Editor’s Note: Green and Gold is Junior Tennis Champions Center’s school newspaper. The monthly publication is managed by Mackenzie Clark, a student-athlete in JTCC’s full-time school. The following is an excerpt:
The Attitude of Gratitude
By: Mackenzie Clark (14 years old)
We all have the same daily schedule: wake up, go to school, play tennis, repeat. It sounds pretty
simple right? It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own lives. But everyday behind the scenes, there are people that help us by providing the tools that we need to get through each and every day. Our parents, for example, do so much for us that many times, we don’t even realize their effort or sacrifice. They give us a home, food, clothes, gifts, love, and for the most part, anything else we need. They make sure we get to school and tennis every day. They spend many hours traveling to and watching us at tournaments. They do everything in their power to prepare us for the real world. All in all, being a parent is a job in itself. Many of our parents work outside the home as well. They don’t get paid to take care of us; they do it because they love us. So don’t they deserve to be appreciated for all that they do? Sometimes the power of two little words can mean the world to someone; thank you. Being grateful is such an important thing. The more grateful you are, the more other people may go out of their way in offering more of their support. Perhaps your expression or act of gratitude might inspire someone else to do the same. Kind deeds
tend to inspire all of us to pay it forward.
There are numerous ways we can express gratitude, many of which could be demonstrated here at the JTCC. We may think that we as the players have a grueling schedule, but most times, our coaches are out there on the courts for a much longer period of time than we are aware. They come to work everyday intent upon helping us to become better tennis players and ultimately better people. They spend many of their weekends watching us at tournaments as well. They spend time off the court planning our training and communicating to our parents. This is valuable time that they are not spending with their own families. Let’s all remember to thank our coaches after practice and to always treat them respectfully and keep in mind the sacrifices they make for our benefit. The more gratitude we show, the more the coaches will want to help us to improve! Our acts of gratitude will make them happier and happy coaches lead to happy players!
The more grateful we all become, the more we will realize how truly lucky we are. We are so incredibly lucky compared to other kids in places around the world. While we train at an elite training center and go to great schools, there are so many other kids that do not have access to the opportunities or things that we take for granted each day. Let’s also remember to keep our school area and our playing environment clean and orderly. We should be grateful that we have such a wonderful place to train and therefore we should want to do what we can to maintain its condition. So, while we sit down and enjoy the wonderful dinner our mom or dad just cooked for us, or when we are playing the sport we love, remember to be grateful. I guarantee that we will all start to have a more genuine outlook on life. We will start to appreciate the little things even more.
Our training here at the JTCC is a long journey. We need to remember that it is about the process not the end result. If you don’t enjoy the process and be grateful for the opportunities you’re given now, you may look back and have many regrets. By seeing how lucky and special we all are, we can be happier and have a greater outlook on life. We must make it a habit to always thank others for going out of their way to help us, and to always be grateful for what we have been given and what we have achieved. We also might see that we become more respected by others due to our gratitude. Before you know it, this time we have here will soon be over but we will always be left with the relationships we made, the friends we may have for life, and the person we became as a result of being a competitive athlete. Appreciate the little things, and great things will come.