Tennis Benefits: for Kids, Teens and Adults

Tennis benefits

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting sport that you can learn at any age, and at all fitness levels, tennis could be the perfect fit!

Tennis is a popular sport for people of all ages! Whether you’ve got a young child you’re thinking of getting lessons for, or you’re an adult who’s looking to try something new, tennis is a great sport to consider! 

It’s simple to learn, it’s easy to find equipment, and lots of cities and towns around the world have tennis courts in public parks. 

Besides being a great deal of fun, another great benefit to playing tennis is how good it can be for your health! Whether you’re trying to improve your overall fitness or trying to reach a specific fitness goal, tennis is a great way to train almost every part of your body. 

So, whether you’ve got a qualified professional instructor to help guide your training, or you’re just getting started on your own, let’s look at the benefits of playing tennis.

In this article you will learn:

  • The benefits of learning tennis for children, teens, and adults
  • How tennis can help improve your mood and mental health
  • How to use tennis to enrich your social life
  • Why tennis is important to teen’s and children’s development!

Are you all ready to learn about the amazing benefits of tennis? Let’s dive in!

Benefits for Children

Playing tennis can be a wonderful thing for children. Not only can it be a great way to meet friends, build a sense of sportsmanship, and help them feel the joy of athleticism – it can also have immense health benefits!

Getting Off on the Right Foot

young girl carrying a tennis racquet
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It’s very common that children don’t worry about their health. After all, when you’re young you’re often free of a lot of the afflictions that are more common later in life, such as osteoporosis, or heart disease. However, it’s never too soon to develop healthy habits! And getting exercise while you’re young can have wonderful health benefits that last throughout the rest of your life!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity in children can reduce the rate or severity of several health risks. As an example, children who exercise regularly are less likely to develop conditions like cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and heart disease.

As an excellent form of aerobic and muscular exercise, the benefits of tennis can have a ripple effect that lasts well beyond a child’s youth. 

Safety

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One of the major advantages of tennis over many other sports is its safety. These days, a lot of popular sports involve a lot of impact. Sports like martial arts, football, and hockey all have a lot of full body impact. These sports can cause both micro-concussions and full concussions, no matter how much padding a child uses. Repeated head traumas from these sports can result in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or “CTE”. In fact, studies have found that more than 99 percent of professional football players in the NFL have CTE!

Fortunately, tennis is one of the safest sports around! It’s a no-contact sport, and players do not need to worry about brain trauma from impact. With guidance from a professional tennis coach, you can be sure that every child on the court is having a fun and safe experience! And if you don’t yet have a tennis instructor, just remember to always start the game with a warm-up and cool-off period. This can help prevent strains and muscle pulls, which makes the sport even safer!

Better Sleep Health

Playing tennis can be hugely beneficial to kids in all aspects of their lives. One of the best examples of that is how it can improve sleep!

Aerobic exercise is great at using energy, and encouraging healthy deep sleeps. With a rigorous sport like tennis, it’s a great way to encourage a good sleep!

Why is sleep so important? Lots of reasons! For one thing, sleep is crucial to a child’s mental and physical development. Sleep is when the body does much of its growing and developing, and that includes the brain! So when your kid gets better sleeps, they are giving their body an opportunity to grow stronger bones and build stronger muscles. It can also improve their mental health! Mental health, in turn, can make a big difference in school, in making friends, and in making healthy choices.

Besides all that, having a better sleep will have effects throughout the day! It will have a good effect on a child’s mood, it’ll help keep them energized, and it will help their cognitive function. This means they’ll be able to focus in school better, they’ll be able to learn better, and it will be easier for them to retain information that they’ve learned throughout the day!

Of course, the benefits of doing well at school can’t be understated. School is an important chapter in a person’s life and can have a big impact on future opportunities. For that reason, finding a good tennis coach and developing healthy habits and skills can have an enormous impact on a person’s life. It’s never too soon to get into a fun and exciting sport!

