Many parents who enrol their kids in tennis clubs and academies have dreams of them becoming the next Roger Federer or Serena Williams. And for good reason. Although it’s tough to make it all the way to the top, tennis can still give youngsters plenty of rewarding experiences and life lessons.
The sport is now more accessible than ever before, and can be enjoyed no matter your ability. Looking for a new before/after school activity for your kids, or just a new hobby to get them outside and exercising? Look no further than tennis, which offers a range of life skills, health benefits and plenty of fun!
As well as the enjoyment factor of tennis, there are many health benefits of your kids playing, both mentally and physically. Tennis increases agility, strengthens bones and burns calories, as well as improving brain function and ability. Quick movements and use of the entire body will help to increase your child’s fitness levels, with tennis often underestimated in terms of intensity. Despite not being a contact sport like football or rugby, the average player will burn 600 calories per hour in singles. The mental aspect of the game also helps to keep the brain engaged for long periods of time, aiding your kid’s life away from the court.
Tennis is an easy way to improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills in a fun environment.
A Social Sport
Getting involved in tennis is a great way for kids to make friends and meet new people. Although it’s essentially an individual sport, you can’t play tennis on your own! Group coaching sessions and doubles can help to teach kids social skills, sportsmanship and teamwork. With so much of children’s lives now revolving around television and computer games, tennis offers an easy way to get kids out of the house and playing with friends.
A Sport for Life
Although they may not appreciate it in their younger years, your children will definitely appreciate you throwing them into tennis at an early age. It’s a hobby that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. Want some proof? Why not visit your local club and count the number of 65+ year-olds competing on the court. Tennis can be as casual or as physical as you want it to be, so there’s no reason that it won’t be a hobby for life.
Tennis is a sport often described as being 90% mental. In order to become a successful player, you must develop different in-game strategies, become an independent thinker, and learn to problem-solve in a short space of time. Developing these mental skills can help your kids be successful both on and off the court.
No matter what level your kids reach, tennis will teach them the value of pursuing improvement, dedication, focus, responsibility and self-discipline - these are just some of the core skills required to make it to the top.
Tennis is also about understanding what you can control and what you can’t, and about dealing with adversity. For example, handing defeat in a positive manner will help to set your children up for later life. Instead of moping around when something goes wrong, your kids will be able to look at areas of weakness and develop strategies to improve them.
Sportsmanship & Teamwork
Plenty of team sports are known for having pushy parents shouting from the sidelines. Tennis isn’t like that. It’s a sport based on sportsmanship and fair play, both of which are valuable traits to learn for any child. Treating opponents with respect, as well as competing with honesty are also key aspects of tennis.
Training sessions and doubles games can help kids to learn the importance of teamwork, motivation and positivity. Just look at the most successful doubles duos on the professional circuit - they might not be the best individually, but they understand each other’s game and work in perfect harmony on the court.
These are just a sample of the reasons why you should encourage your children to play tennis. But we left the best until last: Fun.
Tennis is fun, thrilling and exciting. Sure, it takes hard work and dedication to explore your full potential, but the journey to the top is the best part. Whether you’re looking for a sport that you can play with your kids as a family, or a hobby that they can take up to make new friends and exercise, getting out on court is certain to be one of the highlights of your kid’s week.
Want to get your children playing tennis?
I've got plenty of options for parents looking for kids tennis classes in the Kingston and Surrey area. You could join one of my tennis camps during school holidays, try out some individual or family lessons, or come along to a before or after school session.
Keen for really young kids to get started in the game straight away? I also offer tiny tots sessions for the ultimate beginners!