Isaac Kapa is a relative newcomer to the Australian Institute of Sport beach volleyball program. Last week he and partner Sam Boehm qualified for the main draw for the first time together. Spike's roving world tour reporter, Al Hinchley, managed to catch up with the big Queenslander for a quick chat during the Kristiansand event in Norway.
Isaac digging during the 2010 Kristiansand Open in Norway
Name: Isaac Kapa
I was born in Mackay, Queensland. I then spent some time in Rockhampton and the Gold Coast before moving to Adelaide in March 2010 to join the AIS beach volleyball program. I currently live with my girlfriend Jules who also made the move to Adelaide.
What did you do before joining the AIS?
I was an apprentice cabinet maker with a good friend of mine on the Gold Coast.
What’s it like being a full time athlete now?
It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I think for me in the past I haven’t been fully committed. So it’s been great to now throw everything I’ve got at playing beach volleyball.
Do you think your game has improved since committing full time?
Yeah I think it has. I think for me it has been a lot more mental. For me the mental side of the game, me buying into my role in our team and doing things that we need to do. It hasn’t all been about nailing technique. Sure technical stuff is part of it but it’s been a lot more focused on the mental and emotional side of staying stable and knowing we can do the right things.
So you and Dan (Carey - Isaac’s playing partner before moving to Adelaide) were a very emotional team. You seemed to feed off of each other when games got close. Have you been able to do the same thing with Sam or have you had to change a little?
No, the coaches encourage us to be boisterous and loud and emotional. I think for Sam and I we are developing a stronger connection as a team. Where as for Dan and I that was something that came automatically, we never had to force it. So Sam and I are making some good progress, we’re learning.
How long have you been away from Australia on this current tour?
I know we’ve got about 30 days to go on tour. So we’ve been away for 3 months.
And, how are you handling being away for so long?
Oh, surprisingly well. The emotions can go on a bit of a roller coaster depending on how we perform and how much I’m missing Jules and home.
How many events have you played?
We’ve been to over 10 events. The only one we didn’t get to play in so far was the first grand slam in Rome. We’ve been on the reserve list for all the other grand slams but been fortunate enough to make it into the draw for the qualifiers.
Which event has been your favorite? Not necessarily volleyball wise.
I think Austria is a really cool event and everyone seems to say that. The whole scenery of it and the way the crowd goes nuts on centre court is a really big thing there. But I do think each place has had something cool about it that I’ve enjoyed and liked being a part of.
Any nightmare tournaments yet?
No, it has been pretty smooth sailing so far.
So there are 3 more events left for the year…
Yeah, 3 big events for us. We need to put ourselves in a good spot for next year. We would like to get out of the qualifier. We are aiming to make enough points so we are at least off the reserves list for the grand slams next year.
Thanks for you time Isaac. Good luck for the next couple of weeks.
All photos copyright FIVB