Great for the Cardiovascular System

tennis boy
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In addition to the cognitive advantages of playing tennis, it is a stellar workout for the whole body! The lower body gets terrific exercise from running sprints up and down the court, and the upper body gets a great workout from swinging the tennis racquet. All that movement gets up the heart rate and develops muscle mass. That great workout not only decreases the risk of cardiovascular and heart problems later in life, it can promote bone density, lung strength, and improve metabolic function!

By getting a good workout and using up energy, cardio exercises like tennis can reduce body fat and encourage weight loss. Children shouldn’t be preoccupied by body image issues, so don’t ever tell them things that might make them feel self conscious about their weight. But if a doctor is recommending weight loss, a fun and engaging sport like tennis could be an excellent way to get them moving!

Learning Life Skills

boy serving a tennis ball
Photo by Palash Jain on Unsplash

The health benefits of tennis go far beyond just getting your heart rate up and building some muscle. For kids, playing tennis can be a really important way to learn some valuable life skills!

Even if a child doesn’t display a great deal of aptitude in sports, tennis can be a fun and low-pressure way to help them develop some good principles in life!

With the right tennis instructor to guide them, there are lots of lessons tennis can impart to a child.

For instance, tennis teaches you that if you work hard, it will pay off. Every tennis champion, from Roger Federer to Novak Djokovic to Venus and Serena Williams – they all started out as beginners once upon a time. So even if you’re just learning the very basics, with practice anyone can gain skills and start winning games! That’s a life lesson that’s crucial to learn when you’re young, so that you can approach life with optimism and empowerment. 

When all that hard work pays off, that can be a huge boost to a child’s sense of self-esteem! When you work hard for something, it teaches you that you don’t have to be limited by other people’s expectations for you. Instead, you learn that if you apply yourself, you have the inner strength to accomplish whatever is important to you. That makes for a great sense of self-esteem. Self esteem can then give a child the confidence they need to succeed in other aspect of their life! From learning an art, to pursuing a degree, to making healthy life choices, self-esteem is a powerful force in a person’s life. It can give them a foundation to stand on, lifting them up to higher levels of achievement!

And, of course, if you’re having trouble building up your self-esteem, make sure you check out this article to avoid common tennis mistakes!

Another lesson tennis teaches is dedication. Learning tennis means practicing the same shots until they feel natural. While this can be a lot of fun, it also requires commitment and dedication. These skills are important to develop early in life, because they will come in handy in so many other places. As an example, those are the same skills that a child needs to do well in school. They’re also the same skills they will need in their career, no matter which field they feel inspired to enter. Those skills are also the foundation of healthy interpersonal relationships. Dedication can be one of the most beneficial character traits to have – and the tennis court is a great place to start practicing it!

Tactical thinking is a central part of playing tennis. Tennis players always have to be thinking about where their opponent is and where they’re going to be. They have to learn what an opponent’s vulnerabilities are, and what their strengths are. All of this means that playing tennis is a great workout for your brain! Developing these tactical thinking skills when a player is young will help them sharpen those skills later in life. Tactical thinking can be of great benefit in a child’s academic success, their social aptitude, and even their career!

An Added Benefit: Learning Social Skills

tennis boy 2
Photo by Fei Chao on Unsplash

Learning to play tennis isn’t just about learning personal lessons, just like it’s not only about getting a great full body workout. Besides the benefits to bone mass, the immune system, and sleep quality, one of the things that really makes tennis a great choice for children is that it helps their socialization. This means that playing tennis will teach them important social skills. They may make some of their first good friends on the tennis court. They’ll learn to treat others kindly, to be patient when playing with new people, and to listen to their tennis coach’s instructions.

One of the most important things that tennis can teach you is all about respect. This can take a lot of forms! A beginner tennis player will learn respect for the game. They’ll learn to respect the hard work that goes into it, and how much practice it takes to excel. But even more importantly, they’ll learn to respect other players. If a child is learning as part of a class, they’ll learn how to treat everyone with due respect, both the other players and their tennis coach. High quality tennis lessons will also help develop a culture of camaraderie and kindness in their classes. These are fantastic life lessons, because learning to treat other people with respect is the first step toward a healthy social life, toward personal growth and compassion, and even toward a prosperous career.

