Andover Girls Squash Head Coach Deborah Chase leads the team with contagious energy and a willingness to learn. Though tennis is her primary sport, Chase brings over 20 years of experience coaching JV squash teams at various boarding schools.
In her first year leading the Varsity team, Chase has prioritized building stronger relationships with her players. Chase also looks to help her players locate and address areas of their game that can be improved upon.
“[My main coaching strategy] was really building team camaraderie. Kind of a healthy, driven, culture, getting them to know me. And what we focus a lot on is our strength as a team and helping each other recognize our strengths, recognize our weaknesses, [and] work on our weaknesses. And every single day, try to get each other better and try to learn and think of what we do. We talk a lot about, ‘How am I going to learn from each match?’” said Chase.
Co-Captain Migyu Kim ’25 believes Chase is reflective of her efforts to increase her involvement with the team. Chase is always available to fulfill the needs of the team and its individual players, according to Kim.
“She’s always communicating, supporting, and lifting the team up. She’s just so involved with everything. She’ll lead us with warm-ups, with the drills and everything. Even when she has other commitments, she’ll always make time for the team and her attention is solely on us. I really appreciate and respect that. Anytime I have something on my mind, whether it’s about squash or outside of it, she’s such a trusting person and a great listener with amazing advice I can turn to,” said Kim
With prior experience under Chase’s leadership on Andover’s JV1 team, Shreya Bajaj ’23 continues to appreciate Chase’s cheerfulness and enthusiasm. Though her expectations have changed in the transition to the Varsity level, Chase remains considerate of athlete health, both physically and mentally.
“I feel like her general style has remained the same in the sense that she’s very enthusiastic. She brings a ton of energy. She’s very chill and easygoing and very bubbly. That makes practices really fun… She’ll always begin practice with a little talk in a circle where we go around and say how we’re all doing, but she also expects us to work hard,” said Bajaj.
Christina Yen ’24 appreciates Chase’s open mind and willingness to learn more about squash, despite tennis being her main sport. Through her modest attitude as a coach, Chase has allowed herself to become a very approachable leader, according to Yen.
“She was actually very quick to recognize that there are some areas that she may need to receive a little bit more support on. In that way, she’s very humble and very accepting. Sometimes one of our teammates may be explaining certain things to her, and she’s okay with that, which is very much a shock. Because sometimes, with coaches…they think they know everything, but she was actually very quickly adapting to new information,” said Yen.
Chase pushes the team to play and act in a way that it can be proud of when reflecting back. Since the team has only lost three times this season, Chase looks to maintain the team’s sense of confidence in preparation for high-stakes games in the postseason.
“Our goal is to achieve the highest standard of squash while conducting ourselves to the highest standard of sportsmanship, each day of practice and each match that we have. And whether we win, whether we lose. I want them to be proud of themselves as they walk off the court. We’ve done incredibly well. We haven’t lost to a team that is just below us. We’re coming up to our big tournaments. And so really looking forward to testing ourselves against some teams that are as competitive as us or tougher,” said Chase.
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