the benefits of playing tennis--this article is published!!!
|“Mom, I want to learn how to play tennis,” announced my daughter one afternoon. The tennis bug had just entered my home and was now standing in front of me as I folded laundry. She just spent an hour watching some adult novice players hit the ball back and forth over the net. She saw them laughing and having fun. She wanted in. I swatted the bug, dismissing it as a spur of the moment whim. Then, several weeks later, I was bitten again when she arrived home from school telling me about the tennis coaches who had visited her PE class. SHE had been picked to play on a tennis team. Still, I wasn’t sure. After all, tennis wasn’t really a ‘sport’. Was it? It didn’t challenge you physically, and besides, only rich people played tennis. Boy was I ever wrong. Tennis is an awesome sport. It’s a lifelong activity that the entire family can enjoy. Tennis also provides a great way to meet new people, promote and maintain physical fitness, and, most importantly, TENNIS IS FUN.
I did enroll my daughter in the four week team program and was amazed at how much enjoyment she, and the other players where experiencing. I heard something about adult classes and considered enrolling. The bug was biting harder. Finally, after several months, I mustered up the courage to pick up a racquet and walk out between the lines. Now, I couldn’t imagine NOT playing tennis. Neither can my daughter, who has never put down her racquet. She graduated from beginner classes to intermediate and even competes in tournaments held throughout the Middle Georgia area. She hopes to play tennis for her school next year.
Tennis is very age forgiving. Children as young as 3 can take Tiny Tot classes and adults well into their 70’s can participate in Senior Tennis Leagues. An individual can play tennis throughout his/her entire life! Unlike football or other team sports, a forty-year-old Dad can challenge his 16-year-old son/daughter to a match. A young mother can play mini-tennis with her five-year-old, and a brother and sister can go head-to-head in sibling competition on the court. Also, the game can be modified for wheelchair and Special Olympic athletes.
My pre-conceived notions about tennis not being a physically challenging sport couldn’t have been further from the truth. From the recreational level through the top tournament level, tennis provides an excellent physical workout. Playing the game will increase muscle tone and stamina, and help build cardiovascular endurance. Some players may even experience weight loss. Children benefit from tennis in countless ways: For the very young, tennis helps to promote the development of fine and gross motor skills as well as interpersonal skills. Older children can develop hand-eye coordination, footwork, sportsmanship, and character education.
Newcomers are often excited to discover the scope of the ‘tennis community’. Since tennis is an international sport and played nearly everywhere, a player can travel out-of-town and instantly find tennis enthusiasts delighted for the opportunity to hit against a different player.
Beginner classes for all age groups are frequently offered at local Parks and Recreation centers in Macon and Warner Robins. Tiny Tots classes focus on fun. Games are used to help teach fundamentals. Juniors in elementary school can enroll in a beginner team tennis league called Rallyball, which provides an immediate environment for skills learning and competition. Adults can sign up for 1-2-3 Beginner classes where the format is specifically designed to overcome the fear and awkwardness that adults typically feel when attempting to learn something new. Players can also enroll in private, semi-private, and group instruction. Tennis coaches love their sport and are eager to teach participants with patience, understanding and encouragement. Their ultimate goal is to make each class fun so their students will be excited about attending the next class. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up a racquet and head to a tennis court near you.