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Phil
Dalhausser

Nickname
The Thin Beast
Hometown
Ventura, CA
Sport
Beach Volleyball
Favorite music to train to
Howard Stern
Biggest challenge
Balancing the travel and rigorous training required for volleyball and spending time with my wife and kids.

Why 66 Audio makes you better

“With 66 Audio, I’ve finally found a pair of headphones that can keep up with the rigorous training we go through as athletes and Olympians. 66 Audio can handle everything, from the sand to the weight room to relaxing on recovery days.”


The Interview

You got your start in volleyball later on in life, how did that happen?
My 11th grade teacher was a volleyball coach and he kept bugging me to come out for the team. I thought it wasn’t my thing, but senior year, two of my buddies decided to play, so I was like “OK fine, I’ll give it a shot." My first practice, I knew I loved it right then. I became addicted right away.
When did you realize volleyball would be your calling?
I knew I could make a career out of it when I was 24. We were in Hermosa Beach and we wound up getting 3rd. I was like, “something might happen with this beach volleyball thing.” I was actually playing with Nick at the time, we came up together through the ranks, we won our first pro tournament together.
Prior to Todd, you bounced around with several partners. How did you know he was special?
Todd was known as The Professor. I had never been coached before, I was just relying on athletic ability, and he molded me into the player I am today.
What is the most valuable thing Todd taught you?
The biggest thing was how to be a professional athlete. You have to work out, eat right, take care of your body and all that. Before I was partying and stuff, I didn’t know how to be a pro.
How did it feel to win a gold medal in the 2008 Bejing Olympics?
The way I describe winning a gold medal is, think about the best feeling ever and multiply it by a 1000. All the hard work and preparation of 4 years comes together and you accomplish your goal of winning a gold. It’s just an amazing feeling.
It must be tough to balance volleyball and your personal life. How do you do it?
I spend more time with my beach volleyball partner over the summer than with my family. It’s tough balancing the two “families”. I do a lot of FaceTime with the wife and kids. Anytime I’m not playing, I’m with them.
“You have to work out, eat right, take care of your body and all that. Before I was partying and stuff, I didn’t know how to be a pro.”
How did you and Nick get back together?
Nick asked me to play last year after I’d been hurt for 2 months. He already had an Olympic spot pretty close in sight. I told him, “you’re crazy man, you’re throwing an Olympic spot away. I don’t know how I’m gonna come back, I may get hurt again, you’re taking a huge risk.” He was like, “I don’t care, I just wanna win tournaments.” So I said, “let’s do it then.” Right off the bat we got second at Long Beach. We came out like gangbusters an won a bunch of tournaments. Now we’re the 3rd seeded team in the Olympics. In 8 months we went from last place to 3rd place.
How has Nick changed the trajectory of your career?
He was basically my lifeline. I was kind of having partner issues at the time and he rekindled my love for the sport. We’re super good buds; we’ve known each other for 15 years. Our good friend, Paul Baxter, is our coach. We’re like three good friends traveling the world and playing volleyball. It’s been a great ride so far, hopefully we can end it with a gold.
How do you prepare for Rio?
It’s really the same as for everything else. Practice, lift and recovery. What we’ve been doing is working and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
How did it feel when you found out you qualified?
It was a little bittersweet because we just finished 17th in Moscow, but that was enough for us to qualify. 17th sucks, but the next tournament we came out strong and won in Hamburg, Germany. That was the last qualifying tournament; we moved up from 5 to 3. It was good to come out strong. In the semis we beat the Olympic 1 seed and in the finals we beat the 2 seed so it was great for our confidence. Hopefully we can use that momentum going forward.
How does it feel to be partnered with Nick again after so many years?
I always saw myself finishing my career with Nick, but I didn’t realize it’d be this soon. Things just work out the way that they do. I didn’t think I’d even be playing this long, this is my 14th year on tour.
Looking back on your career, what stands out the most?
Three moments: First, winning the gold medal in Bejing, that’s easy. Number 2, Todd and I won the world champs in Switzerland and I was born there so all my aunts and uncles and parents came out to watch so it was extra special. The 3rd is winning my first pro tournament with Nick in 2005.
“Our good friend, Paul Baxter, is our coach. We’re like three good friends traveling the world and playing volleyball. It’s been a great ride so far, hopefully we can end it with a gold.”

Achievements

2016 Won AVP New York City Open, Hamburg Major, Fuzhou Open, Puerto Vallarta Open, and Maceio Open
with Nick Lucena
2016 Seeded 3rd in Olympic rankings
2015 Won Xiamen Open
with Nick Lucena
2014FIVB Most Outstanding Player of the Year
2014Won Manhattan Beach Open, and FIVB Grand Slam tournaments in Stavanger, Norway; Gstaad, Switzerland and Long Beach, Calif.
with Sean Rosenthal
2013 Won the Salt Lake City AVP event, FIVB Fuxhou Open in China and the Grand Slams in Rome and Long Beach, Calif.
with Sean Rosenthal
2012 Finished 9th in London Olympics
with Todd Rogers
2011 Won Quebec and Stare Jablonki, Poland FIVB titles
with Todd Rogers
2011 Posted an FIVB record for most consecutive match wins (40)
with Todd Rogers
2008 Gold Medal, Beijing Summer Olympic Games
with Todd Rogers