Tennis: It Serves You Right
It’s no secret that tennis provides its players with numerous physical, social and mental health benefits — in fact, a 2018 study of more than 10,000 USTA League participants, the largest of its kind for recreational players, revealed that nearly 98 percent of those surveyed believed that the sport had a positive effect on them, both on and off the court.
These findings included an average mean body mass index (BMI) of 24.8 kg/m2 amongst respondents, which falls within a healthy weight range, and that players who played more than three days a week, rated at 4.0 level or higher, reported better health.
As a sport for life, tennis can have a place in the lives of athletes of all ages. It promotes teamwork, social skills and sportsmanship in young people, and is an ideal outlet to help develop motor skills for children in their formative years. For adults and seniors, tennis can lead to stronger bones, cardiovascular fitness and weight loss, and build relationships within communities.
From showcasing local programming tailored to age, ability and skill level, to recommendations on the right racquets, balls and court to use, the USTA has always been ready to help. It’s never been easier to find the tools to play tennis, and as the United States moves forward in a new world reality, the sport is primed to serve a prominent role in the wellness of Americans across the country.
With tennis well-suited to fit within the framework of prescribed recommendations from health and medical experts as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, players both old and new can reap the sport’s rewards as the U.S. begins to recover and reopen.
The physical and mental benefits in the current climate include the possibility for socially-distant exercise and socialization. Unlike team sports, direct person-to-person contact is not required for tennis to be played in its truest sense, and players, coaches and industry professionals should adopt several modifications as they practice, work and compete on court.
Before heading back out to the courts, it is imperative for tennis players, of all ages and at all levels, to follow local, regional and federal regulations from government and health agencies. In conjunction with these advisories, the USTA has provided its recommended guidelines for both individual players and tennis facilities and programming in areas where stay-at-home orders have been lifted or modified, both now and in the future.
These recommendations are also applicable for the return of sanctioned tournaments. For athletes, the USTA Medical Advisory Group and its partners highly recommend that competitive players ease their way back into a training routine. After a period of inactivity, players will be more susceptible to injury, which includes risks from under-training and over-use. The USTA strongly recommends at least three weeks of on-court and off-court conditioning before competition begins.
The health and wellness of the tennis community across the country is of primary importance to the USTA. By taking every precaution to help keep all participants safe, these guidelines will help tennis not only return to courts across the country, but thrive again once there.
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