2015 Legends Football League MVP and Defensive player of the Year Danika Brace has become legendary both on and off the field, she is a no holds barred, call it like you see it middle line backer and tight end for the Seattle Mist and has set the stands for anyone up and coming in the LFL.
I was fortunate to be able to take a few moments of her time despite her busy schedule to chat for a moment about Danika Brace the football player and Danika brace the person.
TM: So Danika, if I am correct you got your start in the LFL with the Las Vegas Sin? How was making that transition from the Sin to your current team the Seattle Mist?
DB: I actually got my start with the Seattle Mist in 2009/10. After graduating from the University of Washington I was presented the opportunity to move to Las Vegas and help develop a new franchise as a veteran of the game.
Coming back to Seattle was easy in a sense seeing as I was accustomed to Coach Michaelsons plays, practices, conditioning, and antics :-). The hard part was coming back late from Australia to the US season where the girls had already been through mini camp and training camp. Some feeling were hurt and girls got bitter when I earned back my starting position and essentially benched 2 players from the positions they had been practicing in for 4 months before I got there.
You have become one of the most dominate players in the LFL and you always bring that level of energy to the game that no one in the arena can ignore. What drives you to be the dominate player you are?
I take so much pride in setting a new standard for women. There have been “shit talking” players in the past and some very aggressive girls, but none that had the true fundamentals of a football player. I train alongside multiple NFL athletes and top college players in the country so I absorb as much knowledge and guidance as possible. I love the feeling of the crowd roar after I make a big play. The ooh’s and the ahh’s gives me that extra energy and I don’t want to let anybody down. I genuinely enjoy putting on a show and earning people’s respect through my level of play.
So everyone knows Danika Brace the LFL 2015 defensive player of the year and league MVP but I want to know, what was the Danika Brace pre LFL legend like?
I have always been a captain of all my sports teams and competed at the highest levels. I find enjoyment in being able to teach others or inspire others so I have always fallen into a captain role I guess. I am the youngest but biggest of three girls, all athletes. I am extremely close with my parents they have always supported my academic and athletic endeavors. Basketball was my first and still current true love.
So off the field what is a normal day for you?
A normal day for me is my alarm goes off at 5:45 (currently yes it is Rihanna Work as my alarm) haha then I get up, throw on my matching workout gear, feed the dogs make breakfast and head out the door. I get to workouts where I do field work and a weight program for about 2 hours. I head home shower, pack up my meal prep talk to my marketing agent on a game plan for the week then run some errands and head into work. I run the number one performance facility in the northwest so I have my hands full at work. After work I hit hot yoga or come home and read before bed. Yes I am a dork I read before bed, but the mind is a pretty powerful thing when you continue to fill it with inspiration, and knowledge.
Your going out for dinner, what is your food of choice, Mexican? Italian? Asian or a good old fashioned burger?
Funny thing, I know I am not an American because I don’t like hamburgers or bacon. I love Mexican food!
If we were in your car right now, what music would be playing?
It would either be some good old country music, or Trap music depending on if I just got home from workouts or work haha. Maybe even some good old Jamie Foxx.
Speaking of cars, I have to ask the question. What is your current ride and what would your dream ride be?
With you being such an inspiration to so many, who is it that Danika Brace looks to for inspiration or who has made the biggest impact on you and who you have become?
One of my biggest inspirations is my old trainer Reggie from Las Vegas Phase 1 Gym. He has an unspeakable presence, he is so powerful and wise and regardless of his age he can still practice what he preaches. He was the man that first trained me, committed his time to me and taught me about the lions den. He believed in me and always told me I was more than just an average football player. My pre game inspiration is Von Miller’s highlight tapes on YouTube. I grew up watching Ray Lewis and knowing he was not only a savage and the best defensive player but he was also a leader and motivational speaker to his team and that will always inspire me.
Do they have a nickname for you on or off the field?
I always get asked this question and yet still no nickname that has stuck around yet. People always just say wow your a savage, or bad ass player. I have like two people that call me ‘hitstick’ but it hasn’t caught on yet I guess, I dunno.
After your playing days are done and you decide to hang up your helmet (which I hope is not for a long time!) what are your plans and what are you hoping to achieve?
I will open a training facility that helps athletes not only on the field and in the classroom, but also help them transition out of athletics. That sounds funny but many do not and will never understand the difficulty of changing from being identified as an athlete your entire life and then jumping into a job that you love and fits what you are passionate about. I will also continue to be an ambassador for a charity and one day run my own foundation.
Danika, thank you for taking the time to talk with Torqued Magazine and I look forward to watching you for many more season with the LFL.
Make sure to follow Danika on these social media channels:
Facebook: Danika Brace