Do you know why our special tennis training program for under 12 players is so positive for children’s’ emotional and physical development? Here you have some of the most important benefits that the young people may get from this practice:
The primary school and early-secondary school years are a crucial time during which children acquire coordination and complex technical skills. If they play several games or sports during this period they enjoy significant physical advantages over kids who don’t experience or engage with sport.
Tennis, in particular, provides countless physical benefits for children of this age. It develops their hand-eye coordination, gross motor control (through court movement and ball striking), fine motor control (through finessed drop shots and angled volleys), balance and body coordination, all the while building acceleration, speed, leg strength, agility and flexibility. Tennis also promotes overall good health in children, as well as it improves bone strength and density, and a robust immune system.
Lessons for life
From a psychological standpoint, children who play tennis develop skills and strategies that will also serve them well in life off the court.
Because they’re out there on their own, and often calling their own lines while competing, children learn to accept responsibility for their actions, decisions and mistakes and can begin to manage them more effectively. They must learn to respond to adversity, adapt to different situations and environments, and deal with stress, often compounded when scores are tight or if they’re losing. Both in practice and competitive environments, tennis fosters work ethic, discipline, and sportsmanship in children, and hones their strategic and problem-solving skills.
Tennis also fosters social skills: children learn about the importance of teamwork when playing doubles, and benefit from the necessary communication with singles opponents before, during and after matches.
For all its individuality, tennis can be a remarkably social game. Contesting a game of doubles, playing in a team at club level, joining a group tennis lesson or Cardio Tennis workout, bringing a plate of food to a social tennis competition, or heading away with a group of friends for a tournament are all ways in which tennis can bring people together
The flow-on effects from this are obvious: it helps you make new friends, expand social circles, meet like-minded people and build networks. And there are some less-obvious but equally significant benefits to this. Social support can be an important factor in the management of stress. If you play tennis primarily as a form of exercise, doing so as part of a team or group means you’re more likely to commit to that exercise and develop a routine, therefore enjoying the maximum benefits it provides.
Teamwork is essential
In doubles, the necessary strategies and communication involved are great for building teamwork skills. Plus, there are several opportunities to provide encouragement to your partner and enjoy the support they offer to you, which is a whole extra element to hitting tennis balls
EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS
A natural pain and stress reliever
There’s the belief that exercise leads to the production of endorphins in the brain that are released into the body, acting as natural pain and stress relievers and promoting feelings of euphoria and invigoration. Another is that exercise serves as a welcome distraction from the stresses of everyday life; you can’t think about these when you’re concentrating on beating an opponent on the match court.
Tennis, being a sport with multiple repeat opportunities – created by the unique scoring system – helps in keeping up your hope and optimism. But you don’t have to play a match to enjoy such psychological benefits. With multiple ways to approach the game, such as simply rallying without scoring, doing drills or playing different forms of the game like doubles, you can feel more in control of your tennis session because of the variety of options available.
There are several more mental health benefits that flow on from physical activity:
Improved alertness: the negative effects of stress and fatigue on concentration and memory can be countered with exercise, and in the case of memory, even boosted.
Better regulation of serotonin: with this brain chemical linked to functions such as the sleep-wake cycle, appetite and libido, this can improve mood and feelings of well-being, and even help alleviate depression.
Increased calmness and relaxation: the theory goes that this is achieved because vigorous exercise can decrease muscle tension.
Enhanced body image and self-esteem: regular physical activity can lead to positive changes in our bodies, boosting our self-perception and self-confidence. There’s also the personal satisfaction that comes with taking charge and adopting a healthier lifestyle.
And with several studies indicating that those who exercise regularly have a more positive outlook, there’s plenty of incentive to pick up a racquet.