13 Reasons Why Every Parent Should Consider Introducing Their Child to Tennis
The 2018 Class AA Minnesota State High School Boys’ Tennis Singles Champion, Sebastian “Sebo” Vile, has played tennis at the RAC since before he started kindergarten. He has grown up on our tennis courts and has dealt with wins and losses from a very young age. Sebo also ran cross-country and played soccer on his high school team; however, his long-range focus has always been tennis. In the fall, he will fulfil a lifelong goal when he becomes a member of the University of Minnesota Men’s Tennis Team.
This spring, many of our other young tennis players also competed for their local high school tennis teams. Some of these players have been playing tennis for virtually their entire lives, while others began more recently. Some focus on competition, while others joined their high school tennis teams purely for social reasons. While not all can be champions, they have all benefitted and grown in a variety of ways from their tennis experiences.
You may not be aware of it, but tennis is a “no-cut” sport in Rochester area high schools. This is a special designation as the value of tennis as a lifelong sport is recognized and celebrated. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) also encourages and supports coaches who run these programs:
“No-cut school tennis teams play a critical role in growing tennis by allowing students of all abilities to join a team representing their school. This opportunity helps create well-rounded student-athletes, develops leadership and teaches responsibility”
What makes this sport unique? Why would the USTA put so much emphasis on making tennis a no-cut sport? With so many sports opportunities available locally for kids, why would a parent opt to introduce their child to tennis? To explain, I thought it would be useful to share the following:
13 Reasons Why:
- Tennis mimics life. It is not always easy, but hard work pays off in the end.
- Learning tennis demands hard work and discipline. Improvement happens over time, but it only occurs with a lot of practice and patience.
- Unlike many other sports, tennis is a life-long sport! It can be played from nearly any age and allows for age level and intergenerational play.
- Tennis can be either competitive or social.
- Adults and children of all fitness levels can enjoy tennis.
- Tennis is both an individual sport and a team sport.
- Tennis is a non-contact sport. This makes it relatively safe when compared to other popular sports.
- Tennis helps to develop speed, agility, stamina, and hand-eye coordination.
- Tennis is an intellectual game. Much like chess, a smart player can often outwit a better athlete.
- Tennis teaches independence. Players learn from their coaches; however, when they compete, they are on their own and have to make their own adjustments and decisions.
- Tennis teaches participants important values such as fair play, honesty, and integrity. Because matches are generally un-officiated, players are expected to play fair.
- Tennis keeps you alive longer! A study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine demonstrated that individuals who participate in racquet sports live longer than those who participate in many other sports or don’t exercise at all. Tennis actually topped the list of sports which reduce the risk of death from heart disease and stroke.
- Tennis is FUN!
Tennis is truly a sport for everyone! The Rochester Athletic Club Tennis Department offers lessons and classes for competitive players like Sebo. We also offer training for individuals who want to learn tennis purely for fun and exercise. Classes and drills are available for individuals age 3 and up!
Sabine Tetzloff, RAC Tennis 10 & Under Coordinator, has a Ph.D in Biomedical Sciences. Eventually she opted to leave the science field in order to spend more time with her kids. Sabine began playing tennis as an adult as a form of rehabilitation after a car accident and fell in love with the game. She has been a member of the RAC Tennis Department since 2008.
Contact Sabine Tetzloff at (507) 287-9308.
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