As with most sports, playing tennis can have many benefits for children. You’ll be surprised how helpful can be for your kid to be swinging a racquet and chasing a small fuzzy ball around. Tennis, as well as other sports, can help kids develop important abilities that will help them through their days at school, as well as, later in their adult life.
So, how can tennis help your kid at school? Learning and playing tennis can help your kid develop and improve essential skills that can be very beneficial for his or her school days.
While playing tennis, your child can develop skills like problem-solving, social intelligence, honesty, self-discipline, accountability, sportsmanship, self-confidence, patience, and dedication, among others. All these abilities can help your kid perform better at school, as well as, to have a better time there.
Keep reading to find out more about how tennis can make your kid’s school days easier and more enjoyable.
Tennis is a sport that requires players to put their problem-solving skills in use constantly. As Andre Agassi, a former top tennis player said: “In tennis, there’s no coaching, no passing the ball. It’s problem-solving at its purest”. Unlike most team sports, like football and soccer, where coaching during the game is allowed, tennis is a sport that forces players to figurate things out by themselves. Also, tennis players are on their own, there are no teammates (with the exception of doubles) that will help solve their problems, or come to their rescue.
And while in some tennis events coaching is allowed, is only permitted during changeovers or breaks. Compare to most team sports, like football, soccer, or basketball where coaching is allowed during pretty much every moment of the game, tennis is one of those sports where players need to find quick and efficient solutions to be successful on the game.
In addition, problem-solving abilities are critical for students during school, in and out of the classroom. Even though it might obvious how can it be helpful for their grades, it can also help them resolve and avoid conflict with other kids at school.
Although mostly an individual sport, tennis can promote your kid to develop her social skills. Most kids learn tennis through group lessons or clinics, allowing them to interact with other kids in different ways. During tennis practices, kids are usually encouraged to work in teams, as well as, to compete against each other. As a result, kids can learn how to be team players, as well as, to how to get along with other kids.
As you probably remember from your school years, it’s important for kids to have adequate social intelligence to keep good relationships with their peers and handle various social situations. Especially that nowadays children stress and anxiety levels are increasing, kids need to obtain the proper social skills to navigate different situations that they might face during school.
“Are you sure?” If you play tennis, you probably said this many times to your opponents when they just made a very close call. In this sport, kids are required to make their own calls and rely on themselves. Determining whether a ball was in or out, is not as simple and obvious as to whether somebody scored a goal in soccer. Therefore, honesty and fair play are constantly encouraged and expected when playing tennis. By no means I’m saying that bad calls and cheating don’t happen in tennis, it does! However, being honest, especially when making calls, is very important in tennis.
When in school, kids have to deal with temptations like cheating, complicity, and/or plagiarism. Is not unheard of kids cheating in tests, using other person ideas as their own, or helping other kids cheat. As a result, playing a sport that makes honesty a priority is an excellent way to promote this vital virtue in your kids.
Self-discipline has an essential role in a tennis player life; both on and off the court. And although self-discipline is also developed with teams sports, it’s easier to be self-discipline to your goals when a whole team has your back and is pushing you to continue. In tennis it’s different, usually, when you’re competing, you’re by yourself, and when you lose, YOU lost! Not the whole team. So, it’s much harder to stick to your goals when you’re the only one responsible for your defeats; that requires strong self-discipline.
Also, in tennis, you need to have self-control during practice, as well as, during competitions, especially when things don’t go the way you want. As mention above, tennis is a sport that requires many long hours of practice, therefore, players need to be disciplined to stick to their goals for long periods of time.
During the school years, self-discipline is critical to perform well, from keeping up with the assignment to continually study different subjects. Your kid’s self-discipline will be challenged when he has to deal with classes she doesn’t like; hopefully, the skills developed on the tennis court will help him.
