In 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. Tennis not only teaches kids valuable life skills like teamwork, dedication, and self-confidence, it has a whole host of physical developmental benefits for them too. Not convinced? Let’s look at some of the reasons why tennis could be the sport of choice for your little one, and don’t forget to check-out our great list of tennis academies who can start training kids as young as age 4, Wimbledon here we come!
Non Contact Sport
More than 38 million 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.
Physical Development & Hand-Eye Coordination
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of tennis for your child is physical development. Tennis works both fine and gross motor skills. This means as your child is playing tennis he or she is strengthening both of these important muscle groups. Playing tennis regularly strengthens the bones of young players and has been proven to help prevent osteoporosis later on in life.
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. Kids who play tennis learn to constantly judge the timing between the approaching ball and the right point of contact, quickly accelerating their hand-eye coordination even when other activities and sports might have failed to do so.
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.
Kids who play tennis learn to constantly judge the timing between the approaching ball and the right point of contact, quickly accelerating their hand-eye coordination even when other activities and sports might have failed to do so.
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.
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. When choosing an activity for your child, think about the longevity of the sport and the benefits to them long term, joining a tennis club either at university or in the workplace can open up opportunities for connections and can be an easy way for them to make friends.
Talk to university admission officers and you will quickly find out that finding tennis on your child’s application is held in much higher regard than team sport 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.
Also 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!
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