Sports science and health has become increasingly prevalent in the 21st century, and tennis is certainly one of the field’s prime beneficiaries.
I recently came across an article written by Jack L. Groppel, Ph.D. that was published on the USTA’s website, and it’s quite insightful. It presents numerous facts on how tennis supports human health across the physical and mental spectrums.
Some of the standout findings of what tennis helps on the physical side are:
- Anaerobic fitness, which helps muscles use oxygen properly due to the short bursts of activity during points and the rest that comes in between each one
- Bone strength, as it promotes the building of stronger muscles for younger players, as well as the prevention of osteoporosis for older players
- The immune system through conditioning that promotes overall health
- Fine motor control through the use of touch shots
As the article points out, tennis also promotes mental health. Some of the areas the game improves are:
- Work ethic, as improvement through lessons and practice helps one value hard work
- Mistake management, as a good player will understand how to play within themselves, which is a value that could be applied to many other areas of life
- Being able to compete one-on-one, which is a valuable skill to have in this competitive world
- Adversity management, as tennis players have to adapt to different elements in order to compete
- Learning how to recover through the stress of poor points, which is similar to the recovery cycles of everyday life
- Learning teamwork, since effective doubles relies on one being able to work well with a partner
There is much more that can be learned from tennis beyond these examples, but these are some of the best there are.
The game truly promotes health in more ways than people might realize, and its qualities make for a lifetime supply of feeling well and having fun.