In 2009, Kim Patrey started playing tennis with a group of women she knew from church. She didn’t have a sports background and, when Kim first started playing, she truly felt that she was “absolutely horrible.” As time went by, Kim signed up for clinics and started using the ball machine. She also found a singles ladder at Millbrook Tennis Center, which started her love for playing singles. “As with many players just starting out in tennis, I got the ‘tennis bug’ and my life revolved around tennis. I had 3 small kids and I really needed an outlet and something to call my own. My kids are now grown and one even played tennis for four years in high school. I have been so lucky to meet a great group of women that I consider lifelong friends. My goal is to be like the seniors who are out early in the mornings at Millbrook. Tennis truly is a lifelong sport,” says Kim. Since Kim started playing tennis, she has been part of many teams that have gone on to compete at States multiple times including Women's 3.0 and 3.5, Mixed 6.5, 7.5 and 8.0, and 3.5 summer singles. In 2010, Kim got started being a USTA League captain by her mentor, Gwen Coyte. According to Kim, Gwen was the only captain that let a 2.5 player play up on her 3.0 team. Kim was a singles player and Gwen told her she didn't care if she won or lost. She encouraged Kim over the next season to give captaining a try. Since she began captaining, Kim has captained over 56 teams! And this doesn’t even include the RTA Winter League teams she has captained. For the USTA League, Kim has captained 3.0, 3,5, 4.0, Tri-level, and Mixed 6.5 and 7.5. This season, she is even a non-playing captain for a 2.5 team. “I will happily be a non-playing captain for teams that either don’t know how to captain or just don't enjoy it as much as I do,” says Kim. A good captain is always looking for strong players to join their team. During a singles match one season, Kim played against a very strong opponent in Cary. She ended up winning the match and afterward asked her opponent if she played tennis in Raleigh. Lucky for Kim, she joined her team the following season and she still remains a good friend. “If you ask anyone on my teams, I am always on the lookout for fun players and people who love tennis as much as I do,” says Kim. Kim is grateful for all the players that have been a part of her teams; they are the reason she chooses to continue captaining. Thank you to the coaches out there that saw a glimmer of spark and helped me find a way to be fierce and passionate about tennis. Kim’s favorite "tennis" philosophy is: “Play fierce and keep moving forward. You only have three seconds to be angry or happy with your shot. We all love to win, but always make sure you are having fun!” We couldn’t agree more, Kim!
Some photos of Kim and her teammates!