Participants had the opportunity to learn from former top-ranked professional tennis player Kay McDaniel, the director, and her capable staff of instructors.
“Over 30 extraordinary instructors taught at my clinics this year,” said McDaniel, “each not only served tennis but passionately served the love of God to every participant. We had 300 kids who participated this year from ages 6-13 and from varied skill levels.”
McDaniel shared inspiring stories of how she overcame difficult obstacles in sports and in life. From age 11, she dreamed of becoming a professional tennis player. Her first tennis racquet was a Green Stamp racket which McDaniel collected over 10,000 stamps to obtain.
Her mother sewed all her tennis clothes until age 15 when top sponsors, such as Fila, Adidas, TAIL and Nike sponsored her tennis career.
An early setback for McDaniel was the death of her tennis coach, and later an injury threatened her pro career until God miraculously healed it, McDanield said.
McDaniel went on to realize her dream by competing at tennis’ top tournaments, the Grand Slams, for six years against legendary players such as Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf. She rose to the top 35 in the world in singles and held a No. 20 world ranking in doubles.
McDaniel, an assistant professor at Lee in the health and exercise science and secondary education department, inspired greatness in all her participants.
Her tennis clinic receives rave reviews every year from parents and kids alike. Participants from over 20 cities traveled to play in McDaniel’s tennis clinics this year. And remarkably, the clinics were free to each participant.
“I love that Ms. Kay visits each court to share her talent and advice to the kids up close and personal,” said one participant’s parent. “My son really looks up to her and her great choice of instructors.”
Another parent said, “All the kids received fun instruction, team building skills, character development and biblical values all in a warm community environment. All my kids greatly look forward to Ms. Kay’s clinics all year!”
Prizes were given throughout the week, and an exciting awards event was held on the last day of the tennis clinic. At the Clinic, Lili Brown received the “Most Attended” award, attending clinics all eight years.
Mikayla Horton and Peyton Griswold received the “Most Improved” award. Aubree Tullier and Matthew Keylon won the “Most Christ-Like” award.
Raylee Evans and Jordan Lumpkin received special awards for “Most Promising.” Lumpkin received a tennis racquet, and Evans received a tennis skirt that McDaniel wore during her professional career.
The “Most Inspiring Head Instructor” was Loes Riggins, and the top “Junior Instructor” was Grant Yost.
McDaniel’s theme this year was based on the story of Noah in Hebrews 11:7. McDaniel shared how Noah exemplified why “it’s never been done before” should never stop us from doing what God asks of us. She stated that the clinic always emphasizes “dreaming big, setting small goals, faith, expecting obstacles–but pressing through them all.”
Kay McDaniel’s tennis clinics fill up very quickly. Those interested in signing up for the June 3-7, 2013 tennis clinics, go to www.kaymcdanieltennisclinics.com.
The first opportunity to register a child is June 9-21. The next opportunity is April 1-May 25, 2013. The first 300 are accepted and then a waiting list is kept.