By Lara Maluf-Mas
May 7, 2015
Tennis is currently the fifth most popular sport in the world. People all around the world practice and adore tennis. Whether you’re competitive or just looking for an afternoon pastime, there’s no doubt that it’s appropriate for any time and any age!
What makes tennis so popular among today’s generation? Believe it or not, there are many scientifically proven facts show that the sport can be beneficial in many ways, both mentally and physically. Here are the top five reasons why everyone should pick up a raquet and head on to the courts!
1. Tennis is considered a game of strategy
Anyone who has played in a tennis match at least once is familiar with the anxiety that comes before each game. This is because every player has his own unique techniques and strengths. Your strength may be your opponent’s weaknesses, and vice versa. Tennis is all about being on a battlefield and planning your next shots. You can either pass the ball to the other person or give them a tricky angle and avoid them. Not a single match ends the same way, and your strategies change after each point. What if you need to change your style of hitting to confuse the opponent? Are you putting too much spin, or can you hit it right at them and blind them? It’s all about what’s to come; you need to predict in a mere three seconds (the average amount of time it takes for a player to receive a shot) what your fellow player will hit, and what you want to give them back. Not to mention the idea of where you should stand, how close you should stand to the swing, and of course, the most common question: forehand or backhand?
- Social Opportunity
Tennis requires you to wish the best to your partner before every match and, of course, to get to know them. Maybe he’s a complete stranger or your best friend. Regardless of your status with them, by the end of each game you’ll know the person’s name, school, grade, likes and dislikes, and favorite tennis moves. Tennis is considered one of the most friendly and social sports worldwide, and when it comes to friending your opponent, tennis is where it all happens.
- It’s all about the healthy attitude
If there’s one rule in tennis, it’s that every point counts. Tennis is never a game of luck – it’s about who is the quickest and who has the best plan. But we’ve seen it happen plenty of times; someone gets beaten by a weaker player. In a game as fast-paced and changing as the tides, the most important thing is keeping your calm. The sport is 70% about being smart and positive because a negative mindset will give you a negative result. Tennis really teaches you to forget what happened, learn from your mistakes, and carry on. That’s a lesson that is applicable to everyday life.
- Quick as you can
Maybe you don’t have to run across the field or sprint around a track, but tennis can be a marathon in itself. You are given a small amount of space, and you have to chase after an incredibly quick object. So when it comes to a rally, you need to always be on it. One of the biggest rules is to always be on your toes – your heels should never touch the court. Tennis teaches you to be as quick as you can and gives you quick reflexes and agility. Tennis players are shown to be well-prepared and the first people to jump into action in tough situations. They are the best first responders.
- The team dynamics vs individual dynamics
Maybe one of the most beneficial parts of tennis is that it’s a relatively individual sport (unless you are playing doubles, in which you have one partner, but still it’s small in numbers). The whole game is really on you, so you learn to depend on your own corrections and, more importantly, how to correct your mistakes and count on yourself to do what you dream to achieve. At the same time, in an intense game of doubles you really need to count on your partner. If the two people cannot communicate during a point, there would be a mess on the court and the whole game would be at a loss. So, in an attempt to get a ball over a three foot tall net, you learn to trust yourself and, more importantly, a partner.
So with only five of the dozens of reasons why tennis is such a convenient sport, there’s hopefully no questions left on why it’s offered in every school and is always packed with eager players. Next time you’re bored at home, go down to the courts. If you don’t know how to play, start off by watching a game. It’s small progress, but in few months you could become an amazing athlete.