When I first started in collegiate strength and conditioning, one of the unique things I noticed was after every workout, many of the women's soccer players would thank me. It kind of caught me off guard at first, as I had never been thanked by an athlete after having just pushed them through some pretty physically demanding work. I also, as an athlete, had never really thought to thank a coach post-workout or practice (maybe after the season, but never during)... yet, the more I think about it, however small it is, the simple gesture can go a long ways.
Right now, I specifically know each athlete who genuinely shows their appreciation for your help. And I know that when I am coaching those particular athletes, I consciously up my coaching 'game'. Reflecting, I also realize I subconsciously elevate my coaching performance because of the strong sense of reciprocity I feel from these particular athletes. I've noticed there's great power in reciprocity.
This is just one of the many lessons that a few of the athletes I've worked with have taught me.
Now I try to pass this show of appreciation on to my children. I make sure to have them thank their teachers, swimming instructors, coaches, or anyone else that assists them in even the smallest of situations... and to make sure they know why they are thanking them.
I hope to convey to them the importance of letting their coaches, teachers, and supervisors know that their efforts in helping and caring for them are recognized. And, that they (my children) should be grateful to all people who are helping support their efforts.
There's no such thing as a self-made man or woman.