Despite spending the first half of the season out with a serious injury, Mikki Austin has still been a massive part of the Storm squad.
We spoke to her for an exclusive Q&A on a number of topics!
Mikki on; making a comeback:
It was always the plan to get back into it for the second part of the season. I sat out the first six rounds of the season to give myself the best chance of seeing out the next bit.
How has it been training with an injury?
“I’ve been trying to maintain some level of fitness while not being able to run. It hasn’t been really hard as I’ve been through this process before with my knee, I know what to expect.
“But for me, rehab is really hard because the harder you push yourself in rehab the easier it is when you reach the actual playing side of things.
“That’s the sort of mentality all of us have been taking and luckily all the SSP guys have been brilliant and the physiotherapists and all the support staff have been amazing. Hopefully we should be in a good place.”
How has it been just watching from the sidelines?
“I’ve been through this process before, taking time out for a knee injury. I guess for me, it’s a lot easier to be involved in and around it than to be away from it.
“Even though I can’t run and I wasn’t able to play, it was still really important for me to be at every session to be in and around the team environment.
“I was still there to look and learn and structures and know the stuff that was going on between the team and still be a part of it. There’s still coaching input I can give and give the team advice and help in any way that I can. So it was really important for me, and kind of a no brainer, to still be a part of it and go to every single training session.
“At the start of the season there was a fair new crop of teammates to integrate and those of us who have been in and around Storm for quite a while now, we’re quite an integral part so it’s really important that we’re still contributing and helping to keep that cohesiveness going. ”
There have been really tight games all season with Storm finally getting the win before the break. What is the team working on before the season restarts?
I think that’s just the way the league is, I don’t think you can anticipate that any matches are going to blow out anymore and there is no such thing as an easy game.
In this break we have really been working on solidifying our style of play and what we can bring to the table.
Obviously, Sigi got the call up for the Commonwealth Games which is amazing for her and she’s killing it over there in terms of shooting percentages. When we get her back home we can hopefully work her into what we’ve been doing.
Obviously, we all followed the Commonwealth Games and saw Sigi do an incredible job over there, what did you make of her performances?
Sigi is showing even in our league that she’s an absolute world class shooter. It was great for her that she got the call up to represent South Africa and it just shows how hard she’s been working here behind the scenes that she was just able to slot in seamlessly and put out the performances that she has done so far.
I had a look at the Commonwealth Games stats list that they released and Sigi is sitting third top out of all the shooters in the whole competition in terms of her shooting accuracy.
She was mentally and physically prepared for that call up if she needed it and fortunately for her she got that call.
“Props to her for just staying prepared and staying linked in and it’s paid off for her. It’s just phenomenal stuff and obviously we are so proud of her and are just so glad she’s on our team.”
So now that you’re finally making a comeback, do you have any pre-game rituals?
I don’t have any exact rituals but certainly coffee is part of my pre-match routine, certainly music.
Other than that, it’s just the standard. Making sure that everybody is linked in and we know what our jobs are and to be honest, I’m just looking forward to putting on a dress.
I’ve been there for every game and in the changing rooms before every game and watched everyone else suit up and put their dress on and as much as I’ve still been able to be part of it, I haven’t been able to do that part.
I’m just looking forward to hopefully getting the opportunity to do that and getting into the match to be able to put that dress on.
You can watch the likes of Mikki Austin and Commonwealth Games star Sigi Burger and England Roses’ Beth Cobden at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday June 23rd as Surrey Storm and Loughborough Lighting compete for the Netball London Live crown!
Tickets for Netball London Live are on sale now at netballlondonlive.com!