There are a number of exciting tennis events that occur annually, including the much anticipated Wimbledon. Regional events such as the Nature Valley Big Tennis Weekend keep local interest alive – and as a result of these events, tennis clubs see an uptick in the increasing numbers of those who want to enjoy one of the most popular sports in the world.
Those who enjoy the game are quick to point out that tennis is for everyone, regardless of age. The common refrain is that tennis is for anyone ‘between the ages of 4 and 94’. If one looks at the members of tennis clubs around the country it quickly becomes apparent that this opinion is merely based on observation. It’s the perfect multigenerational game, grandparents can play with their grandkids – as long as the younger members of the family can hold a racquet and hit a ball.
Even at the professional levels, there have been superstars that play competitively well into their 40s – take, for instance, Martina Navratilova and Jimmy Connors. While Leon Smith who has been Captain of the British Davis Cup squad is 43 and, by his own admission is looking to still be playing for his local club in his 80s.
According to him, tennis is exceptional when it comes to keeping fit. But tennis is not only about physical fitness, there is also the mental health side, “there’s also a beneficial mental-health aspect and that is that the sport is very social.” According to Smith playing tennis means that you are always surrounded by friends – and that keeps the mind active and stress levels in check.
Tennis is almost unique in that it can remain part of your life from the moment you start to play at a young and continue to play a part in your life for as long as you want to continue to enjoy the sport. If you are looking for padel tennis fencing then see here.
Tennis can play a part in developing hand/eye coordination and balance (it’s essential for ball control and accuracy). It also bolsters the immune system by providing a great aerobic cardiovascular workout. The finer points of the game, such as how to hit that perfect angled volley, drop shots, and lobs improve fine motor coordination. Changing the direction of motion builds muscle tone and agility.
Adolescence and into the 20s.
At this age emotional growth takes place – and that can play a part in the temptation to ignore the benefits of tennis. However, tennis provides health benefits that complement that emotional growth. Lightning-fast changes of direction, powerful acceleration, and constant sharp bursts of energy build speed and endurance. It is worth noting that a single match can provide exercise that is the equivalent of a 5-mile run.
Tennis can also temper the sometimes negative emotional effects that are part and parcel of this sometimes confusing age. It takes patience and requires discipline. Setting aside time to practice and take part in tournaments teaches time management and requires dedication. It can also hone the art of social interaction. These are all essential life skills for those who want to become productive members of society.
It is interesting to note that tennis players tend to excel academically. They also show higher levels of optimism and self-esteem when compared to their non-tennis playing peers. They are also less angry, depressed, and anxious than the average individual of this age.
The average 20 year old may be under the impression that they are under enormous time pressure. That only becomes truer into the 30s and 40s. However, continuing to enjoy tennis can provide a great way to enjoy that ideal work/life balance without placing enormous pressure on the time available to the individual.
It will also help to maintain and improve muscle tone and improve bone health, at a time when peak bone mass begins to decline. Tennis is a weight-bearing activity and playing regularly can be vital to maintaining good bone health.
It’s also fantastic at helping to deal with stress. This is essential as people between the ages of 30 and 40 are at a pivotal junction in their careers. It can also stave off that dreaded mid-life crisis – or at least anecdotal evidence would suggest that this is the case.
Tennis is forgiving. You can start and resume playing at any age. If you have acceptable mobility you can easily pick up a racquet and enjoy the benefits in your 50s and beyond.