Kids who play tennis do better in school and devote more hours to studying, according to the USTA Serves national report.
By Sally Milano, USTA.com
Tennis has been heralded as the sport of opportunity. A recent study indicates just how true that is.
USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the USTA, recently conducted a study to evaluate the contributions that tennis makes in the lives of U.S. adolescents. The resultsindicate that tennis participation positively influences the lives of youth across the country at all socioeconomic levels.
The report, "USTA Serves Special Report, More Than a Sport: Tennis, Education and Health," found that, when compared to non-athletes and participants in many other sports, young people who participate in tennis get better grades, devote more hours to studying, think more about their future, aspire to attend and graduate from college and have lower suspension and expulsion rates.
"The evidence shows that tennis participation is clearly linked with educational achievement, health and social involvement among U.S. adolescents," said Don Sabo, Ph.D., principal investigator.
Those who play tennis are not only less likely to binge drink, smoke cigarettes and use marijuana, but they are also less likely to be overweight and to be at risk of becoming overweight.
"While most people may not be surprised to learn that the majority of adolescent tennis players score better than most other athletes and all non-athletes on education and social behavior, what is less known is that those benefits also cross all socioeconomic levels in varying degrees," said Deborah Slaner Larkin, Executive Director of USTA Serves.
"Hopefully, this evidence-based research will encourage more educators, health policy makers and parents to promote tennis in physical education classes as well as in school and community-based sports programs so that students across the country will reap these important education and health benefits."
The mission of USTA Serves is to support programs that enhance the lives of children and families through the integration of tennis, health and education. To date, USTA Serves has awarded more than $15 million in grants and scholarships to people and programs throughout the country in order to provide at-risk and underserved youth with greater opportunities to realize success.
"USTA Serves Special Report, More Than a Sport: Tennis, Education and Health" was conducted among high school students nationally and is the first to analyze the educational, behavioral and health benefits to adolescents who play tennis.
to view an infographic detailing the results of the report.