can well-meaning parents do the best job possible for the young athletes?
I’ve been going really long on these interviews lately, but I think it’s because of the quality of the guests… we’re really digging into juicy topics, and trying to explore areas of the sports industry that are often uncovered and deserve attention.
I suggest you check out Major League Girls, it’s a very cool site and it’s on the rise – Anya has timed this project beautifully, it’s not only a passion, it’s an important statement in today’s society.
That’s it for this weeks episode – next week, Mike Judge, recruiter and manager of inside sales for the Cleveland Browns – should be another good one!