Ultimately, socialization and developing social skills is a great benefit of playing tennis! Even though tennis isn’t usually a team sport – unless you’re playing doubles! – it’s still a great way for children to learn to interact with one another and develop the soft skills that will pay off later in life!

Benefits for Teens

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Being a teenager feels very different from being a child. A teenager’s mental abilities are greatly developed, their bodies are much closer to maturity, and their social skills are far more sophisticated.

However, it’s important to remember that teenagers still have some growing to do – from aiding bone health to fuelling brain power, there are plenty of rewards to be reaped for teenagers in a game of tennis.

Sleep Health

Sleep health is incredibly important to teenagers, but it can be a significant challenge. After all, it’s natural for teens to want to stay up late and sleep in later. This can be caused by an actual shift to their circadian rhythm. This rhythm will find a more dynamic balance as a teen grows into an adult.

Unfortunately, most teenagers aren’t able to sleep in very late. School and jobs can all start early. So while teens are naturally inclined to stay up late, they’re not able to make up for the lost sleep by staying in bed later the next morning. Over time, this habit of staying up late and getting up early can result in a significant sleep debt. This sleep debt can affect everything from mental health to physical development. 

For this reason, anything that can help regulate a teenager’s sleep cycle is a good idea. As discussed earlier, a healthy sleep cycle can result in all kinds of important benefits, from improving performance at school, to helping to regulate your mood and improve your mental health. 

Mental Benefits

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As discussed above, tennis can be a very strategic and tactical game. When you start playing, it can seem quite simple. After all, when you’re new to the game you spend a lot of time just trying to catch up to the ball. As you progress, though, more of the game becomes about optimizing your advantages and exploiting your opponent’s disadvantages. You’ll take shots you know will trip them up. You’ll give returns that they’re not expecting. You’ll always be finding ways to keep them on their toes, and always trying to find ways to prevent them from doing the same thing to you.

Tennis is full of quick reactions and making decisions on the fly. What does this all mean? It means that tennis is a workout for the brain as well as for the body. That’s great news for teens.

Keeping your mind sharp is always important, but it’s especially vital during the last few years before reaching full mature adulthood. In the teen years, a person’s brain is undergoing very important development and growth, and tennis will help to optimize that growth.

Additionally, tennis will help the brain in a different way. This has nothing to do with tactics or strategy, but it’s still important.

Tennis will help to strengthen the connection between the brain and the body. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that is in charge of balance, movement, and fine motor skills. Simply put, it communicates with your body to tell it how to move. But, just like with all things, it takes practice. When you play tennis, you’re giving your brain an opportunity to practice talking to your body in new ways. And since tennis is a sport that involves such a wide range of synchronized motions, it’s an especially good workout for a developing teen brain.

Self Esteem - Psychological Benefits

wo teenager boys
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Just as your teenage years are incredibly important for the growth of your body, they’re also really crucial to your emotional and psychological development.

Unfortunately, being a teenager can be quite difficult for one’s self-esteem. Life can be stressful, with school and sometimes jobs. Social situations can seem much more complicated and difficult than they did when you were a child. Teenagers naturally feel their emotions very deeply, due to all the hormones their bodies are producing. So when you add all these factors up, what does that mean?

It means that teenagers can use any chance they can find to help them feel happy, calm, and confident! 

Fortunately, tennis is the perfect opportunity for all of those things. 

For one thing, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and blow off steam! When life is very complicated, it can be amazingly good for your mental health to have a physical outlet for your energy. Playing tennis won’t just help to clear your mind, it will also help oxygenate your bloodstream and trigger the release of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that promote a feeling of happiness and positivity. Who couldn’t use a little of that?

Tennis is also a terrific way to build up a teenager’s self-esteem. When you’re playing tennis on the court, it can be a healthy escape from the other stresses of life. And the feeling of accomplishment as you slowly learn and improve your playing can really boost your self-confidence! 

After all, one of the most important parts of being a teenager is that, for a lot of people, it’s the time in your life when you start to get a sense of who you are and who you want to be. So, having a sport like tennis can help teach you something valuable about yourself: that when you apply yourself, you can find success. That’s not a bad place to find a little confidence and belief in yourself. 

