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April 24, 2020
Enthusiastic Player Helps Elevate Others
By Nick Dunivant, Junior Development Coach
It wasn’t more than 3 months ago that 8-year old Payton Eastman started lessons at ICT. She participates in our Cities Academy Orange Advanced group, which meets 2-3 days per week. When I first met Payton, it was very obvious that she was capable not only of being a great tennis player, but also of being a great leader for her group. Whenever I see her she always has a smile on her face. You can tell that she wants to be there, spending time with her new friends and learning about a sport that she loves. Although she was learning and picking up all of the tennis incredibly quickly, I don’t think that is what impresses me the most about Payton.

To me she exemplifies exactly what ICT is all about. Not only is she learning more and more about tennis, but she has consistently made a positive impression on everyone she’s around. By setting a good example, she has helped others in her group elevate their games. She has made new friends, found a new love for tennis, and, most importantly, made an impact on every other kid's experience because of her endless enthusiasm.
Almost as soon as Payton brought her always smiling and giggling attitude into the group, I saw a massive change in the way other kids in the group approached tennis. On a consistent basis I saw them become more excited, more focused, and overall more involved in the group than I had in prior months. Payton brought a spark to the group that made everyone have more fun - and not just the kids, but also the coaches!

I think Payton exemplifies what ICT tries to teach people of all ages. Not only do we try to teach tennis, but we also try to build kids up to be leaders in their communities both on and off the tennis court.
InnerCity Tennis is proud to be a 4-star chapter of the USTA Foundation’s NJTL network, which includes more than 250 nonprofit youth development organizations that offer free or low-cost tennis and education programming each year.
 
InnerCity Tennis is a 501c3 non-profit. If you would like to make a tax-deductible gift in support of our youth programming, please visit www.innercitytennisgive.org
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