Are you thinking about signing up your child for youth sports? Good idea! Of all the activities you can choose for your kid, sports are among the most beneficial. But which one should you try? Sports like soccer and flag football tend to get all the attention, but they are far from your only options. Explore the many physical, social, and mental benefits of tennis for kids, and you’ll quickly see why this sport deserves some love as well.
Exercise of any kind increases bone mass and slows the decline that comes with aging. Tennis is an excellent bone-strengthening activity because it involves quick stops and turns. As a result, running around the court today will help your child avoid osteoporosis later in life.
Large muscle groups activate as your child completes side-to-side and up-and-back sprints, which helps improve their gross motor coordination. All that running, stopping, and turning increases balance, agility, and speed. Then, learning to hit the tennis ball with a racket builds hand-eye coordination. Over time, your child masters specialized hits like angled volleys, drop shots, and lobs, conditioning smaller muscle groups and improving fine motor coordination in the process.
Tennis gets kids off the couch and on their feet! A typical practice maintains high energy from start to finish. Such physical exercise is great for strengthening the heart and making your child less likely to be overweight. Tennis players also gain physical skills that can keep them active their whole lives.
According to the USTA, playing tennis for three hours a week can reduce the risk of heart disease by 56%. As a result, tennis players have been shown to live almost 10 years longer than sedentary people.
The social aspect of playing tennis makes it a great way for kids to make new friends. Even though the sport is often played one-on-one, all the kids in a league practice and train together, building strong bonds and relationships that can last for years to come.
Having good sportsmanship is a skill that will stick with your child for a lifetime. There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, but playing youth sports is about more than just the score at the end of the game. It’s about showing compassion when another player falls down, even if they’re a competitor. It’s also about taking losses in stride and enjoying a win without rubbing it in the other player’s face. Tennis can instill these values in your child both on and off the court.
You’re probably familiar with the term “runner’s high,” which describes the upbeat feeling you get after a good run. This is caused by the brain releasing endorphins, chemicals that create a sense of accomplishment and happiness. These same feelings also apply to tennis, which, after all, is a game of sprinting back and forth.
While no tennis player can win every match, doing well on the court boosts self-esteem and gives your child the confidence to play against increasingly harder opponents. And even when a game doesn’t go their way, the endorphins produced by playing tennis lowers their tension, anger, and depression. Chances are your child’s time on the tennis court will account for many of their happiest childhood memories.
Kids who play tennis get an early start refining their strategic thinking and problem-solving skills. After all, hitting the ball where they want it to go involves implementing the principles of geometry and physics in a split second. This skill can improve your child’s ability to overcome obstacles off the court as well.
The alertness and tactical thinking required to be a good tennis player generate new connections between nerves in the brain. This continued development promotes a sharper mind and improved academic performance. In fact, the USTA states that 48% of youth tennis players have an “A” average in school and spend more time studying than their sedentary peers.
Tennis is a sport for life. Kids as young as 5 can play, and they keep playing until their 70s or 80s. As the USTA puts it, “Playing tennis has a wide range of health benefits that make it an ideal physical activity for anyone, at any age.”
The i9 Sports®® tennis program provides a positive and welcoming environment for boys and girls ages 5 to 14. We design our program to suit players based on age, skill level, and developmental readiness to ensure a safe, fun time for all! If your family is ready to enjoy The Way Youth Sports Should Be®, please browse our programs or find an i9 Sports® office near you.