Drop Your Nets and Follow with Coach Dar

Faith means no safety net

According to Darleen Santore, known to many as “Coach Dar,” “When God says, ‘Drop your nets and follow,’ He means it. And you’re just going on a ride.”

Coach Dar began working in Connecticut where she grew up with her family. She was taking care of traumatic brain injury patients as a Board-Certified Occupational Therapist. Her world revolved around the human brain, behavior and helping people overcome the most extreme odds.

When Coach Dar started out in that field, she had no idea it would take her out of the hospital and into the world of coaching mental skills and leadership with corporate executives, professional athletes and individuals. She helps them break through barriers to achieve their goals.

Suffering a stroke at twenty-five years old changed Coach Dar’s life.

She’d gone to see a chiropractor. In a very unusual situation, when her neck was manipulated, an artery in her brain ripped, causing a stroke. She was left with a blood clot, which the doctor said would kill her if it dislodged at any time.

Thankfully, Coach Dar didn’t have any paralysis, and this fueled her to take risks she’d never dreamed of before. She thought if she could die any day, she would go out and make things better in the world with great determination and no fear.
Dar went back to school at night and began running a few businesses in healthcare, attempting to fix the system. Then her faith really grabbed ahold of her and changed her life.

In 2008, she and her sister started a Bible study together. Soon, Coach Dar was studying the Bible with mentors four days a week, asking herself why no one had ever told her about this. She was growing deeper in God’s Word every day.

While studying Matthew 4:18-22, Coach Dar came under conviction. When Jesus called His disciples, Peter and Andrew, who were fishermen by occupation, to drop what they were doing and follow Him. They immediately left their nets. Then, He called two more, James and John, who left their fishing jobs and their father with the family business. Coach Dar became convicted and knew what God was leading her to do.

“So, when Jesus said, ‘Drop your nets and follow, that was a moment for me. I knew I had to leave my career and start a practice with no income and no safety net,” Coach Dar explained.

It was the Recession of 2008. Suicide and depression were on the rise. Life in general was tough, and people were being hit hard. Coach Dar could not merely sit by and watch. She had to get out and help them.

Dar left a very lucrative job to start her own practice.

She took everything she knew about leadership, psychology, science and neuro human behavior and started helping people, “Like on a mission field,” she said. With no pay, she began speaking about mindset, trying to help people shift their thoughts. Her father did not understand why she was doing this, but she told him she was doing this because it was a conviction.

Since then, Coach Dar is blessed by all that God has allowed her to do. She has reached people all over the world, helping them adjust their mindset, helping them with mental conditioning and leadership advisement.

She coaches on how to take your God-given gifts and bring them to the greatest level so that you can leave the world better than you found it for Him and His glory.

She has coached the Phoenix Suns. As a mental conditioning coach, she now coaches in all the major sports leagues as players’ personal and mental skills coach. She coaches CEOs as a leadership adviser. She speaks around the country on the resilient mindset and gets to share God’s Word.

Coach Dar was initially told she’d not be able to have children, but at her neurologist appointment recently, she received an apology, saying all this time she could have, and they were sorry for the incorrect information she received. She has also gone on to experience two more strokes.

But Coach Dar presses on, trusting God’s plan.

Coach Dar doesn’t know how or why God took her where He did, but she is thankful He had a plan the whole time and she followed it.

“Sometimes we don’t know why these things happen, but God does. When you look back, you can start connecting the dots,” Coach Dar explained. “But you must trust that faith. Because I did, and still do, I believe He’s allowed me to reach people that I would never have imagined I could. That to me is purpose.”

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