Unlike teams sports, in tennis, you’re the only one responsible for your decisions on the court. When you win, the credit is yours, and when you lose, there’s nobody to blame but you. Often, I’ve seen how kids tend to blame other teammates for the defeat of their team. In psychology, this is called diffusion of responsibility, which happens when a person is not likely to take responsibility in group settings. Tennis players, in the other hand, are forced to be accountable for their results because, at the end of the day, they are the ones on the court; not their parents, coaches, or friends.
In school, kids tend to give all kinds of excuses when performing poorly in a test, project, and/or class. I remember, as a kid that my peers and myself will give all kinds of excuses when performing poorly in school. When my parents would ask me why I had flunked a test, I’ll tell that the teacher didn’t teach us that material, or that we didn’t have enough time to prepare. However, the real reason was that I didn’t study; plain and simple.
Tennis teaches kids to be accountable for their actions, which gives them a better sense of responsibility. As a result, they are able to perform better at school, as well as, in other aspects of life.
Treating your opponent and yourself with respect, whether you win or lose, is an important trait to have for all sports and tennis is not an exception. Known in the past as a gentlemen sport, tennis is a sport that demands players to hold themselves to high standards, like making honest line calls and give their opponents the benefit of the doubt, to name a few. In addition, the majority of top professional players in the ATP and WTA are great ambassadors of the game, displaying in many moments examples of sportsmanship on and off the court. For your kids to have this kind of role models is a great way to encourage sportsmanship in their daily lives.
Having good sportsmanship can have a positive influence in your kid’s life, especially in school. During schools, kids tend to compete in many aspects, directly and indirectly, from academics to sports. Being respectful to their peers, as well as, learning to be humble in their achievements and gracious in their defeats or failures, can help kids to always keep a positive attitude despite the results.
As you probably heard before, tennis is considered more of a mental game than physical. Considering that tennis players can be on the court for two or three hours straight, it goes to show how mentally challenging tennis can be. To be mentally strong and perform well in competitions, tennis players need to have high levels of self-confidence. As an individual sport, tennis players need to learn how to trust themselves, as well as, to trust their abilities on and off the court.
If you’re a tennis player, you know how hard it can be to play well when you don’t feel confident in your game. Therefore, this sport will encourage your kid to develop self-confidence in herself and her game, which she’ll be able to translate in other aspects of her life.
As more kids deal with bullying and peer pressure, student’s self-confidence is continuously challenged, making it essential for parents and teachers to find different ways to promote confidence in students.
Low self-esteem in students is related to low grades, lack of motivation to learn, lost of interest in goals, among others. Consequently, tennis can be a great way to help your kid develop self-confidence and reduce his insecurities
Patience & Dedication
Arguably, tennis can be considered one of the most challenging sports to learn and master. This sport requires kids to have a substantial degree of timing, precision, and proper muscle memory to be able to, actually, play the game. And the only way to achieve this is by putting a lot of hours of practice, which encourage kids to develop their patience and dedication skills.
To be successful in any aspect of life, kids need to be patient and dedicated. To learn and master a sport, a subject, or any activity, kids must be dedicated to pushing through when it gets tough, or they hit the plateau. Moreover, as you probably heard the saying “Success doesn’t happen overnight”; patience is a virtue that kids need develop to be able to accomplish their goals. And a great way to learn how to be patient is to practice patience, which tennis promotes.
In school, kids go through a lot of situations where patient and dedication is almost necessary. When trying to learn a difficult subject in school, like math, or science which can be challenging for some student, kids need a lot of patient and dedication to follow through.
On a final note
Tennis, as well as many other sports, have the power to teach children many abilities and skills that’ll be useful in their daily lives, which for most kids are spent in school. And although many sports have these attributes, tennis can offer a particular approach for kids to learn these vital life lessons. So, next time you decide to pick a tennis racquet and go on the court with your child, keep in mind all the positive benefits that he or she can obtain by hitting a ball back and forth.
If you have any thoughts or ideas on how tennis is helping children at school, please share them with us in the comment section; thank you!