Laura Geitz’s netball career is studded with achievements, but the last two years have seen her cross some of her biggest professional goals off her bucket list.
In 2014, Geitz led the Australian Diamonds to victory at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, bringing our national team’s 12-year gold medal drought to a satisfying end.
The following year, the Queensland Firebirds won the ANZ Championship and the Diamonds claimed their third consecutive World Cup, both under Geitz’s leadership.
At this point, you’re probably wondering what the rebel ambassador’s secret is. Well, you’re in luck – because we caught up with the 28-year-old defender to gain some intel.
You’ve had an incredible career – can you possibly choose a favourite moment?
“Last year would be hard to beat. The Firebirds won the ANZ Premiership in a pretty thrilling game against NSW – we won by one goal in basically the dying seconds – then following up in August with the World Cup in Sydney. To win in our home country in front of family and friends… it was just an incredible moment.”
Why do you think the current Australian team is so formidable?
“When you step into the Diamonds for your first time, it’s an intimidating environment because the team just expects the absolute best and utmost of each individual.
You think you’ve given everything to every team you’ve been in beforehand, but being in the Diamonds it requires more of you as an athlete. That’s the thing that spurs everyone along. It’s also just really enjoying being on the team and getting to do what we love to do.”
As captain, do you have any rituals or techniques for keeping your team motivated?
“A lot of people ask how hard is it to be a captain of a national sporting team. It’s actually one of the easiest jobs, because you’re working with a group of exceptionally professional women who do everything they can to be the best athletes they can be.
As far as boosting the team on court, in my role as a defender I probably see it as taking an intercept or stepping up in crucial times [and] leading by example. Away from the court, I suppose it’s just living and breathing and executing those team values we have and we try to live by.”
During a game, what’s your internal monologue like – are you pepping yourself up, or just reacting to the game?
“I have always had the thrill of the competition – I love to win, I love challenging situations and high pressure moments. I do get quite fiery, I suppose, but more of that aggression is towards myself, and giving myself a bit of a ‘pull your finger out and do something to change the game’ [talk].
At the same time I like to keep things very simple and not overthink what I’m doing. I play on instinct and anticipation, and if I get too bogged down in the technical parts of the game it usually has a negative effect.”
I read that your love of netball start with a pair of shoes…
“My elder sister came home and mum had bought her a pair of Asics netball shoes to play a season in. I remember looking at them and just thinking they were the most amazing shoes I’d ever seen. I couldn’t wait to sign up for netball in the hope that I would get a pair of shoes that looked like hers. And from the first game I played I just absolutely loved it. I couldn’t get enough.”
What do you look for in a pair of netball shoes when you’re shopping at rebel?
“The sport is very demanding. When you’re going from full pace to a sudden stop you need to be wearing the right footwear. I like a shoe that’s relatively light, that’s not too big and heavy – you’re on your feet and moving so you want to feel agile. And just to have that support around your ankle is exceptionally important to avoid rolling it. I’ve always gone for the [Asics] Netburner Professional, which has always been a great shoe.”
What’s the best life lesson you’ve drawn from the game?
“I was such a shy individual growing up, but the netball court and my team were this comfort zone where I just felt encouraged, empowered, and inspired. That was from my first game when I was 13, and I still get that feeling when I step on court with my current team. I feel like I’m contributing to something so much bigger and better than just myself.”
Was there a particular sportswoman who inspired you early on?
“Watching Cathy Freeman running the 400m at the Sydney Olympics was a bit of a turning point for me. Watching her overcome something that was obviously a huge ordeal and achieve one of the most wonderful things for her country – that made me feel as though I wanted to achieve something wearing the green and gold.”
What advice has stuck with you throughout your career?
“I was told from my dad at a very young age to just ‘do your best and forget the rest’. It really strikes a chord with me – get out there and have a crack, and forget all the other stuff that can sometimes come into our head. I refer to that a lot when I’m walking out on court.”
What sportswoman inspires you and why?
Here are some more great shoes to kick off your netball career:
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