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Kathy Sell Feature

Monday, April 13, 2009


Kathy Sell became head coach of Princeton University's women's tennis team in 2004 after spending two seasons as assistant coach at the University of Oregon. A 2001 graduate and former All-American at Duke University, Sell was the first female recipient of the university's Athlete of the Year Award in 2001, which she shared with men's basketball player Shane Battier.

The sister of Michael Sell, the lead national coach of men's tennis for the USTA, Kathy was recently chosen as one of four coaches to lead the USTA Men’s and Women’s Summer Collegiate Teams, an elite training program for the top American college tennis players in the country. She recently took time from her busy schedule to answer some questions for You played your college tennis at Duke. What is one of your best memories from your years in Durham?

Kathy Sell: College was such a great experience for me! One of my best memories would have to be playing in the NCAA Team Championship Finals my freshman year. What did you learn from your college tennis experience there? How has it shaped your coaching philosophy?

Kathy Sell: I learned how to compete, how to win, while I was a college player. Duke provided me with the best possible environment to learn how to win tennis matches. In junior tennis, I spent most of my time developing technique and discipline with all aspects of my life. I was very consumed by establishing a work ethic and by the typical junior player concerns: doing well at the sectional level, qualifying for nationals. Once I arrived at Duke, my single focus on court was to win. I learned quickly that the best college players were those who wanted to win the most and who prepared that way; I tried to make sure I was one of those players. I had A LOT of fun on court in college and am most proud of the fact that I improved each year that I played at Duke. As far as my coaching philosophy, I’d have to say I rely on both the attention to detail/discipline I learned in juniors and the competitive spirit of college to shape my decisions.

To read the rest of the USTA's College Spotlight with Princeton women's tennis head coach Kathy Sell, please click here.