Tennis is a great game, for just about anyone. This article gives ten solid reasons to add “play tennis” to the summer “to-do” list. Whether trying it for the first time, returning to the game after a hiatus, or adding something new to a regular tennis regime (like inviting someone new to play), remember first and foremost to enjoy yourself out there playing one of the best sports in the world.
Here are the top ten reasons why everyone should take the opportunity to enjoy some tennis as soon and as often as possible:
1. All you need is a racquet and a ball or two. Gearing up for tennis is easy and inexpensive. Canadian Tire is a good starting point, or garage sales, or a friend who might have an extra racquet hanging around. On-line advice and info is readily at hand if you want to make a more informed choice, or racquet retailers offer expertise.
2. Tennis courts are easy to find and easy to use. Public tennis courts are likely nearby, thanks to generations of tax dollars at work. Municipal web sites often provide locations and rules-of-use. A driveway, a backyard, or a basement can also host your solo tennis fun if you add in imagination. Just google “where to play tennis in XX” to find locations nearby. See here for Edmonton, and here for Calgary.
3. Partners are easy to find, or go solo. Tennis is a “sport for life” so mothers can play daughters, and grandfathers can play grandsons. Moderate fitness is required, and players at different levels and abilities can enjoy a rally with some adjustments. Joining leagues and programs is another way to meet players. A lone player can work the ball on a backboard, or hang out at a tennis court to meet potential tennis playmates. Read more on practicing tennis by yourself.
4. Instruction and programming is easy to find, fun and affordable. Tennis Canada, affiliated with the International Tennis Federation, certifies instructors and has a well-developed set of tools and methodologies linked to world standards. Locate a certified instructor on the Tennis Canada or Tennis Alberta web site, or learn from a more experienced player. The Internet also has many learning resources available. Check your community recreation web site for tennis programming offered over the summer.
5. There’s no ball quite like a tennis ball. Tennis balls are special. They smell good, feel good, sound good, and fit easily into a gym bag. Tennis balls can bounce, drive, spin, and slice. Like a good friend, they have their own ideas but will conform to your inklings if you treat them just right. And dogs like them too.
6. Tennis development goes to infinity and beyond. No matter what your level of tennis, there is always more to learn or something different to try. Every shot, every opponent, every game is different. This challenge can be taken on with fervor, or lightly observed, whatever your preference.
7. Tennis is a world sport, well organized, and popular. As a player of tennis, no matter how casual or serious, you become a member of the entertaining and well-organized worldwide tennis community. You can watch the pro tour on TV or watch it played live around the world. You may choose to compete, even join an international network of rankings and competitions, at any age. Check out the ATP website, the WTA website, or the ITF website.
8. Tennis has some great heroes, including Canadians. Tennis has a long and rich history as a world sport featuring epic stories and legends. The big news close to home is Canada’s young superstars who have broken onto the international scene, building on the success of Milos Ranoic, Daniel Nestor and Eugenie Bouchard over the past decade or so, and on investments made by Tennis Canada (tax dollars at work again). You can be entertained, guided and inspired by these young Canadian tennis superstars: Denis Shapovalov, Bianca Andreescu, and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
9. Tennis is safe, a good work out, and may even help you live longer. No need to worry about getting hit by a puck or checked into the boards when you play tennis. You can run around the court as much as you want and as much as your body allows. You can play for a half-hour or two hours if the body can hold up. Tennis engages all of your body parts in the tennis swing and chasing the ball, from your feet to your neck, with as much of a brain workout as you like. In fact, a recent CBC report (based on an Australian Broadcasting Corporation report), suggests that “Tennis tops list of sports for increasing life expectancy”. Play tennis, live longer!
10. Tennis is social. Tennis offers singles, doubles (four to a court), or group programming (lessons) where you can engage as intensively as you like with the sport, and with other people. The tennis community is welcoming and diverse. Tennis can be played as a family, with friends, or with strangers. Tennis can be a glue that binds people together at the family, community, provincial, federal and world levels.
Don’t miss out on the joy of tennis as an activity, recreation and sport. Engage and enjoy this summer.
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(Feature Image| Melissa Penney)