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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Men’s tennis assistant coach instills professional mindset into Wichita State team

Lee Frank
Chad Kissell, the new assistant tennis coach, feeding balls on Sept. 7.

A professional tennis player ranked inside the top thousand in the world joined the Wichita State men’s tennis coaching staff last month.

Chad Kissell, who is 994th on the most recent Association of Tennis Professionals men’s singles ranking, approached head coach Darragh Glavin during a tournament in Wichita over the summer to ask if he could become an assistant coach for the Shockers.

“I still play a little bit, but I don’t want it to be my main focus anymore, and I wanted to pursue coaching,” Kissell said. “And I thought, right here in Wichita would be a perfect opportunity for me, and the coach saw it that way as well.”

Kissell’s sister, Joelle Kissell, joined the Wichita State women’s tennis coaching staff last year. Kissell said his prior knowledge of the team and professional experience have helped him hit the ground running in the new role.

“I think just having experience and knowing what a full day of training is if you want to be a professional tennis player, I can help evaluate some of the players and help give them tips and just see where they need to go,” Kissell said. “I’m still fresh, and I still feel like I can give input and just try to help them transition from college to pro if that’s something that they want to look into.”

He said that mental toughness and motivation are the two aspects of the game that he can best teach to the team.

“You look at even the guys at the top level, a good win percentage is 60%,” Kissell said. “You have to get used to the feeling of losing, because it’s impossible to win every single match … I think that if you can accept that failure comes, and you’re not going to let failure dictate the way you work on and off the court, you’re going to achieve far greater things.”

Kissell said that he will still compete in professional tournaments in the summer and fall, but wants to start transitioning away from playing and more towards coaching.

“I thought, why not try to still play a little bit but also get my career moving forward,” Kissell said.

Despite winding down his playing career, Kissell believes that the new perspective of coaching will also help him achieve more competitive success.

“I’m analyzing the game a lot more than I ever had, just watching the guys seeing what they can do,” Kissell said. “I think now when I go into matches, it’s like no matter what position I’m in, I kind of just know the second you get down on yourself, you’re just going to crumble. So regardless of the circumstance, just trying to always stay positive and have a killer mindset.”

The coach thinks that the Shockers should compete for conference tournaments and can be ranked in the top 50 in the nation by the end of the year.

“I think Wichita is a good setup for tennis,” Kissell said. “The climate is good here, and we have a lot of good players on the team already.”

The Wichita State men’s tennis team opens their season on Sept. 9 with the ITA Tour: Fall Circuit at the Coleman Tennis Complex in Wichita.

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About the Contributors
Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh, Assistant Sports Editor
Jacob Unruh is the assistant sports editor for The Sunflower. He is a junior at Wichita State, majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. This is Unruh's first year on staff. He goes by he/him pronouns.
Lee Frank
Lee Frank, Former photographer
Lee Frank was a photographer for The Sunflower.

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