Competing in numerous regional and national tournaments as a representative of New England, Andover Boys Tennis Co-Captain Aidan Burt ’21 spent years working on his technique before coming to Andover. More recently contributing to Andover’s Nepsac championship win during his Junior year, Burt has continued to grow as a tennis player in his high school career. Now as a co-captain, Burt leads the team with his willingness to help others and strategic mentality.
According to Burt, the individual aspect of tennis and strategy-based matchplay are why he loves the sport.
Burt said, “As tennis is an individual sport, it is a lot about problem-solving. There is no one out there on the court, it is just you and your opponent. You have to be calm and collected and figure out in any given match how to apply your strengths to the opponent’s weaknesses. It is almost like a puzzle and that individual mental side of tennis is something I enjoy a lot.”
Head Coach Leon Calleja notices Burt’s calm and collected disposition and acknowledges its value to the team. According to Coach Calleja, Burt’s attitude is also something that the younger members of the team wish to emulate.
“Aidan has stable leadership, very organized, very strategic. [He is] one of the first people to give advice on strategy to other players. He’s our number one on the team, so everyone looks up to him in a way that is meaningful. He is a really great model for all the kids,” said Coach Calleja.
According to Burt, not only has he served as a role model and leader by example, but his ability to supply his teammates with knowledge and support them with encouragement is a crucial factor of his leadership.
Burt said, “Tennis-wise, I think I have a very good understanding of the game. I always try to help my teammates focus on very specific, targeted things to improve. When my match is over, I walk around and coach a lot of the players as they are playing. Not only technical advice but … encouragement too is something that I bring to the team as a captain.”
According to Jeremy Liao ’24, Burt is someone his teammates look to for guidance and his inclusivity and helpfulness make a significant impact on the team environment.
“I think Aidan is generally really organized, and he knows what he’s doing. I think that he’s looked at how some of the people on our team play, and he’s given helpful advice on things they can improve on [and] things they can work on in practice. So I think that’s helped everyone improve their game,” said Liao.
More than anything, Burt is satisfied that he and the team were able to experience a season this year. According to Burt, his return to the sport and personal perseverance through Covid-19 were what impressed him most this season.
Burt said, “I guess, coming back after a long break and being able to resume the grind [is what I am proudest of this season]. Still being able to finish a full season with no injuries and playing the whole time was an accomplishment in and of itself. Especially because after [Covid-19], a lot of places closed down and I wasn’t able to play as much or train over the summer. [So], first of all, just being able to play some sort of a season, and second, being able to compete at the best of my ability was an achievement for me.”
While Burt is undecided about his collegiate tennis career, he is confident that he will continue to play at least at a recreational level in the coming years.