Girls Tennis Head Coach Deborah Chase’s main mission is to blend the individual aspect of tennis with a more team centric approach. By promoting and emphasizing the core values of togetherness and unity, Chase looks to impart upon her players the same love for the sport that she found during her childhood.
Coach Chase notes the importance of mutual respect among both the players and the coaches alike. She believes that appreciation and positive energy are something critical to the foundation of the team and something she strives to embody in her leadership.
“Hopefully, I [bring the team together] by treating everybody with the same respect no matter where they are on the lineup and with the same kindness and I have the same expectations for the number one on the team and number nine on a team as far as work ethic and the respect that they have for the game. I think, as best I can, I try to make everything about the team and not about individual wins. But we win as a team, we lose as a team. We also do activities off the court as well. You know, things like coming to my house. I encourage the captain’s to focus on team unity as well,” said Coach Chase.
Co-Captain Ananya Madurri ’23 touched on Coach Chase’s ability to connect with players on a personal level. Madurri thinks of Coach Chase as someone she can always count on both on and off the court.
Madurri said, “I admire her calmness and composure throughout this entire term of like, random matches because of you know, Covid and all this stuff. She’s like a little second mom to me, she’s always checking on us every day so I love it. I love everything about her.”
Fellow Co-Captain Nicole Lee ’22 shared a similar sentiment to Madurri, noting that Coach Chase is as helpful as she is reliable. She pointed out how Coach Chase helped nurture her into the captain she is as well as provides technical tips to improve specific areas of her game
Lee said, “I’ve really learnt so much from Coach Chase. I have been fortunate to be on the team since my [Junior] year. And I think the things that she’s taught me and the values that she’s instilled in me have all been in preparation to take more of a leadership role on the team, now being the senior captain. Of course she teaches us technical or tactical strategies for when we get out there and play, but she really showed me the influence I can have on the team because I think as a freshman, I didn’t see that in myself. Having her support at all times through everything, not just tennis, has been super amazing. She’s always someone I can turn to for everything.”
Coach Chase does her best to get the best out of others. She believes that oftentimes, players may not feel confident or feel like they can perform, but part of her hope as a coach is to guide every player along their own path and get the most out of themselves.
“I try to be challenging, encouraging, motivating, and, you know. Like I know what I do, but I try to get them to see the best in themselves and to work on to focus on one or two things in their control and to set measurable goals, short term and long term. I just keep encouraging them, and help them find pathways to be their best selves,” said Coach Chase.
While she certainly does acknowledge the tribulation that the last couple of years have brought, Coach Chase doesn’t want it to get in the way of her players achieving their goals and hopes that as the season progresses, the team can work together to achieve them.
Coach Chase said, “I try through mentorship and through words and actions and following through and making sure that I know the needs of the players. We’re all focused on that we know what our goals are, and that we, you know, do our best to work together, this year, especially with so many people being in and out with different illnesses and injuries.