One of the greatest motivators for young people and adults alike, at least from this amateur philosopher’s perspective, is an attitude in which you appreciate what you have and realize that many others are not as fortunate. I know that sounds very basic and maybe even a little corny, but in coaching this generation of middle and high school boys in lacrosse, I have come to the sad conclusion that most middle class and upper middle class kids don’t truly appreciate what they have, whether it be natural athletic ability or a comfortable home to sleep in every night. They take things for granted, and as a consequence, they don’t work as hard or they show up on the field with an attitude of entitlement that, quite frankly, irritates coaches like me beyond belief.
Every now and then, though, you come across a story that really illustrates the “appreciate-what-you-have” attitude. Recently, my oldest son pointed me to an ESPN clip on YouTube that every teacher, coach, and administrator should consider sharing with students, especially if you think they need to start appreciating what they have.
If your eyes don’t well up a bit when you watch this, well, then you just don’t get it. Here it is:
A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.