Tennis is Best


Why is tennis the best first-sport for kids?

The virtues of tennis as a life-sport have been known and appreciated for decades. Competitive players can stay active and healthy well into their 90’s. (WBUR’s “It’s Only a Game” covered the over-90’s World Championships held at the Longwood Club in Boston.) However, there has not been very much publicity about the advantages of tennis as an introductory sport for kids. Tennis can be recommended to kids as young as 3-4 because of the fun they have playing, the new awareness and success of age-appropriate teaching methods and equipment, and also for the rapid development of the following skills connected to other sports: To see kids in action, check out the videos at QuickStart.

Tennis helps with throwing – The service and overhead motion in tennis is nearly identical to the throwing motions of baseball and football.

Catching – The soft-hand skills required for volleying, as well as dropshots, lobs, and other touch shots in tennis are terrific for other sports. Also, non-dominant handed catching and tossing (for serving) is an excellent skill-builder for fielding in baseball.

Striking – Studies have proven significant carry-overs from one racquet sport to others, as well as to activities like soccer, baseball, golf, lacrosse, and hockey.

Running & Striking – This very specific skill is one of the most challenging features of tennis, and one of the most valuable skill-builders a developing athlete can master. Most other sports don’t come close.

Movement Rhythm – Sports educators are now broadly beginning to emphasize the importance of rhythm in sports. In tennis, players are constantly involved with the ball.

3-Step Movement Patterns – At a recent multiple sports conference, a featured speaker spoke about the 3-step movement principal for sports like kicking in soccer and football.

Aerobic – Although tennis is accepted as more anaerobic than aerobic, the aerobic benefits of playing tennis are very high as compared to other sports such as baseball or golf.

Anaerobic – There was a recent comparison of calories burned by different activities over a 3-hour period. Competitive and moderate tennis scored near the top of the list.

Team-Building – Most junior tennis classes are organized in a group learning environment, encouraging a team atmosphere within an individual sport. Tennis in high school is a unique team/individual sport, and the teamwork of partnering in doubles is a huge aspect of that form of tennis.

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