Inside the Mind of a Manager: Axel Bhandari ’19


Robin Chandler ’87

Axel Bhandari ’19 carries water bottles onto the field alongside forward Maggie Hatch ’21.

Axel Bhandari ’19 is a four-year Senior and two-year manager of the Varsity Field Hockey Team. In the winter, Bhandari plays club puck, and was a captain of Boys JV Lacrosse last year. Alexandra Bowman ’21, a Varsity Field Hockey team member, said, “He has had a major impact on this team through working with the goalies, making long bus rides enjoyable, and keeping the energy up on the team.”

Why did you first get into managing?

[Before I] got into managing, I was trying out for Boys Varsity Soccer, and I [could] tell I had no future on the team. So I started assessing my options, and I saw that [Varsity Field Hockey was] looking for another manager. Managing gave me the opportunity to try something different. When I was at [Greenwich Country Day School], Amanda Bohnsack ’98, who had been a part of Hotchkiss Field Hockey as a player and coach, told me stories about how special the team was and how much it meant to her. So, when there was an opening for manager, I didn’t pass it up.

What are your official duties as a manager?

[Before practices] I fill up the water bottles,  get some ice bags, and warm up the goalies with Mr. John Virden. Halfway through the year, [Assistant Coach Robin Chandler ’87] watched me warm up the goalies and realized that I was incompetent with a field hockey stick, so I had my field hockey stick privileges revoked. I had to shoot on them with my lacrosse stick, which was fun. During practice, I’m just there for moral support, picking up the balls, and bringing [the players] the water bottles when they need them. On game days, I sit at the table so I can’t get too rowdy and make sure that I’m tallying up all the stats correctly.

How would you describe your experience?

It was a really fun time. It was really great bonding with a lot of people that I was friends with before, but I didn’t really think I’d be that close with. 

What kind of sacrifices have you had to make?

The sacrifices that I made, besides the postseason, was nothing I wasn’t used to. Because of lacrosse and soccer, I’m used to traveling around for games. And as for the tournaments, [they were some of] the most fun nights of my time here. Even though I had to stay at school for an extra night, it was worth it. We ordered food and played manhunt and sardines. We found out that I could fit myself inside of a music wing locker, which was fun.

What kind of advice would you give to those considering managing?

I’d say just do it. For someone who thought they were going to be a soccer player in high school, making the switch to managing field hockey was something I was pretty hesitant to do, even if I didn’t seem hesitant. But it’s been a great experience. You become really close friends with the team and the coaches, and just become part of a new team, a new group of friends, [and] a new family.