Throughout her 29 years of coaching Andover Field Hockey, Head Coach Kate Dolan has amassed three Nepsac titles in ’93, ’15, ’16, and is hoping to win her fourth this year.
Before she began her coaching career, Coach Dolan played Division-I field hockey and lacrosse at University of New Hampshire. According to her, her perspective on the importance of having a positive attitude has transformed since then.
“I think over the years it has become more and more clear to me that the most important things in the game of field hockey are not necessarily the physical skills like hitting the ball or stopping it but rather confidence, communication, toughness, heart and a relentless desire and willingness to give your very best, maybe even a little more, because of how much you love your team,” said Coach Dolan.
Coach Dolan’s athletes recognize and appreciate her upbeat mentality, according to Ashley Tucker ’18.
“I think Kate definitely puts a lot of emphasis on the team, like how we treat each other and our chemistry as a team, which I think is very important and helps us on the field. That obviously just makes the season a lot more fun,” said Tucker.
Josephina Caico ’19 said, “It’s Kate’s main goal to make sure we’ve had the best time being a part of PAFH, being a part of a family we could never forget. Not only does she teach us about the fundamentals of the game of field hockey, but she always has a way of connecting it to the fundamentals of life.”
Coach Dolan puts her whole effort into assuring that her players both love the game and love each other, according to Caico and newcomer Marisol Nugent ’20.
Caico said, “Kate puts her full heart into everything. Of course she wants us to succeed, but also she wants us to enjoy being a part of PAFH. She loves us so much, and we love her too.”
Nugent said, “She has a lot of heart. I really like that because I feel like in the past I’ve had coaches that weren’t as involved and are just there to be there, but she’s really involved in every aspect of our team.”
Coach Dolan emphasizes that the success of a team depends on each player’s dedication and selflessness.
“Field hockey is a total team sport. You need every team member to be willing to sacrifice, to be committed, and to give her all for the good of the team,” wrote Coach Dolan in an email to The Phillipian.
Tucker said, “It means a lot to her and you can tell from the way she coaches that she’s not just there to move onto the next thing, I mean obviously she’s been there for a really long time, so you can tell how important it is to her, and I think that makes a big impact.”
The team appreciates Coach Dolan’s open mindedness and understands that each player must take their own initiative to put in extra time for field hockey, according to Caico.
“Kate wants us to be the very best athletes we can be, so she encourages us to work on our skills and overall fitness on our own. She emphasizes the importance of consistency with practice. She even told us that when we’re watching TV, we should dribble with a stick and ball during the commercials.” said Caico.
According to Coach Dolan, there is always room to improve, but, in the end, she wants each player to leave the season feeling satisfied and with sense of belonging on the team.
Coach Dolan wrote, “[My goals for the season are] for the team to continue to improve and learn from every experience, for every girl to know her contribution makes a difference and in turn, for each team member to appreciate what their teammates add and bring to the team, and mostly, when all is said and done, for each girl to say at the end of the season, ‘I am glad I did that, I am glad I was a part of that team.’ ”