Kerry Clay

Kerry Clay

My first pick of Captain of the Month in January 2012.  Kerry was the captain of three teams this season Longshots”, “Team Clay”, “Net Therapy” . All of these teams included beginning players. As many remember when they started out, this is a really important time in a player’s development, as it can set the tone for how they approach our sport forever.
Encouragement – Professionalism – Leadership. Those are the words that repeatedly described Kerry. Wow! Thank you Kerry for all your hard work and for your part in promoting tennis in Virginia Beach.

Here is what Kerry’s teammates say about her. She truly is inspiring.

I would like to nominate my captain Kerry Clay for the spotlight. I am new to the Longshots and feel compelled to write about Kerry. She is truly a gem! I was a 2.5 and she brought me on board seeing the potential that I had to play good tennis. She encouraged me and made me feel welcome on a 3.0 court. There were weeks I would lose and be discouraged but Kerry would be there on the sidelines giving me a smile or nod that all was well . She has become more than a captain – she is a friend who lifts us all up and is proud of each and every one of the Longshots.

I would like to nominate Kerry Clay of the “Longshots”, “Team Clay”, “Net Therapy”, to receive recognition as a great captain. I don’t know if there is anyone with a bigger heart. Kerry stepped up to take the reins of our team just about three years ago after a group of ladies met at a morning tennis clinic at Owl Creek. I cannot explain how but a group of very diverse women came to clinic, hit the ball, laughed at ourselves and cheered each other on each week and became lifelong friends. She has “recruited” new players over these last couple of years to join us in our adventure and each has added great game and personality to our team. We each have benefited from Kerry’s leadership … not just paper pushing and registration wrangling but encouragement on and off the courts. She is our guide. She is a counselor (on the courts and in our personal lives), coach, confidant and cheerleader. Her warm smile and a hug when this “Chicken Patty” has been nervous just stepping on the courts has been a big part of why I have stuck with it even when my confidence has waned. We have trusted her to make decisions for us as she is a great judge of character. Kerry has kept the integrity of our team intact as we have invited members to join us. There is nothing easy about making decisions, some very difficult, for the good of a team but our Captain has done this time and time again. A true leader.

She is professional when she deals with the business of our tennis team, prodding us to sign up, getting the balls for matches, setting line ups, keeping track of our standings, attending meetings and speaking for us as a group of women who want to play.

She commands the tennis court. She can be fiercely competitive, not just for herself, but for all of us. She never lets this interfere with the nature of our team. We play to win but when we don’t, we still celebrate each of our personal learning experiences and successes, individual and as a team as we have FUN on the courts. We are a handful, no doubt about it, and Kerry manages us with grace and patience and kindness. She is a full time professional, wife, Mom of three, volunteers at her childrens’ school, coaches their teams. I get tired just thinking about all she does.

I love my Kerry, I think you can tell. And, love our Longshots. You know we have fun. We absolutely enjoy each other’s company and get stronger as women and as a team all the time. This all starts at the top. Kerry deserves recognition and a “spotlight” on her life in appreciation for all her good work for this crazy bunch.

I would like to nominate Kerry Clay, captain of the Longshots, to be chosen to spotlight. I can’t say enough about Kerry to give her the recognition she deserves. Kerry is an amazing captain. She leads and we follow, no questions asked. She is the glue that holds this team together and I couldn’t imagine being a part of another team. We celebrate EVERYTHING. A win, a lose, just being a team, it doesn’t matter. But without a doubt we should celebrate the fact that we are lucky enough to have Kerry as our captain.

Not many people can step forward to fill a volunteer position that requires corralling grown women. 6 years ago I met an amazing woman thru a mutual friends. Kerry was always gracious, kind and a pleasure to chat with yet neither one of us knew each other past a birthday party or BBQ. 3 and a half years ago I signed up for a ‘Tennis in No Time’ class with a friend. I was pleasantly surprised when Kerry Clay showed up on the court and thought to myself, “this will be nice”. Boy is that the understatement of the decade!

While Kerry works a full time job and juggles 3 children she graciously (no one else would) stepped forward to Capt this team of mix-n-matched women, thrown together by chance. Not only has she set an example and standard for Captaining a tennis team she has become my best friend and greatest mentor in life. Kerry leads with dignity and soul. Win or lose her encouragement and dedication to our team shines forward.

The ‘Longshots’ have not just developed into a tennis team but have become a force to be reckoned with, we attribute this to our Captain Kerry Clay who believes in and supports every one of us. Not to mention with a giggle… she puts up with all of our shenanigans.