William & Mary

Serving Up Fun

This article originally appeared in The Health Journal

What do Serena Williams, Arthur Ashe, Andy Roddick and Billie Jean King have in common? If you answered, “They are all tennis greats,” then you would only be partially right. The correct answer? They were all once beginners. While most professional players get their start at an early age, it is never too late to pick up the game.

Develop Hand-Eye Coordination

For children under 5, or those brand new to tennis, development begins with the basics of how to use the racquet and make contact with the ball. For children as young as ages 1 or 2, lay the groundwork by simply rolling a foam ball towards them to get them experienced with the development of eye-to-hand coordination, as well as extending their attention span. Older players can benefit from this exercise, too.

Tennis Ball Comparison
Photo courtesy http://www.tennis.com.au/

Staying in shape

Cardio Tennis is perfect for the player who hasn’t quite yet mastered the game, but wants to get a good workout and learn some new skills. It’s designed as a high-energy fitness activity that combines the best features of the sport of tennis with cardiovascular exercise. Cardio Tennis is great for beginners and advanced players alike.

Private Lessons

If you are still hesitant in your ability as a beginner, take private lessons with a certified Tennis Pro who can help you gain your confidence before stepping out in public. A Pro will help you set realistic goals for success, whether you are a beginner, an advanced player or even if you are just returning from an injury.

League Play

Once you feel comfortable with your level of play and are ready for the next challenge, join a developmental league that will pair you with other players who have similar skill levels. Playing will constantly keep you challenged.

Injuries don’t mean the end

Injuries happen, but don’t feel as though your playing days are over. First, and most important, take care of your injury and never play while hurt. Once you are strong enough to return, be prepared to start slowly and work back into the game. Tennis can be a lifetime activity. It is a social game—one that is difficult to play alone—and sometimes others best motivate us. So no matter what your skill level, age or commitment level, give tennis a try.