Any young netballer aspiring to become a leader has the perfect role model to follow in Australian Diamonds and Queensland Firebirds captain Laura Geitz, according to Leading Teams founder Ray McLean.
Having watched Geitz develop as a leader over the past 12 months, McLean said her overall leadership qualities sets an example to netballers of all ages.
“The most important thing is not to get carried away with the title as captain,” McLean said. “It’s making sure they behave in a way which is about leadership.
“Netball been a sport where the captain has typically been your best player. Obviously they’ve got to be able to play well but I say to young players coming through, concern yourselves with being a good leader first.
“I know that Laura would be absolutely thrilled and love the idea that she’s captain of her country. But I know she understands it’s her leadership responsibility that is first and foremost.
“What would be a really useful lesson for young netballers coming through is to say what sort of behaviors should we be expecting from one another, and how can we model these within our team?
“Things like being satisfied to do the team things first, working hard, encouraging others – which Laura does particularly well – and asking `can I influence people in a really positive way?’ as she’s done.”
Geitz has now captained Australia in 18 Tests for a staggering 94 per cent winning record, including to this year’s Commonwealth Games Gold Medal and the first ever clean sweep of the Constellation Cup series against New Zealand.
McLean was delighted to see Geitz recently recognised at the Women’s Health magazine’s `I Support Women in Sport’ awards for her leadership but said those accolades don’t define how she goes about her role.
“She’s really focused on her leadership and people are starting to see, more externally, that she’s got some really good attributes,” McLean said.
“I think she’s got a really good balance between that calmness and supportive side, where she can reason with people and she listens and she maintains good relationships across the group. But I’ve also seen her be quite demanding around the standards the team requires.
“That might be things like grabbing the group after a training session which hasn’t gone as well as it could and really putting it to the group that `we will do better than that tomorrow’.
“I’ve worked with a lot of leaders over the journey and she’s certainly in the top group.”