Now that your kids are back in school, you’re probably searching for after school activities. With ALL the options, finding the right one can cause a headache. While your kids might be happy to just plop in front of the TV, that doesn’t allow them to enhance their mental, social and physical development. What touches on all of the above? Tennis.
In the recent years, tennis has become an increasingly popular choice for parents with young children because it has many unique benefits that aren’t as prominent in team sports like soccer.
Here are 8 reasons why tennis is the sport for your little one:
1. Non contact sport – More than 38 million American children play organized sports. The bad news? Nearly three million of them a year visit emergency rooms with sports injuries that can range from broken bones to more serious head injuries. In tennis, this risk is drastically reduced.
2. Hand Eye-Coordination – Tennis works both your fine and gross motor skills. This means as your child is playing tennis he or she is strengthening both of these important muscle groups.
3. Mental Development – Have you ever heard someone say tennis is 90% mental?
Think of a tennis court like a big chess board. The game is a bit more complicated than most sports and to have success it requires some strategic thinking. There’s no teammate to lean on so you’ve got to figure it out for yourself.
Is your child an independent thinker? The necessity to build strategic thinking skills on the tennis court often accelerates a child’s ability to problem solve. As a result, many children that play individual sports show accelerated mental development in the frontal lobe of their brain – the section of the brain associated with reasoning, planning, and problem solving. In other words, tennis is good for your child’s mental development both on and off the tennis court.
4. Social Development – In addition to making your child smarter, what’s beautiful about tennis is that because it is an individual sport it refines their social skills through a lot of one-on-one human interaction.
5. Physical development and hand eye coordination: Perhaps the most obvious benefit of tennis for your child is physical development.
Does your child need work on their hand-eye coordination skills? Close to 1 in every 10 children have noticeable hand-eye coordination issues and, in most cases, these problems don’t go away on their own. Studies have shown that children who struggle with these issues at age 5 often still have similar issues at age 9.
The term hand-eye coordination is your body’s way of processing information through the eyes, then using it to direct the movements of the hands. Hand-eye coordination starts developing in infancy, and is needed for everyday tasks like getting dressed, eating, handwriting, and tying your shoes.
You can aid in the development and progression of your child’s hand-eye coordination by engaging them in activities that require them to fine tune their basic motor skills. Tennis is one of the few sports that requires a lot of “moving parts” and can quickly excel a child’s hand-eye coordination at a very young age.
6. Life-long sport – When choosing an activity for your child, think about the longevity of the sport. Sports like soccer are physically demanding and also require a large group of people — both of which are hard as adults. But tennis you only need two people to play and it can be as physical as you want it to be. It’s not uncommon to see a group of seniors playing tennis in the park. When was the last time you saw a group of seniors playing soccer?
7. Scholarships – Talk to university admission officers and you will quickly find out that tennis on the application is held much in much higher regard than team sports due to all of the above mentioned. Tennis is also one of the easier (but not easy) sports to land a ticket to a scholarship, especially in the U.S. In general, tennis can open doors for your child’s education.
8. Business – Think of sports and business contacts and surely you won’t think of basketball, football, or soccer. You would think of golf and tennis, with the latter being greatly more beneficial for your health. So, why not work on your connections while getting a great workout!
So, if you are thinking what sport to put your child in, give tennis a try!
Editor’s Note: The above content is sponsored by Spin & Slice Tennis School & Academy. For more information on tennis programs for children and adults, please visit their website.