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Koren Torre recently finished her first season as a coach in the Old Saybrook girls’ basketball program. Koren, who lives in Deep River and teaches history at Old Saybrook High School, served as a freshman head coach and was also a JV and varsity assistant for the Rams. (Photo courtesy of Koren Torre )
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Koren Torre had never seen the basketball court through a coach’s eyes before this year. However, Koren stepped right into the coaching game during the winter season and made an immediate impact on a growing Old Saybrook girls’ basketball program.
Koren, a Deep River resident, grew up in Woodbury and competed for the girls’ basketball team at Nonnewaug High School. Now a history teacher at Old Saybrook, Koren joined the Rams this winter and served as head coach for their freshman girls’ basketball team, as well as a JV and varsity assistant.
“This was my first coaching experience, so I was really excited for the position. I was excited, because I had only been on one side of the game until then,” Koren says. “I had been talking with [Head Coach Steve Woods], and he asked me about my interest in coaching. He assured me he would take me under his wing. He taught me so much about coaching.”
Koren knows it’s important for student-athletes to have an enjoyable experience while they’re competing. Along with the fun factor, Koren wants her players to display great spirit as they represent Old Saybrook on the court.
“My main thing is for them to just have fun while playing. I know I had fun when I played and always looked forward to practice. If you aren’t having fun playing, then it’s not worth it,” Koren says. “I also want the girls to learn to be dedicated and have a lot of spirit. The freshman team was a spirited group this year. My motto is to just have fun with it.”
Koren is in her sixth year teaching in Old Saybrook. As a coach, Koren appreciates that she has the opportunity to build bonds with students in a new setting.
“It’s been a different connection with the kids as a coach,” says Koren. “I’ve gone from Ms. Torre to Coach Torre with them, and it’s great to build these new relationships with the kids.”
Defense dominates Koren’s agenda as a freshman-level coach. Koren is a big believer that staunch defense fortifies a team’s formula for success. She wants her athletes to grasp that concept as they work their way up the Rams’ ranks.
“Defense is important to me, because it wins you a lot of games, so I’ve worked on being good defensive players with them,” Koren says. “I’m tough on them when it comes to defense, and we focused on defense in both man-to-man and zone.”
Coach Woods says that Koren features all the necessary attributes to be a top-notch mentor both on and off the floor at Old Saybrook.
“Koren has excellent knowledge of the game and is an outstanding communicator with our players. She was a point guard in her high school playing days, and she really understands team play on both offense and defense,” says Woods. “Koren is an exceptional teacher with her history classes due to her organization and clarity, and she brings these attributes to the gym, as well. She has great passion and energy, but also is very helpful at making great decisions at crucial points during games.”
Koren is looking forward to learning more about coaching as she works her way through the early stages of her career. She’s already eager for the next campaign to get underway.
“I’m really excited to learn more about how to coach. It was a totally different experience for me being on the bench,” says Koren. “I look forward to coming back next season and learning how to be a better coach.”
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