A Q&A with Madi Robinson

Tiarne Swersky - April 23, 2017

Ahead of Sunday's game against the Giants, we caught up with Magpies Netball captain, Madi Robinson to talk about her Easter break, the mindset of the team & her role as captain of the Collingwood Magpies Netball team. 

All images are courtesy of Getty Images.

TIARNE SWERSKY (TS): YOU'VE JUST COME BACK FROM YOUR EASTER BREAK. WHAT DID YOU GET UP TO?

MADI ROBINSON (MR): I went down the coast to Lorne and spent the week with family. It was really good to get away and get out of the city. It was great to chill out and go to the beach. I still got in a bit of training in, but just to have that mental and physical refresh was really good for me.

TS: HOW'S THE BODY & THE MIND FEELING?

MR: I think the break came at a great time for us. We had some sore bodies and some fatigued brains. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster the first few rounds of the season and it was just great to have a bit of time off to reset. Monday’s session just showed that everyone had utilised the break really well and came back ready to work.

TS: KRISTY SAID THE BYE HAD COME AT A PERFECT TIME FOR THIS TEAM. WHAT'S THE MINDSET OF THE GROUP HEADING INTO THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON? 

MR: We know how crucial every game is. We know we want to start winning consecutive games and continue to work together. That fourth spot is highly contested so we know we need to work hard to secure our spot.

In the lead up to the game against the Giants (who are on top of the ladder) – I feel confident and I feel like the group has a great mindset to take the competition. We want to let the first half of the season be what it was and aim to bounce back stronger in the final few rounds.

TS: WHAT WERE SOME OF THE POSITIVES TO COME OUT OF THE FIRST EIGHT GAMES?

MR: Looking back, a lot of the games were pretty close, which shows we were always in the contest. Going back and reviewing the first eight rounds, the coaches identified that a lot of our losses were due to us turning the ball over at crucial times, rather than us being outplayed – which is a real positive because we can work on that internally.

Caitlin Thwaites has had an amazing start to the season and we need to make sure we keep creating opportunities for her to put those scores on the board. We’ve had different rotations; we’ve tried different players. I wouldn’t be surprised if we show more versatility in the second half of the season.

We’ve been a bit stagnant in some of our movement and plays this season, so I’d love for us to show that we can be unpredictable and create some real headaches for our opposition.

TS: TALK ABOUT SOME OF YOUR YOUNGER TEAMMATES WHO YOU'VE BEEN IMPRESSED BY SO FAR?

MR: I’ve loved watching Cody Lange come back from injury – I know what it’s like to fight your back from a serious knee injury and it’s really tough – so I’ve been really impressed by her attitude.

Alice Teague-Need has had a tough start to the season in not performing the way she probably would have liked, but she is still young and learning.

When we’ve had those honest conversations about how as a team we want more from each other, I’ve been so impressed with their approach to the feedback and how they’ve applied it. Everyone is willing to learn off each other and to grow together which I’ve loved watching and being a part of.

TS: WE HAVE A BIG GAME IN SYNDEY AGAINST THE GIANTS. WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THAT GAME?

MR: I’m so excited to get back onto the court. Last time we played them, we lost, so I’m looking to getting out there and hopefully getting the win. They’ve had a bit of a change in their attacking line up with Kim Green going down, so that will make things a little different.

I feel really confident in this team. We’ve had a great week of preparation. Mentally, we all feel refreshed. Physically, our bodies feel strong. All of those little things that we’ve been working towards are starting to fall into place and become automatic.

The vibe and energy as a group is really good. We’re ready to head up to Sydney and make a few rumbles against the top team in the competition.

TS: THE WEEK AFTER, WE HEAD DOWN TO TASMANIA FOR THE 'FESTIVAL OF NETBALL'. HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO BE ABLE TO SPEND A WEEKEND WITH OUR TASSIE FANS & PLAY A HOME GAME AT THE SILVERDOME?

MR: I think it’s an incredible opportunity. We’re in Tassie from Thursday to the game on the Sunday. The fans will get a taste of what it’s like to have the Collingwood Magpies in town. We’ve got a clinic, an open training and some great events. I think the Tassie community will just love it.

I was lucky enough play for the Diamonds in a test match in Tasmania and we absolutely loved it. I hope the Silverdome is filled with black and white. The Tasmanian supporters are really vocal and you can feel their support behind you.

I can’t wait to see them all and meet them. I think the way the weekend is planned is awesome – and they’ll just love it. And getting a win down there would be the cherry on top!

TS: THIS TEAM HAS MANY LEADERS, BUT AS CAPTAIN, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO CONTINUE TO MOTIVATE THE GIRLS WEEK IN, WEEK OUT?

MR: You’re right – there are a lot of leaders on this team. In my position, I try to empower the girls to utilise their strengths. It doesn’t all fall on my shoulders though. If we need a pep talk, Sharni Layton is the person that will rev up the team. Likewise, April Brandley and Kim Ravaillion will speak up when they need to.

It’s a collective effort and we all try to make sure everyone feels valued. I may have the title of ‘captain’, but we are all equal and we all motivate each other.

One of our mantras is ‘no passengers’, and we make sure we all contribute to that. Everybody knows their role. At the start of the season, everyone tried to find their voice and find where they fitted in the group, but it’s something that has gradually fallen into place as the season has gone on.

We all get along so well of the court. That chemistry hasn’t necessarily translated onto the court as quickly as we would have liked, but it’s coming together and we’re working on it everyday. I love being the captain of this team, but I love that everyone contributes to the motivation and leadership of this group even more.

TS: OUTSIDE OF YOUR TEAMMATES AND COACHES, WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR MOTIVATION FROM?

MR: Definitely from my fans and family. I’m also very self-motivated. As an athlete, you want to be the best and having that self-drive is a massive positive for me.

Working with the younger girls and seeing them grow as people - not only as players – has been incredibly motivating me this season.

Being apart of this great club and being in this environment where you are surrounded by great athletes, facilities and great support staff all the time, it’s hard not to be motivated and to try to be the best athlete you can.

TS: LASTLY, TALK ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THE MAGPIE ARMY.

MR: One of the best things about being at Collingwood is the supporters. You feel that love and support all the time. It means so much to us as a start-up team in this competition to have a fan base who want to join us on this journey.

We are trying to build something on and off the court, and they have helped in creating the legacy we want to build here at the Magpies.

To the fans, thank you for your patience. Thank you for your support. It’s a journey and we’ll ride it out together!

RD9 MATCH DETAILS - Magpies Netball v GWS Giants
Sunday April 23, 1pm
Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park, New South Wales
Available on Telstra TV & the Netball Live App