Bringing New Ideas to Athletics

The Athletics Department also constantly adjusts what is offered to athletes through addressing student concerns to increase interest and participation. Teams such as Girls Thirds Basketball started with a small group of players and has grown into a vibrant and popular team, while Hotchkiss Ultimate, added in 2004, has emerged as a New England powerhouse. Smith said, “We’re always aware of [interest levels]. We are never locked into certain numbers or levels.”
In addition to the focus on athletics, strengthening and expanding non-athletic co-curricular programs is also a key aspect of the school’s current Strategic Priorities plan. Co-curricular offerings allow students to explore new interests, pursue established passions, engage with peers in different settings, and connect with local communities.
One way in which the school plans to improve students’ experience is by offering greater support and training to advisors. This enhanced relationship will help students “create, try new things, fail, and persist.”
Students serve in vital leadership positions throughout the school, including as team captains on a variety of athletics teams.
The school is working on offering a number of different ways in which team captains can train for and develop in their role. Mr. Danny Smith, co-director of athletics, said, “[Captain is] a bigger position than people realize. Those are the [people] students look up to…and see as role [models]. They…welcomed you to Hotchkiss and made you feel part of something special.” Additionally, Ms. Robin Chandler ’87, co-director of athletics, noted an important resource, the Captains’ Handbook. Chandler said, “[It] includes how to take responsibility for one’s team and teammates, how to effectively communicate, how to offer and earn respect, as well as the importance of taking care of oneself. We are also currently working on creating a more comprehensive program for our team leaders.”