September 2014 Featured Skater: Dirty Kopp
They may call her Dirty Kopp, but she’s a clean, mean skating machine! She’s a jammer and blocker who has really turned up the intensity this season. She has an infectious enthusiasm, and if you read on, you just might catch it too!!
E3PO, last month’s featured skater, wanted to know how you keep your cool jamming against a wall of tough blockers. What do you tell yourself to stay focused?
This is actually a really good question. If we are at practice and I’m jamming against my own team of Allstar blockers, I say a prayer, wish myself luck, and smile at them with a followed up “I love u guys!” If it’s in a bout against another league, I don’t think much except I see that hole and I’m going through it as hard and as fast as I can. It may be head first, but as long as I see and hear that lead jammer signal, I don’t stop fighting my hardest ’til I’m through that wall.
Which accomplishment on the track are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the improvement of my jamming skills all the way around–from my first season, which was last year, up until now. I am proud that the team can see my improvements and challenge me everyday with something new.
If you hadn’t found derby, what sport do you think you’d be playing instead?
I have played soccer all my life but like most of those sports, it becomes hard to find an adult team to play on. When I moved here and was looking into sports, I was going to sign up to play indoor soccer. I would love to play that again!
When you aren’t brawling on the track, you’re helping people heal as a nurse. Do you think those two parts of your life oppose each other, or are there some skills that carry over from one to the other?
Well.. It is a mix of both! As a nurse, I take care of patients and make them feel better the best way I can. But when I’m on the track, I am beating people up, so they kind of oppose in that sense. As for similarities, I help my patients and I also am there to help my teammates when someone gets hurt on the track and our great Doctor Payne isn’t there to assist them.
If you had a million-dollar budget, what would you add to the bout day experience for our audience?
Ohh this is a tough question! There are so many possibilities with a million dollars! I would start with the seats! Boy those aren’t the most comfortable seats, and our fans should be super comfortable while watching their favorite sport! I would also like to include things like a half time show for the first game along with the second game, and maybe a big scoreboard for fans to see replays. Something that would be really neat would be headsets like in Nascar, where our fans could listen to the players talk on the track! We would have microphones in our helmets and they could listen through headphones from their seats!
And what would you treat your teammates to with those extra funds?
I would love to invest our team into great bootcamps and training equipment. No athlete is 100% conditioned for their sport; it is always a learning process. Once the learning and training stops, the drive in the athlete stops.
What is your favorite thing about being a jammer?
The challenge! When I step up to that line before a jam starts, I have no idea what the other jammer is capable of, along with not knowing what her blockers can do. It’s always an adrenaline rush for me.
And what’s the most fun thing about blocking?
I love to slow down and wear the jammer out. I love to use my teammates and brace on to them to slow them down to make that jammer work for every point she wants to earn!
As we head into our last two home bouts of the season, what’s your goal for closing out 2014?
I would like to finish the season without any injuries. I ended last season’s game with a nice bruised-up knee because my knee pad slid down when I got hit really good as a jammer.
Who would you like to see as next month’s featured skater?
I would like to see Brooke Sloan as next month’s featured skater. She stated that her skater goal for the Memphis game this season was to be the MVP for that game, and she accomplished it! What was the feeling of being able to accomplish such a huge goal?