Despite starting his career as a high school swimmer, Head Coach Dan O’Shea quickly developed a passion for the sport of water polo. He now serves as the Head Coach of both Andover Boys Water Polo and Andover Girls Water Polo.
Outside of Andover, O’Shea boasts an impressive list of accomplishments: he played Division III water polo at Connecticut College for four years and founded a club water polo team in Newton, Mass. in an attempt to nurture the sport in an area where it was not popular.
O’Shea gravitated towards water polo because of his natural talent as a swimmer and his desire to play a team sport.
O’Shea said, “Swimming was fun, but it is not the same as a team sport. I liked the engagement and the strategy aspect of [water polo]. I liked the physical aspect as well. Overall the sport was a lot more fun in my opinion.”
Today, O’Shea continues to enjoy playing water polo. He currently plays on a competitive club team known as the Boston Wet Sox. O’Shea said, “As a player, I like the competitiveness of the game… It is also a good time playing with people my age. It is relaxing and enjoyable.”
With a wealth of experience in both playing and coaching water polo, O’Shea brings an immense amount of knowledge to Andover. Due to O’Shea’s talent and experience, the team highly respects his guidance and advice.
Daniel Tran ’17 said, “He has years of experience under his belt, and it shows whenever he demonstrates to us new skills. He really knows the ins and outs of the game and we wouldn’t be where we are right now, in contention for a playoff spot, without him.”
“Coach has had so many years of experience and you can just tell that he knows what to do. He is always running drill specified to our needs. He also runs drills so that we can counter our opposing teams well. He is such a smart player and coach and he has helped us grow greatly,” said Eric Osband ’19.
Ryan Sedagat ’19 added, “Coach runs really realistic drills and this is probably because of his experience. These situations come up in games often and when they do we are ready.”
Because of his many years as an Andover coach, O’Shea also knows how to prepare his team for matches against each specific competitor in the league.
Tran said, “To prepare for matches, Coach walks us through the strengths and weaknesses of the team we’re facing. He really knows the league well and can easily adjust our game plan to exploit the other team’s weaknesses.”
O’Shea also makes sure to emphasize improvement and progress. After losses, he lets the team know what it did well and what needs work in order to improve for future games.
Tran said, “We usually dedicate some times to go over what we did well and what we could’ve done better in the previous match, and we also spend time during the week watching film.”
O’Shea has aided Andover’s growth on a weekly basis and played a huge role in its success. Under O’Shea’s guidance, the team is sitting at four wins and four losses and appears to be a strong contender for the 2016 playoffs.