How tennis will benefit your kid’s social skills:
Children love being part of teams and interaction with other kids. The benefits of tennis on a physical level is obvious: it’s good exercise, learning good ball skills, hand-eye coordination etc. The social skills children learn on the tennis court are perhaps not so obvious, but could be of life changing benefit.
Children who play sports are healthier than children who don’t, and are emotionally more intelligent. They learn to co-operate, put others first, and to work as a team. These skills will benefit them in the classroom as well as their workplace one day.
The top 10 social benefits of kids playing tennis:
Joining a tennis class will make your kids feel they belong. They will make new friends, and share an interest with other kids. Playing a sport outside the school environment could provide kids with a support structure, as one in four kids report being bullied at school.
2. Losing gracefully
All kids have to learn to lose. We can’t all win all the time. To learn to lose gracefully without throwing our toys out the cot, or giving up, is a very important life lesson. There is no harm in healthy competition and expressing frustration in a healthy manner. Losing with integrity to a better opponent is honorable and learning to try harder next time is very valuable training in life.
3. Learning respect
Learning to respect your coaches, referees and other players are part of the drill on the tennis court. A little extra dose of discipline has done no one any harm in the past. The rules of the game are set, and can’t be changed. This is the same in life, you break the rules, you lose.
4. Learn control of emotions
All adults are expected to be in control of their emotions. Kids should have learned this somewhere along the way. What better place than on the tennis court where a good coach will guide negative emotions, and teach kids how to control stress levels in order not to affect performance? These are very valuable skills to learn in the pressurized environment our kids grow up in today.
Our self-image relies on our self-esteem, which is very closely linked to how we feel about our bodies. If we have a healthy and fit body we like to be in it, and chances are, we will have good self-esteem.
6. Learning patience
Anything we want to get good at takes practice, and to keep practicing takes patience. This is a very valuable lesson to learn. Winning isn’t as important as keeping on keeping on. Next time your child plays a tennis match, ask how it went rather than if they won. Even losing can be fun!
Dedicating time and effort to tennis will have positive results. It is a sport where children can experience their progress first hand by hitting the ball where they want it. Dedication on the court will also show in their schoolwork because they will learn that everything worthwhile takes effort, and nothing comes for free.
8. Working together
Any teamwork teaches us the value of working together. Playing doubles on the tennis court is a very close relationship with our teammate, and communication is not always verbal, but the teamwork is great training ground for non-verbal understanding of another, and spatial orientation is part of our intelligence.
9. Less selfish
Another bonus of playing team tennis is learning to be less selfish, and to let your teammate be the star and take center stage to score the point. Egos are not good for team sport or morale.
Tennis is a game, and yes, it’s a fun game. Who would have thought that so many life lessons could be taught through a simple game of tennis?