People’s Choice MVP Front Runner: Jason Edwards Interview

Paintball Access touched base with Tampa Bay Damage MVP Jason Edwards, currently in second place in the People’s Choice MVP voting, to get his thoughts on the year, his success, and his struggle.

If you haven’t yet voted, vote here for your favorite player.

Congrats on being voted in as the MVP of your team, how would you personally rate your performance this year? Don’t be bashful, you’re the team MVP for God’s sake.

Thanks a ton, it means a lot to me. Personally this year I felt like I played great. There’s always room for improvement, but I can’t think back on a single event where I felt like I did anything but help produce positive results.

What was your favorite on-field moment of 2012?

Well, in a single season so many amazing things happen, but this year we only won one event. The PSP Galveston Open, which was finished in Phoenix, marked our third event win in a row. A 3-win-run like that is never easy.

We were about to nearly lose a preliminary match to Vicious in Galveston when I looked up and saw the scoreboard time clicking down, we shot a few people and I ran, diving the flag in, right at the one second mark. That felt pretty sweet, and extended our winning streak.

What was your best move or game this season?

My best overall game was a match against Dynasty in Huntington Beach. It was a 3vs3 overtime point in the Semi Finals. Dalton and Ryan were crossing over to our side of the field on the D-side and Zack was over on the snake side in the corner. We were in the back bunkers and I could see my players being pinched out, I made a nice shot on Dalton, then bunkered Ryan, and shot Zack, all in less than 20 seconds for the win.

PSP I would say my best game would have had to be nearly any match in the Chicago PSP Event. I played a ton of points during that event, with Dave Baines being injured, and nearly felt unstoppable. Although dropping a match against the Russians in the semi-finals, I felt like the entire event I could just run anywhere and shoot anyone.

How does 2013 look for your team? Any news?

2013 will be a good year, but with some surprising twists. A lot of teams were shopping around for new players and some teams are switching sponsors. With the newer teams having more experience now, I am hoping they all come out more productive, and give the better teams good games.

Our team signed Alex “Mouse” Goldman and as of now, that is the only change I know of for sure. There were talks of people asking to play with us, but I truly believe in keeping a core of guys, and only adding outside players if they’re truly game changers and true players with no intentions of coming in and changing things.

With our 2012 season results, where nearly each match we lost was by one point, we know we need to come into 2013 more serious, more productive, and train that much harder! If we grind the way we say we need to, then I expect nothing but pure dominance in 2013.

Where there any things you struggled with this year, do you feel you’ve peaked as a player?

This year I was unable to stay employed. After losing my job at the end of 2011, I tried all of 2012 to get a new career in Law Enforcement. The negativity of turn downs, position cuts, and nearly 100% of places not understanding my traveling schedule, definitely had an impact on my personal feelings towards paintball and how much I’ve dedicated and how little can be returned.

So going into the end of 2012, I decided to look into new careers and pursue more education. This has helped me and brought my positivity up a ton. I am always trying to better my skills in paintball, changing my style of play to be more unique, to think and act differently than anyone else on the field.

I am always trying to be healthier, faster, and stronger than the year before. I will never reach my peak as a paintball player. My Grandpa and Dad told me something a long time ago that I will never forget, they said, “No matter how good you get, how much better you are than others, you can always improve and become better.”

The way I see it, every new day brings a new experience. You learn from your flaws, which build your foundation. Your experience builds your house, and your success is just the decoration you hang inside. The more you try, the more you fail, the more you learn, the more you succeed.

What advice do you have for players who want to be in your position one day?

Watch, learn, and feed off the positive players. Don’t be one of those people who likes someone because they dress cool, drink a lot, party like a rockstar. Focus on having good points, as that will lead to having a good match.

Ignore the flashy things, close your eyes to the negativity. Be the person others want playing beside them, the consistent player. Do your job and take criticism, play paintball because you love it and not because you want to get paid.

Realize the best paintball players are the ones who have good matches, not flashy points, dresses like his team, respects everyone on and off the field regardless of their rank, age, or physical appearance, and is always doing what they can to help their team, on and off the field. Then mirror those people, learn from them and their actions.

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