In this present day climate of polling and opinions, we could conduct a poll at Princeton Racquet Club regarding why people play tennis. Various answers may include, have fun, get exercise, play with friends, learn a new skill, burn some calories, etc.
Without much debate, tennis, dubbed the “sport for a lifetime,” is one of the best sports to play. Players do not have to worry about concussions, finding 8-20 other teammates/opponents with which to play or compete, and can play in a manageable time of 60-90 minutes. Physically, tennis can improve one’s aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels, strength, balance, bone density, and flexibility. Psychologically, tennis helps people learn how to manage mistakes, develop strategies and solve problems, and accommodate stress effectively. For additional benefits, please refer to Jack Groppel, Ph.D Health Benefits of Tennis.
How does this apply to children? Of course, one can conclude that the physical and psychological benefits listed above will benefit children as well. Interestingly, a nationwide study has recently been released by USTA Serves, a committee who’s mission is to support programs for at-risk youth and people with disabilities. Their study concluded that youth who play tennis: get better grades, have college aspirations, are better behaved and are more community minded. The youth will also be at less risk to binge drink, smoke cigarettes and marijuana and be overweight. For the full report, go to tennisserves.com.
Are you reaping the full benefits of tennis? Remember that the philosophy of PRC is Pride, Respect and Character. Dr Groppel states that tennis can help one learn sportsmanship, learn to win graciously or lose with honor, and develop social skills. Has that been true for you? Are you reaping all of the benefits of tennis that you can?
Tennis a a sport for a lifetime – with benefits at any age. The benefits can be started at any stage of life. Have fun.