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Nichols College Grad Kara Donati Climbs The Ladder To Assistant Coach

Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 12:58PM
Nichols College Grad and Boston Shamrocks U16 Assistant Coach Kara Donati

By James Murphy

Kara Donati's job description with the Boston Shamrocks is ever-evolving. Since being introduced to Shamrocks owner Bob Rotondo when she was a 12 year-old.   She's gone from being a shooter for goalies at his PuckStoppers goalie camps, to running errands and helping out around the rink, to an Administrative Assistant and now the recent Nichols College grad is helping behind the bench as Assistant Coach of the U16 team. The Saugus, Massachusetts native isn't sure what's next but she knows she has built and continues to build a wealth of experience under the mentorship and tutelage of Rotondo.  "I wouldn't be where I am today if not for Bob," Donati said.

In fact, Rotondo and Donati know each other so well, they even have their own text lingo. If Rotondo texts 'hello?' that means 'where are you?' and if he writes 'coffee?' that means wherever she has, she better bring some java back for the Shamrocks boss! Where she is now though is in a new role she really enjoys and that's helping develop young teenage girls become better hockey players and more importantly, better people. While Donati and the players she coaches would love to win and score in every game, Donati knows that's not the primary goal as a coach with the Shamrocks. Instead it's making sure all of the players continue to build their skills and develop as a person so they're ready for the next stage of their careers and lives.

"We have a lot of players who are just like me at that age, where you make a bad play, come to the bench and you shut down," she pointed out. "So I'm constantly reminding them 'Hey you did good on the shift and here's one small thing you can work on next time you're out there'. That shift's over and build towards a new one. You build their confidence the best you can. They are only 14, 15 and 16 years old and playing at this level, so you help them along so that when they go to college, they've built and developed these skills they can use later on."

That being said, wins never hurt and with their first two wins of this young season under their collective belts (6-3 vs Washington Pride on October 6th and 2-1 vs Newbridge Academy on October 7th), team and individual confidence is trending in the right direction.  "We've definitely been improving," Donati said. "We got our first two wins, so that was big for the girls. We were lacking a bit of confidence so that will really help in terms if getting some wins and really playing better. We added so many new players on to the team and really everyone is clicking now."

Donati and the Shamrocks U16 squad will try to build off that momentum as they face both teams again this weekend with a doubleheader against Newbridge at Warrior Arena in Brighton, Mass. Friday and then play the Pride again at Allied Veterans Arena in Everett, Mass. on Saturday.