Chris Lengthorn dedicates his career to pursing two simple goals: to bring squash to the people and help them achieve whatever their definition of success may be. After rising up the ranks of the junior squash circuit in England, earning spots in the Top 10 in England, Top 32 in Europe, and playing in the Premiere Division in college, Chris fell in love with the intersection of the philosophy and psychology of sport. His Master’s thesis focused on talent identification and development in youth, using emotional and mental traits as key performance indicators to determine excellence.
Chris spent the next several years as a Development Coach for England Squash, setting up squash programs in schools. He then moved on to be the Head Coach at the National Squash Center in Manchester and eventually started his own business starting up squash programs and organizing tours around the world to watch and play squash. Bringing squash to the people. All while playing semi-professional tournaments.
In deciding what was next, Chris jumped at the opportunity to come to the United States to be the performance coach at Fairmount Athletic Club in King of Prussia.
On Coming to Shipley
“I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to start from a blank canvas in a brand new facility. During my interview, I started talking about my philosophy on coaching, not knowing I’d basically described Shipley’s mission statement and vision. Since that day, I’ve never felt like I worked for Shipley, I work with Shipley. The program has a vision, the School has a vision, everyone is just in harmony. And it breeds success.”
“I believe it’s all about the athlete and what journey they’re on. It’s about being supportive and giving them independence. Sport is a direct reflection of your life and what you’re dealing with, positive or negative. I can teach students skills on a squash court that will help them for the rest of their lives. I genuinely believe that I’m helping our Middle and Upper School students navigate life through the vehicle of squash. I call it the ‘rocky road to success.’ I teach students how to manage setbacks and overcome adversity through hard work, discipline and resilience.”
“I’m the coach they need me to be. I’m constantly thinking, ‘How can I get the best out of you today?’ I want our students to be happy and healthy and to help them achieve whatever their definition of success may be... My biggest career accomplishments come from knowing that I’ve had an impact on their lives.”
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.