Strength and heart: Daniel Vega empowers Brewers, next generation of Latino MLB staff
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- What you see at the end of a Brewers victory begins in training and practice.
From spring to fall, during 162 regular season games plus the playoffs, the Brewers athletes have to keep their bodies fit and healthy. One of the people responsible for making that happen is Daniel Vega.
"Every day I'm grateful," Vega told CBS 58. "Every day I thank God for where I am."
Vega is a strength and conditioning specialist for the Brewers. It's a position that involves various aspects of an athlete.
"Anything physical preparedness, sleep, nutrition, hydration, especially when you're playing in the hot summer days, mobility, like stretching preparation," Vega explained.
Vega grew up in Connecticut, the youngest of seven in a big Puerto Rican family.
"They were always great mentors and helping me and guiding me in the right direction," Vega said. "And my family is a big reason for why I work hard and make them proud."
At just 30 years old, Vega has reached the highest level of the sport, an achievement that has taken sacrifice and determination, including taking assignments and positions others didn't and proving doubters wrong in hopes of reaching his goals.
"I always had the belief and trust in myself that if I just work hard and did everything in my power, that I would get here, and thankfully, here I am," Vega told CBS 58. "So, it's something that I don't take for granted."
While around 30% of the Major League Baseball's on-field talent is Latino, that number is much smaller for management and coaching. It's a reality Vega is keenly aware of and he recognizes his impact as a Latino strength and conditioning coach for a big league club.
"I'm very fortunate because I'm able to have a connection with the Latino players, especially in which I'm able to help them prepare and be ready for the game," Vega said. "For me, it's something I don't take lightly; the more that I'm in it, the more that I realize I'm becoming a role model for other Latinos that are up and coming."
As that role model, Vega is able to show young Latinos they can achieve their dreams of reaching the big leagues.
"You dream of reaching this elite level, whether it's NFL, NBA, MLB. Whatever sport you play, you dream of making it to the top, and I always tell young students, young athletes that the beautiful thing is, even if you don't make it as an athlete, there's still possible avenues to arrive, in other realms, in my case strength and conditioning," Vega said.
With every Brewers win, thanks to his work, Vega is grateful for the opportunity to represent his family, his heritage and himself.
"I'm grateful to still be able to compete every day like I did when I was younger, although I'm not on the field. I'm on the dugout with the men, and we're together all day every day and we're competing side by side, so I still feel like I'm a part of the team, and that's a great feeling."