Girls Varsity Squash Co-Captain Migyu Kim ’25 Creates an Inclusive Environment Where Teammates Can Grow

From her first time picking up a racket, to matches with the athletic center’s elderly members, to becoming Co-Captain of her current team, Migyu Kim ’25 has managed to not only improve her skills as a squash player, but hone her ability to lead and foster a supportive team environment. 

Growing up in an area without many opportunities to pursue squash, Kim had to learn self-discipline at a young age. Kim would often have inconsistent training partners and coaches, leading her to be adaptable and self-motivated on and off the court.

“Every single time that I get a coach they all have different styles and different techniques that I have to adapt to. Also, it helped with my self motivation because there weren’t other kids around me to really make me feel competitive or motivated. It definitely helped me think about and be committed to my own goal and continue to work towards it,” said Kim.

Kim now takes her internal motivation and uses it to inspire her teammates. Shreya Bajaj ’23 noted how Kim’s pre-match talks, along with how she leads by example, help each individual on the team grow.

“I think it’s very much setting a good example and then motivating us all as a group. She works really hard on the court, and is always very present in practice [which] gets us to also do the same. She also gives lots of words of encouragement and motivational talks before games,” said Bajaj.

According to teammate Christina Yen ’24, Kim practices how she plays. Kim shows up present and focused while also bringing positive energy to every practice.

“After our coach mentions a drill, she might add a few more details about what we could focus on and she’s very good at giving advice to people. She’s also really positive, always an upbeat kind of person. Whenever she’s on the court, you can definitely see that she’s focused, that she has a purpose. It’s very easy in practice to just go through the motions of things, but I think that whenever she’s at practice, she’s always very attentive, and there’s a plan about how she’s going about doing things,” said Yen.

The transition from a mostly solo career to a team at Andover allowed Kim the opportunity to develop her 

collaboration skills and bond with others about squash. Kim hopes to continue fostering an environment for a connected team that is built on a foundation of trust.

“For me, when I came here freshman year, I had never been in that environment where it felt so supportive, and trusting in such a small group of people. Because we’re a team of eight, it really allows for a lot of closeness to be built among the teammates. I just want to continue making sure that everyone’s positive, and looking after each other, and showing up for one another,” said Kim.

Despite only being a Lower, Kim has already made an impact on the team. Bajaj recalls how Kim’s genuine care for her teammates’ well-being creates an inclusive environment where everyone feels accepted and heard.

“Before practice, she’ll talk to all of us and ask us how our day is going, so that just creates a sense of community and like belonging on the team. During warmups and stuff, she’ll talk to us, we’ll do circles while we’re stretching, and she’ll ask us to go around and say one thing either that we’re going to work on in the upcoming match or something fun that we did over the weekend. That just makes it so that we all feel like we belong on the team,” said Bajaj.