Growth Benefits

tennis teenager
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As we’ve seen, playing tennis can be a great way to help your brain and your mind grow during critical years in your development. 

But, of course, the teen years are also an important time for the development of your body! 

A teenager’s body is designed to be growing, both in the brain, but also in creating healthy, dense bones and strong, reactive muscles. There’s nothing better for those things than a combination of a good diet with a lot of exercise.

Sustainability and Consistency

Tennis Practice
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Of course, anybody can commit to hitting the gym every day and spending hours on the treadmill. But a lot of people don’t enjoy that kind of exercise, and that’s why so many people find it difficult to commit to it. It can be even harder for a teenager to commit to doing something they don’t want to do. 

This is what makes tennis a great option, and also a sustainable one. Since it’s so fun and enjoyable, it doesn’t feel like work! For that reason, it’s a great way to get consistent exercise, and you won’t have to worry about convincing yourself to go. 

As you can see, tennis is an excellent choice for a teenager, whether you’re looking for a sport to pursue competitively, or just looking to blow of some steam and feel a little more self-confident. Either way, there’s a spot on the tennis court to find what you’re looking for!

Benefits for Adults

Unlike children and teenagers, adults have finished all their development. They don’t need to worry about physical growth, learning life lessons, or socialization. But that doesn’t make tennis any less beneficial to your physical health! 

When you’re an adult, exercise is a fantastic way to keep your body healthy. And whether you’re sprinting to chase the tennis ball in a singles tennis match, or pivoting to a fun social game of doubles, tennis is a great way to invest in your cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular Benefits

tennis racquet
Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Unsplash

Tennis is a wonderfully adaptable game. You can have a lively and high-spirited tennis match, or a relaxing and leisurely rally. Either way, it can be great for your heart. Playing tennis regularly can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, and improve cholesterol! 

A great thing about tennis is that you can play it no matter what your fitness level. Even if you’re feeling out of shape or like your health isn’t where you’d like it to be, step onto the court and do what you can. The benefits to your whole body are wide-reaching – improving everything from your range of motion to your resting heart rate

Mental and Cognitive Benefits

As an adult, it’s important to prioritize your mental health. Tennis is an excellent opportunity to stay on top of your game, so to speak! Studies have shown that physical activity can prevent the loss of cognitive function as you age.

It can even improve your mood and reduce stress, giving you a relaxed resting heart rate and a good amount of energy throughout the day! Sometimes, even the act of being outside or having an excuse to see a friend and do something fun can have a very profound effect on one’s mental health. Starting tennis lessons is a great way to feel those benefits for yourself!

Social Opportunities

Depending on what stage of your life you’re in, it can be challenging to make new friends as an adult. Fortunately, tennis has a long tradition of being a social game! These days, it’s easy to find people to play with and get to know. If you have access to a tennis club, that can be an excellent way to expand your social circles.

A lot of people, though, don’t have tennis clubs and just play at courts in public parks. That’s no problem! You can see if there’s a recreational league you can join, or even put an ad up looking for players to join you!

Either way, social engagement is a key predictor of health in senior adults, and important to the mental health of everyone, no matter what the age! So let the game of tennis open some social doors for you – it’s been helping people make friends ever since the game was invented!

Find Out For Yourself!

So now you’ve explored lots of the things that tennis can do to benefit you! Whether you’re an adult looking to cut down on your risk of heart disease, or you’re a teenager with trouble sleeping, or you’ve got a kid you’d like to learn some important life lessons – tennis is a great place to start!

Now you’re all ready to talk to  your own instructor. Get started on tennis lessons today, by enrolling in Tennis Pro Now!

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You’re going to have a blast with this fast-paced game! Happy serving, and stay healthy!

Jonathan Stanfield

Jonathan got his tennis start in Saskatoon, waking up early each morning to practice before anyone else could reserve the free courts. Since then, his interests have widened: he works professionally for a Canadian ad agency, has several published short stories, and has recently taken up photography. Tennis remains a passion for Jonathan and he always feels most at home on a tennis court.

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