Casey McClure, a tennis instructor at McLean Health and Racquet Club is a person who can make anybody smile or giggle. "He's really goofy and he can always make us laugh. He makes tennis so much more enjoyable," said 11-year-old Cayla Komarow, a student of his. McClure, a Langley High School graduate, has been teaching at the club for 14 years.
"I really like working with kids because they have no inhibitions and so they just have fun," McClure said. McClure's lessons are a mixture of teaching basic tennis skills and games that hone those newly learned skills.
McClure began playing tennis when he was around 7 years old. His parents signed him up for basketball, and he did have fun, but when he tried tennis that summer at the McLean Hamlet Swim and Tennis club, it clicked.
"Basketball was good and all, even though I had no idea what I was doing, but with tennis I was just like, 'Yeah, this is fun!'" said McClure.
After that summer, McClure continued playing. When he got older, he began playing mid-Atlantic and national tournaments on the weekend. Growing up, McClure spent around two or three hours after school playing.
"I usually did tournaments on the weekends because I unfortunately had to go to school," joked McClure.
When at school at Langley, McClure was very involved in the tennis program.
"MY FONDEST MEMORY of playing tennis in high school was when we won districts and regionals. We even went to states, but we lost in the semi’s," said McClure. "I think that that was Langley's first regional tennis title."
After graduation, McClure attended Ohio State University, where he played on the tennis team until he graduated. After graduation McClure started competing in the satellite tennis tournaments, which are semi-professional, but then decided to stop.
"I started playing a little too much and got a little burned out. It wasn't fun anymore so I stopped," said McClure.
He then proceeded to take a year off from competitive tennis and just play for fun.
Once he got back to McLean, McClure started doing some advertising work. Soon afterward, co-worker Sally Carey offered him a job teaching tennis at the McLean Health and Racquet Club. McClure had never considered teaching before, but he took the job, seeing it as a fun thing to try out. Why? "Real jobs aren't that much fun!" said McClure.
"This job is great because I get to joke around with kids, help kids with tennis, and get a little exercise," said McClure. "I'm really glad I stuck with my tennis, and I wouldn't have been able to do that without my parents. They always supported me, and without them, I wouldn't have been where I am today."
McClure's students are equally blad he stuck with it. As McLean high school freshman Sasha Komarow said. "He's the best tennis teacher in the world."