Although Co-Captain Kian Burt ’24 is younger than most sports captains at Andover, he has proved himself just as worthy. With guidance from his older brother, Aidan Burt ’21, Burt has learned what it means to be a good leader for the team.
Burt said, “We don’t have any Seniors on the team this year, which is unfortunate, but it’s also a great thing because we are a very strong team in my opinion. And I think as a Lower, I’m able to connect with the [Juniors] but still able to communicate with the Uppers. I feel like being in this middle position just kind of makes me like a medium [between everyone on the team]… [My brother, Aidan, is] definitely very smart about his tennis game. Last year, he was definitely an inspiration for me and the whole team and quite literally, like a role model. We’re fortunate to have him as an assistant coach this season, which is very nice.”
According to Ethan Wong ’23, the relationship between both of the Burt brothers has contributed to Kian Burt’s success as a co-captain, given the Burts’ experience with playing on the team, knowing its people and the coaches.
“Because his brother was here, and I guess he is really close to his brother, being on campus and hitting with solo players and meeting the coaches, really helped him lead because of his experience with the team and because of his knowledge of the team. Additionally, he is very mature for a Lower, so I guess his maturity really, I guess, helps him understand what the team needs to do and how he needs to lead.” Wong said.
Burt used to view tennis as an entirely individual sport. It was not until he came to Andover that he focused on the team aspect of it, as he first-hand got to experience the warmth of his team’s cheer on and off the court.
“Tennis was more of—or at least like competitive tennis—[was] more of an individual thing. You go compete individually in tournaments around New England, I did a couple of those… I think at least freshman year I was playing tennis, my brother was a Senior and captain. It was a very different experience to be able to play with teammates and to hear them in the middle of a match. You win a play and then across the court, someone starts cheering for you. That’s a very different feeling than a tournament, where you’re by yourself on the court. It’s silent. I think that aspect made me appreciate that.” Burt said.
According to Burt, he as co-captain strives to support the team by being an encouraging presence and offering assistance when needed. Despite his current injury, Burt continues to lead as an encouraging presence to his teammates.
Burt said, “I try to be there and motivate people and just be a constant presence when I can. I mean, these past couple of weeks I’ve been injured, so I haven’t been able to be as active as I would like, but definitely what I intend to do [is be there for the team.]… [I strive to] connect with all the players and just offer them advice or anything they might need.”
Kevin Niu ’25 agreed with Burt’s emphasis on being a constant presence for teammates. Niu stated that Burt is extremely helpful to everyone, particularly Juniors, but generally to all members of the team, regardless of grade level.
Niu said, “He gives tips to all three [Juniors] on the team or if he sees something or anything, he’ll just tell us encouraging cheers. But the biggest thing is I’ve always noticed him giving tips to everyone.”