After playing for Minas, Sheilla is now helping the team from a coaching staff role

Sheilla Castro is enjoying the 2021-2022 Brazilian Superliga from a new perspective. After being one of the stars of the league with five different clubs, the two-time Olympic champion is now working on the sidelines as an assistant coach at defending champions Itambe Minas.

After playing for Minas in 2019-2020, Sheilla sat out of the following season as she attempted a return to the Brazilian national team. Ahead of 2021-2022, the club invited her to be one of its ambassadors in a recently-launched programme to help athletes transition to new duties after they retire. And that opportunity has taken her different ways off the court.

“The club's doors were always wide open and it was great when they invited me to be one of their ambassadors,” she said in an interview to Brazilian website Globo Esporte. “The idea is that I get to experiment different areas and see where I’m a good fit. I first spent some time in the marketing department but moved to the coaching staff ahead of the start of the Superliga.”


Sheilla is a member of Minas' coaching staff during the Superliga (Photo: Minas Tenis Clube)

Her experience as an assistant coach is still limited, but the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic champion may already have identified the next steps in her career.

Sheilla has been working with the staff of Italian coach Nicola Del Negro and has been enjoying the opportunity to learn from experienced coaches and share her tremendous experience in the sport with the team’s younger players.

“I really realized how much I enjoy teaching and working with younger athletes,” she explained. “I’m trying to learn more about skills I wasn’t that good at, so I can help the players learn them as well. They trust me and I want to do my best to be in a position to help. I’ve been spending a lot of time with (21-year-old opposite) Kisy (Nascimento) and it’s been fantastic to see her improve. The coaching staff has been amazing and working with them has generated some new feelings in me. I’m loving it and it really feels like that’s where I want to be.”

Besides trying to help Minas retain their Superliga title, Sheilla will also be with the club when they compete at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship in Ankara, Turkey from 15 to 19 December.

After that, she’ll have what could be her final playing experience, when she competes in the second season of the Athletes Unlimited Volleyball League in the United States. At the age of 38, Sheilla knows the end of her long and storied career is close and is hoping the experience in the American league will help her figure out which direction she should go in.

“The idea is that I go there and return to Minas ahead of the Superliga playoffs,” she explained. “And then I guess it will be time for me to find out what I really want to do.”