Tennis is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing sports for children. Known as “the sport you can play for life,” tennis is replete with physical, mental, and many other benefits for all ages.
The incentives of getting your kids involved with the sport are seemingly endless. In this article, we’ll highlight the top 5 reasons for getting your kids involved in the tennis community.
1) Tennis is one of the Safest Sports for Kids
Football concussions, soccer slide tackles, and baseballs to the face… Oh my!
Thankfully, tennis does not involve any of these risks. Tennis is a non-contact sport, meaning kids do not directly interact with each other. It’s always possible that your child could be hit with a tennis ball. Luckily, if under the age of 11, your child should be playing with harmless deflated tennis balls. You can always have the piece of mind that your kids will be absolutely safe when dropping them off at tennis practice.
2) Tennis is a Fantastic Exercise for Kids
Most mainstream sports are narrowly focused on particular physical activities. For example, 90% of soccer is running and kicking, while upper body exercise is essentially ignored.
Tennis on the other hand, is referred to as one of the most “complete sports” in terms of full-body exercise. The primary physical benefits of tennis include:
- Cardio—from running and sprinting on the court
- Strength—from repeatedly swinging the racket
- Flexibility improvement—from extending arms and legs
- Hand-eye coordination—from reacting quickly to the ball
Whether your child sticks with tennis for the long haul or not, the exercise and health benefits will surely translate to any other sport or physical activity.
3) Tennis has a Positive Mental Effect on Kids
Tennis can contribute to building physical skills, but that’s not all. The mental side of tennis is arguably just as important as the physical one. Just listen to the USTA:
These mental benefits are multiplied when it comes to children, as they are much more impressionable—after all, their minds are still developing. Furthermore, scientists at the University of Illinois have discovered the possible creation of new brain nerve connections resulting from kids playing tennis. This can bolster brain development even after the childhood phase of life.
4) Tennis is a Great Way to Meet Friends
Tennis is not traditionally considered a “team sport.” That doesn’t mean your child can’t make new, long-lasting friends at practice!
I, myself, was once a 7-year old junior tennis player—nothing brought me more excitement than getting to see my “tennis friends” every Friday at my weekly lessons. I am still close with many of these individuals to this day!
Your child isn’t the only one who has the opportunity to meet new friends… Whether it’s before, during, or after practice, your kid’s tennis lesson is the perfect place to meet like-minded parents.
5) Tennis is One of the Most Fun Sports for Kids
There’s no way around it: tennis is fun, especially for kids. For children 8 years and younger, 95% of practices will consist of fun drills and games, as compared to competitive matches with scoring—these usually begin around age 12.
For example, coaches will set up elaborate “targets” made of tennis ball cans or cones for students to try and knock down during drills. This helps kids to improve their accuracy and precision, while giving them a fun challenge to undertake. Nothing beats seeing the giant grin on your child’s face once they finally knock down a target.
A good tennis coach will be sure to make your child’s tennis atmosphere inclusive, energetic, and full of positive reinforcement.
Get your Kid into Tennis Today!
There are many more reasons your child should become involved with tennis. In this article I just gave you the main arguments for doing so.
So, what’s the first step?
Your child needs the right gear. The bare minimum is as follows:
- Kids Racket
- Tennis Shoes
Other highly recommended kid’s tennis equipment includes:
- Tennis Balls (specialized to your child’s age)
- Tennis Bag
- Water Bottle
- Other Fun Tennis Tools
After you get the proper equipment, the next step is to figure out where and how your child will play tennis. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, many tennis clubs are closed. Depending on where you live, public tennis courts may be shut down as well. Furthermore, Summer tennis camps may be in doubt. The good news is that you don’t have to wait for normality to return before introducing your child to tennis. Check out our guide on Tennis and Coronavirus, to learn more!