Friday, December 3, 2010

Player Profile: Paul Settles

Paul Settles
Paul Settles, the current coach at Claremont Mudd Scripps, is participating in many events for this weeks tournament. For him, this sport is really a family event, where everyone can get involved. He has quite the history of tennis, including captain of the tennis team at University of Pennsylvania and even playing abroad in the U.K. Tennis is important to him, and he really wants to see others succeed in the sport, just as much as he wants himself to succeed.

Racket- Head Radical U Teach Oversize
String- Half Solinco Tour Bite and Half Solinco Barbed Wire
Tension- 57 lbs.
Location- Claremont, Ca

I just recently heard about Solinco String! How do you like playing with it?
I love it! I use the 18 gage Tour Bite and the 17 gage Barbed Wire. I actually have the patterns switched on both my rackets. So, for one racket the Barbed Wire is the mains, and for the other racket the Tour Bite used for the mains. I think that the Tour Bite used for the mains puts more on the ball, but I wanted to try both patterns out.

How was your experience at University of Pennsylvania?
It was awesome! I grew up in Southern California for my whole life, and I desperately wanted to go to UCLA. Unfortunately, I wasn't quite skilled enough to play there, so I headed somewhere that actually wanted me and had a good mix of academics and athletics. 

And then you went to England?
Yes, I extended a year of my collegiate tennis in graduate school. I attended Cambridge University, and was able to play there. Actually, in the UK there is 7 years of eligibility for collegiate tennis. Also, it was great because we got to play most of our matches on grass courts.

What did you learn from your collegiate tennis experience?
It was my first introduction into leadership training. I really feel it equipped me to be a college coach. As captain at University of Pennsylvania, i felt responsible for the whole team. By the time I reached graduate school, I was more comfortable leading by example.

What advice would you give to fellow tennis players?
Keep it fun. Competition can be stressful but fun. I have cherished memories competing with family. I really believe people should take the approach that this a lifetime endeavor. So many times junior players feel so much pressure from the game that they give it up entirely. They are really missing out on a lifetime of benefits. 

What was your proudest moment of your tennis career?
I would say winning my 1st gold ball with my dad at age 30, and winning my 2nd gold ball with my wife. It was really amazing to win two national championships with people really close to my heart.

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