The Sport for A Lifetime!

Is getting kids to play tennis from a young age such a good idea? Well as you will soon see, it not only is a great idea but it could be one of the best things you can do for your kids! For all of us that already play tennis there is not much convincing that has to be done to get us to acknowledge the benefits that tennis has in our daily lives. Most of us play tennis to stay in shape and that’s fine. ( Although I would argue that as we get older it would help if we actually get in shape to play tennis to avoid injuries. )

Serving for the match

However few of us are really aware of all the benefits that tennis can provide. Sure there are the basic health and fitness advantages but there’s a lot more. I started thinking about this at least 6 years ago when I began to teach tennis to my 3 children when they were 5-7 years old. I knew that getting them outside was my first priority as I did not want them inside on the computer all day or watching endless episodes of Sponge Bob. So the physical benefits are obvious but I also began seeing that tennis was going to improve their motor skills, their concentration and their work habit!

Without realizing it, I had stumbled to some of the reasons that people today consider tennis the “sport for a lifetime”. I thought it would be interesting to see where experts stood today on this topic and thus decided to do a little research. Well, what I found out surprised me in a very positive way!

The results of my research actually led me to conclude that not only was I right but I was amazed to see how many other benefits there were to getting kids to play in a regular program. True, one of those benefits is that they might be incredibly talented and grow up to be a great professional player. That would be great but most parents are not thinking about that, they just want to keep their kids healthy, active and busy!

Of all the benefits I found I’m going to mention my top 10 here but I encourage you to visit  the articles I mention at the end which include at least 20-30 more reason of why everyone should play tennis.

Freeze - Right there!

My Top 10 Benefits of Playing Tennis Regularly (specially for kids!)

1. Provides aerobic fitness by burning fat, improves cardiovascular fitness and assists in maintaining higher energy levels.

2.. Develops fine motor control by use of touch shots like angled volleys, drop shots and lobs.

3.  Assist in bone strength and density by strengthening bones of young players and helping prevent osteoporosis in older ones.

4.. Improve immune system through its conditioning effects, which promote overall health, fitness and resistance to disease.

5. Improves hand-eye coordination because you constantly judge the timing between the oncoming ball and the proper contact point.

6. Assists in developing a work ethic and discipline because improvement through lessons or practice reinforces the value of hard work.

8. Promotes the accepting of responsibility by practicing skills and checking your equipment before a match, and by making accurate line calls during a match.

9. Helps control stress effectively because the physical, mental and emotional stress of tennis will force you to increase your capacity for dealing with stress.

10. Promotes the learning of problem solving since tennis is a sport based on angles, geometry and physics.

Again, all of these are amazing benefits that we sometimes take for granted because we don’t realize that we are receiving so much from the sport. No excuses now! Get busy and find a local program to join! But don’t forget the number 1 reason for being out there as always…and that is to have fun!

Supporting articles:

photos by: Frédéric de Villamil & Sudhamshu

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