People start playing tennis because of many different reasons. Some people want to add another activity to their lives so tennis looks like a good choice. Other human beings choose tennis because it is popular and they want to be up-to-date with seasonal trends. There are also people who step on the tennis court because it looks fun and it involves many health and social benefits. Looking at all reasons of starting tennis, we can’t forget about parents who send kids to tennis coaches and their only reason is the willingness to win and produce a tennis star.
In my opinion, every reason is good to start tennis because we grow this beautiful sport and we have more participants. Knowing that there are many reasons why people take part in tennis, we can’t forget about the most important benefit – life skills. Tennis can teach you more than any other person so lack of participation is a waste of opportunity to grow as a tennis player and human being.
People go to school to get knowledge and use it in real situations. We get degrees for our abilities and it should reflect our life skills. Unfortunately, it is not so simple and knowledge from books and lessons is not valuable if it is not used effectively in proper situation. Some people are able to deal with problems supported by knowledge they have obtained from different sources while others have to make mistakes and learn from them to really cope with difficulties. The best players in the world emphasize values taken from participating in tennis and how this sport made big impact on their lives.
Professional tennis career can last up to the age of 40 years old but we have to remember that a real life is much longer. Top stars know this and that is why they understand and appreciate life skills available on the tennis court. To become really good in any profession, we have to grow not only in our area’s specifications but also we have to get stronger as a person. Creating personality and building priorities are important aspects of possible improvements on the tennis court. Many times, players develop these skills without knowing but coach can also help to create situations where athletes improve something more than just how to hit a forehand. In my opinion, tennis shows possibilities to improve hundreds of skills so we can clearly say that it is the best teacher in life. Below, I have pointed some skills that we can improve while having fun and hitting some balls.
Nowadays, many teenagers are impatient because everything is around them. They believe that they can have everything with the least amount of work so tennis is a good test of truth. We know that life puts a lot of obstacles in front of us so our ability to work hard and maintain motivation in the long term are crucial parts of successful result. Tennis gives us an opportunity to work on these abilities and achieve goals on and off the court. Working on technical issues or improving endurance while running are great examples of situations where patience can be developed on the tennis court.
Tennis is a strategical game where good or bad decisions have impact on the final score of the match. Coaches teach players why they should use cross court shots in defensive situations and why it is preferable to hit approach shots down the line but only player’s ability to make proper decision at the right time will decide about success or failure. Life can prove that wrong decision can cost more than just lost points so players should prepare for tough times and learn how to be consistent with their behaviors.
Pressure from parents and willingness to win and climb the ranking ladder are reasons of cheating on the tennis court. Calling close balls „outs” or changing the score are symptoms of non fair-play approach so coaches and parents have to emphasize proper behavior on the court. Winning because of good performance, not cheating, is the real value on the tennis court and should lead athletes to take the same way in life.
Focus on yourself
There are many situations in life where people like to blame others for own failures. People talk about „contacts” in business world when they don’t get new projects or jobs but they forget to focus on themselves. We also like to be jealous of someone’s else success and be happy of others failures. These behaviors show focus directed on external factors and this approach doesn’t guarantee successful life for us. Tennis helps us to understand that we are responsible for every situation in our life and we should always look for improvements in us.
Find new ways
One of the crucial life skills is an ability to find new ways in a difficult situation. It is important to try different approaches when first or second attempt doesn’t pay off. Tennis court is a great place to get these skills because learning process is consisted of difficult situations where players have to come up with ideas that can help to succeed. The only obstacle that can limit improvements in this area are COACHES! We have to remember to direct players on the proper path and don’t give straight answers for all difficult situations.
Tennis is a beautiful sport that has a lot of benefits to offer. Better health, stronger body or new friends are just few examples of things that can lead us to tennis courts. Getting skills needed for the entire life should be a priority not only for participants but also for coaches. We have to remember that only small percent of our clients will ever have a possibility to play Roland Garros or Wimbledon so we should always strive to get the most of the practice from 2 perspectives – life-wise and tennis-wise. Our personality can help us win more life and sport battles than powerful forehand so we have to be aware of lessons that the best coach can teach us!
Marcin Bieniek is a professional tennis coach and founder of instructional website http://tennisisland.us. Marcin has been working with USTA, top 50 ITF and WTA/ATP players. He is a frequent contributor to TennisPro and TenisKlub magazines and he was a speaker at International Coaching Tennis Symposium 2016 at Hilton Head Island, USA.