Gamborino becoming her own individual through extracurriculars

Manasa Mohan, Staff Writer

Music and sports have held an important place in Coppell High School senior Jacqueline Gamborino’s life. Joining the tennis team in eighth grade at Coppell Middle School North and playing the drums ever since she was around 9 years old, she reflects back on her experience balancing her academics with tennis and drumming.

How has COVID-19 changed your goals?

Before COVID-19, I wanted to improve my tennis skills, get better with drums and be able to play harder songs. After COVID-19, it put a pause on certain things because of instructors, not able to practice, and we weren’t even sure if we would have a season for tennis. It gave me those extracurriculars as an outlet; they became something to do, not just something to improve on and to be the best. They [provided] that creative outlet, helped with getting my energy out, having something to improve myself on, improving my creativity, staying active and improving my game. 

How do you balance your time?

I used to take lessons for drums for the longest time, so I’ve always had a really flexible schedule with my instructor. With tennis, my coaches have always been really flexible about giving us the chance to improve academics as much as possible. They always put academics first before sports, always making time for practice but making sure that we are staying on top of the things that we need to in order to play for the season. I’ve had such good instructors and coaches who have been really flexible and allowed me to balance my academics and my extracurriculars.

What have you learned about yourself through drums and tennis?

Tennis allowed me to be more individual and helped me focus more on myself. I played a lot of team sports [such as hockey], so  I was always that person trying to help people out to give them the ball or pass them the puck. This game gave me more of a chance to improve my own individual skills for myself. Drums gave me something to enjoy without anyone else. I can play by myself and keep getting better. It’s the one thing that when I’m feeling down, it’ll just help cheer me up. I can practice new songs and keep getting better. Having other people in my life who play instruments too, we can all just come together and have something to share. 

What is the most fulfilling aspect of participating in both of these activities?

[Playing tennis and the drums] improves my drive. I’m always the kind of person who can’t just sit down or be steady, I have to keep going, whether that be doing something or learning something new. Learning something new with an instrument, learning a new song, being able to serve a faster serve or to get farther in the season were the things that kept me going and filled my drive that I have. It was always fun and although I like to be like that and keep going, I’ve had all of these people around me who support me, and they know that I have [that drive] and they want to fuel that. Drums and tennis are the things that make me happy and make me more successful in everything else, like academics or figuring out what I want to do with life. These activities are just what shapes me. 

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