In his second year coaching Andover Girls Water Polo, Head Coach Howie Kalter ’07 applied experience and expertise to lead the team toward significant growth. As a Coach, Kalter strives to make each member of his team the best version of themselves by the end of the season.
“We had a slow start to the season. The team persevered and remained positive despite an unbalanced win-loss record. The season had a memorable ending with the first win in two seasons over Hopkins and a very close game with Deerfield,” said Kalter.
New to the team, Sahana Manikandan ’26 appreciated Kalter’s efforts to create a supportive team environment conducive to learning and growth. Kalter ensured that new athletes felt welcomed and were able to adapt to the game’s pace and strategy.
“Most of our team was new to water polo or had minimal experience. Yet, by the end of the season, the improvement was clear. After getting to know each other better, we were able to communicate much better and smoother. Additionally, the team understood our teammates’ individual strengths and weaknesses and were able to help each other and grow based on that,” said Manikandan.
Kalter believes that it is crucial to prioritize proper training, conditioning, and skill development in water polo.
“The thing that draws me to water polo the most is its complexity. The sport is physically demanding as well as strategically complex. As a result, the team has placed a strong emphasis on training and cultivating a cohesive team dynamic,” said Kalter.
According to Jackie Li ’23, the team is extremely satisfied with its progress in the pool, in great part due to Kalter’s guidance. While Andover’s 1-10 record may not show it, the team improved throughout the season and gained invaluable experiences, according to Li.
“Regardless of how much we scored or how the games we played ended up, I think, at the end of the day, our team has always been happy with our performance. While this didn’t mean that we were complacent with our results, it meant that we were appreciating the immense growth that we had undergone. In the past few weeks, we’ve played several close games with Exeter and Deerfield, and even managed to secure our first win [against Hopkins on Senior Night], something we couldn’t even do with our Captains last year who had many years of water polo experience,” said Li.
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