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Why Play Tennis?

With thanks to Leinster Tennis Development Officer, Peter Farrell, on behalf of the DTC committee for providing the informative content below.


Physically, playing tennis develops your:

  • aerobic fitness,

  • speed,

  • leg strength,

  • gross and fine motor control,

  • agility, dynamic balance,

  • coordination,

  • flexibility.


Psychologically, playing tennis develops your ability to:

  • manage mistakes and adversity,

  • solve problems,

  • plan strategically,

  • work as part of a team,

  • win and lose graciously,

  • accept responsibility.

Source: Dr Jack Groppel, United States Tennis Association.


Benefits of Tennis for Younger Players

“Tennis has a social and educational role whereby it can positively contribute to a players personal well-being as well as instill an appreciation of societal values”:


Social Values of Tennis:

  • Respect

  • Cooperation

  • Social Interaction

  • Friendship

  • Teamwork, group cohesion

  • Competitiveness

  • Tolerance

  • Fairness

  • Gender equality

  • Constructive challenge/competition


Individual Values of Tennis:

  • Creativity

  • Enjoyment

  • Personal Challenge

  • Self-discipline

  • Self awareness and control

  • Achievement, adventure and risk

  • Sportsmanship, honesty, integrity

  • Hard work, dedication, commitment

  • Independence

  • Time management

  • Moral reasoning and ethical behaviour

  • Leadership

  • Decision making

  • Toughness/courage

  • Self esteem


Benefits of Tennis for Adults


“The health of veteran tennis players is improved by enhanced aerobic capacity, greater bone densities in specific regions, lower body fat, greater strength, and maintained reaction time performance in comparison with age matched but less active controls”.

Source: British Journal of Sports Medicine 40 (2006).


“Activities that reduce the risk of cognitive decline that can come with aging include playing tennis twice a week”. Source: American Academy of Neurology (2001)


The Three Killer Diseases in Ireland (Source: National Cancer Registry, Ireland.)


1. Heart Disease:

“In tennis players there is one third to a half less cardiovascular disease than in non tennis players”.

Source: American Journal of Medicine 112 (2002).


2. Cancer:

“Higher levels of physical activity reduces the risk of cancer”.

Source: U.S. Surgeon Generals Report 2004.


3. Diseases of the Respiratory System:

“Tennis increases lung function/lung flexibility”.

Source: Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 46 (2006).


Other Current Health Issues:


1. Obesity:

“Average female in an hour playing singles burns 420 calories.  Average male in an hour playing singles burns 600 calories.”

Source: Cleveland Clinic Heart Centre.


2. Diabetes

“Tennis twice a week decreases glucose (sugar) levels in the blood”.

Source: Babette Pluim, ITF Medical Commission.


“People who participate in tennis 3 hours per week (at moderately vigorous intensity) cut their risk of death in half from any cause, according to physician Ralph Paffenbarger, who studied more than 10,000 people over a period of 20 years”

Source: Dr. Jack Groppel, USTA.

Tennis Compared to Other Sports

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