Why We Play Tennis
Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Back in September, I decided to learn a new sport and tennis seemed to fit my schedule. I walked in with no tennis racquet and feeling a bit anxious that I would be a Debbie Downer for the group lesson. As the weeks went by I started to see a change in my mood. Wednesdays were no longer my hump days, but soon became my pump days (cheesy, I know). It's one hour of not thinking about my husband, my children, or any drama that's surfacing.
It's a time for me to see life like a child does, learning something for the first time. With my beginner's eyes, I was able to learn a new sport and get excited each time the ball would make contact with the racquet. I'm not going to lie, I did a lot of swinging and missing, sometimes hitting my coach in the arm, but I loved every minute of it. I decided that this would be our family's team sport. It's hard to find places to play in the city, but we found Court 16. It's an indoor, kid-friendly tennis court, located in Brooklyn. My girls were nervous to play at first, however, I asked them to channel inspiration from the world's greatest tennis sisters: Venus and Serena.
4 Reasons Why We Play Tennis:
1. A Family Sport
If you have a little one who can't quite hit the ball over the net, give her the title, "The Ball Queen/King". The game is, she needs to collect all the loose balls in order rule the court. During this time, your child will feel included and begin to develop the fundamentals of the game. To further her creative play, provide a pretend crown and cape.
2. Staying Fit
This active sport has my girls constantly moving and grooving. In the end, you're dripping with sweat and feeling amazing. During the winter months, I'm thankful that we can still stay in shape because you can find indoor courts. And don't forget about the parents too. If you want to feel healthier, more alive, and maybe lose some extra pounds, tennis can help you maintain that lifestyle all year round. I don't even realize when I burn over 300 calories (thanks, fitbit). However, I do feel the aftermath and at times need an Epson salt bath to ease the soreness.
3. A Mind Game
Did you know that tennis can also exercise the brain? You need to learn how to block out the noises, play through unpredictable weather, and the hardest challenge of all might be fighting the self-doubt. As a beginner, learning to serve has been my least favorite thing to do. All eyes are on me, and the game can't be played if I don't get it right. It sets the tone, but I've learned through meditation (believe it or not) that I have to tell myself, I can do this. And for my children, they need to learn how to navigate the situation and be their own self-advocate.
4. Being Social
Although there's no chatting during the match, tennis can be seen as a social event. We've gone to numerous clinics and each time we've made a new pal. It's a universal sport and everyone who plays loves it. You gain a sense of camaraderie and there's more willingness to meet up and play. It's a perfect time to turn down your phone, connect, and be present in the moment. Need an idea for a play date or a mom's night out? Book a lesson, grab your racquets, and hit some balls.
Tennis has brought our family closer. If you're lucky, sometimes tennis clinics will host lessons for children and parents to play at the same time. I love it when my daughter gets the opportunity to watch me play, it's nice to have roles reverse. She cheers me on from a distance and feels proud when I swing and make contact. We leave feeling happier and accomplished for the day. I do look forward to the day my girls can crush me and I become the "Ball Queen".
"I feel like a million bucks"