Shae Brown talks about her new leadership role, recovery from her surgery & life away from netball.
Leadership comes in many forms.
For Magpies mid-courter Shae Brown, it’s all about setting a good example for her teammates.
After being elevated into Collingwood’s leadership group, Brown is ready to step up and inject her style into the 2018 season.
“I think my role will be varied at different stages of the year, depending on what is most important at that particular time,” Brown told Magpies Netballthis week.
“I just want to keep a positive energy among the group, make sure that we’re all on task and really hold everyone accountable to what we stand for.”
With the new appointment comes new responsibility.
And making sure everyone’s voices are heard is her first priority.
Brown’s first call of action will be to draw on the strong bonds she’s built throughout her career.
“My ability to be the glue is really important.”
“I have a lot of really solid relationships with all the girls, from the really young ones to the older ones; the girls that spend more time off the court than on; the girls that are representing Diamonds and the girls that are not.
“I really want to make sure I can keep everyone connected.”
With a diverse mix of leaders on the Magpies squad, Brown says she’ll rely on and turn to different players throughout the season.
“I’m constantly inspired by people like Alice (Teague-Neeld), who some people might not see as a leader, but I really do.”
“She’s courageous and just goes about her business, which I think is really important.
“Then we’ve got people like Caity (Thwaites), who has always been the spiritual leader of the team.
“She’s hard when she needs to be but is always there for you.”
But perhaps the former West Coast Fever star’s greatest motivation comes in long-time teammate and best friend, Ash Brazill, who provides that stability both on and off the court.
“She’s probably one of the best leaders I’ve ever had the privilege to be led by, especially when she was a captain at Fever.”
“She’s someone I lean on, on a personal level, and I’ll continue to look to her for support this year too.”
While Brown looks to emulate her teammates’ leadership qualities in season, she is just as passionate about life away from netball.
Currently in the United States for work, the 28-year-old wants to showcase the benefits of maintaining a healthy balance.
“I’m really passionate about making sure all the girls are encouraged to do things outside of netball, making sure they’re balanced athletes.”
“I think having balance in your life is really important, to both the athlete and the athlete’s performance.”
Having already devoted herself to full-time work outside of netball, Brown is excited for what’s to come.
“I’ve taken the off-season to really do all the ground work for those other things that I’m passionate about outside of netball, so that when we go back in to season, I’m really in control with both of those things.”
“I’m absolutely loving it, and it makes me really excited about my future when I do eventually retire.”
The change of pace comes at the perfect time, with Brown now back on her feet after undergoing surgery for plantar fasciitis eight weeks ago.
“It wasn’t something that was going to hold me back, but it was getting uncomfortable towards the end.”
“I woke up from surgery and it was just an instant relief, so I’m really glad we went through with it.”
While the Magpie Army eagerly awaits the return of Suncorp Super Netball, the extended break is a blessing for Brown.
“We’re really lucky that we don’t have any time pressure.”
“I probably could’ve rushed it a bit if I had to, but because I’m in that fortunate position of not having to get back for pre-season until the start of November, I’ve just been taking my time with it.
“I did my first run yesterday, which was pretty light but it was just good to get my feet moving again.”
When the time does come for Brown to take the court, she intends to keep pushing the boundaries and developing her ability to rotate between multiple positions.
“I think the best thing I can add to the team is variety in the positions that I’ll be able to play, and it’s something that I want to keep as a strength.”
“There’s not many players in the league who can say their two favourite positions are Goal Attack and Centre.”
After accepting the challenge to play in a new role at this stage of her career, Brown says the best is still yet to come.
“It’s something I’ve spoken to Kristy (Keppich-Birrell) about, and will keep challenging me next year, which I think is going to bring my best netball.”
“Times that by not being in pain every single time I step on the court, and I’m really looking forward to a solid year.”