Boys Squash, Player Profiles

Athlete of the Week: Dong Woo Kim ’18 Pushes Teammates to Perform Their Best

Sean Kim ’18, a three-year varsity squash player, has proven to be a valuable asset to Andover Boys Squash with not only his relentless work ethic, but also his passion to challenge the team to perform its best. He was awarded the Most Improved Player Award by the team in both 2016 and 2017, which he achieved by always pushing himself to become a better player. Additionally, he was ranked third in the High School Team Division III in 2017, with a 4-0 personal record.

How did you start playing squash, and how long have you played it for?

I would say I started playing squash when I got to Andover. The first time I ever picked up a squash racquet was in middle school. It wasn’t until after last season that I started training seriously for squash.

What is your favorite thing about squash in general?

Squash is like chess on feet. You don’t have to be the fastest or the strongest to be good at squash, but I guess you need to be mentally disciplined. I also love that while I find myself to be the smallest player on the football or lacrosse field, I have a size advantage over most squash players, which I can use to my advantage.

What do you like most about playing with Andover Boys Squash?

We have a very competitive team, especially this season, but Andover Squash has always been about competition within the team. Especially this year, we have about five or six players who could play anywhere on the ladder, and that really shows our depth in our squash team. I love the fact that I always have at least five or six guys that I can play competitive squash with at all times, unlike many other squash programs that only carry a few high-level squash players. 

What do you do to prepare before a game?

My matches are very long-lasting given the way I play, so I always eat a lot of food prior to my matches. I love to eat Ritz Crackers and coconut water as my pre-game snack. 

What tactics do you employ on the court to win?

I try to make up for my lack of experience and skill in squash with my drive and will to win. That usually means most of my matches are filled with long-lasting points in which I only focus on retrieving the ball with good length and not making any mistakes, rather than trying to hit attacking shots to win points. I think that this approach is very unique and is different from how most other high school players play squash.

What are you going to work on throughout the rest of the season, and what are your goals for this season?

I am looking to work on my fitness and strength on the court. By the end of the season, I want to be at the point where I can play two to three consecutive matches in a row without getting tired.

What advice can you give to people who want to start playing squash?

Squash is a really fun sport and a very easy sport to pick up. It’s especially fun to play with friends. More people at school should try out squash!

Dec 15, 2017