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Emma Raducanu’s spectacular victory at the US Open has reinvigorated a love for tennis throughout the UK, and reminded us all of the numerous benefits that playing tennis can have, particularly on our children
The mental and physical benefits of tennis for children are immense. It’s a fantastic sport that can be played with friends and family, and, as well as being really fun, it provides fantastic health benefits that continue to affect children through their adult life.
Premier Education were delighted to partner with the Lawn Tennis Association throughout 2021 to bring the fantastic new LTA Youth programme to primary schools nationwide. Over 1000 Primary Schools in England signed up to access £500 worth of free tennis coaching and equipment, plus free training for their school. This means that a whopping £500,000 worth of funding is due to be accessed, with half of that contributed directly by Premier Education.
Offering tennis lessons in schools will not only improve a child’s fitness but helps pupils to improve their reaction speed and be more alert. This, in turn, improves their overall wellbeing and academic focus in the classroom.
Whilst kids are having fun, they’re also improving fitness. They’ll run, swing, reach, jump (and laugh) as they chase after that fluffy yellow ball.
Playing a singles tennis game can help you burn between 400 – 600 calories an hour. A perfect fit to support the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation of 60 minutes per day of physical activity.
After spending so much time indoors throughout lockdown, more children are facing an obesity crisis with only 2 in 5 children getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. As tennis is such a versatile sport, it’s a great way to engage children of all fitness levels and instil good exercise habits for their future.
It might surprise you to find out that playing tennis isn’t just great for building up your muscles, it also positively impacts your bones as well.
Regular exercise is important for people no matter what their age is. And while most of us start worrying about our bone health when we become seniors, it pays to start as early as possible. By playing tennis regularly, you can increase your peak bone mass.
Throughout our lives, maintaining good bone health can help to protect us from fractures, health conditions such as osteoporosis and even disability in our later years. It’s amazing to think that playing tennis can support our bodies in this way, long term.
Tennis requires the full cooperation of the body.
A kid will need their feet to manoeuvre them into the right position. While their arms and hands are positioned with the racquet in order to make contact with the ball. Their core and legs are utilised to provide the power necessary to send the tennis ball with force. This entire process happens every time a kid goes to hit the ball.
Each shot requires a combination of flexibility, coordination, and balance. Greater flexibility ultimately gives them a wider range of motion. By boosting coordination and flexibility through tennis coaching, players will benefit from improved posture and balance, improved hand-eye coordination, and a decreased chance of injury and muscle pain.
There are more than just physical health benefits when it comes to playing tennis. Tennis, like all sports, can boost children’s mental health.
Tennis requires the brain to be creative and involves a combination of planning, tactical thinking, agility, and coordinating different parts of your body.
The more someone plays tennis, the better and stronger the neural connections related to those activities become. Your brain also gets a workout. Exercises that require a lot of thinking actually improve brain function. So, as well as having loads of physical benefits, children get a workout that helps them improve their memory, learning, social skills, and behaviour too.
And they’re having a ton of fun while they’re doing it. But, there’s more.
Kids who play sports also tend to enjoy greater self-esteem and are less anxious. Fewer of them experience anger and depression too. After the stress of Covid, improving mental wellbeing for children of all age groups is a key focus for Premier Education. By ensuring children are able to have fun and enjoy their lessons, improvements in their mental and physical health will naturally follow.
Tennis provides an easy and effective way for children to socialise and play with family and/or friends. From playing ‘swing ball’ in the garden to tennis on the beach, it’s a low cost and fun way to play.
Children that want to progress can then join a local tennis club and meet new friends, supporting their social development, self-confidence and self-esteem. Whacking a tennis ball with friends outdoors is also a great way to reduce stress!
Understanding the numerous benefits that kids tennis lessons can provide for junior players, Premier Education partnered with the Lawn Tennis Association to help provide schools with tennis training that increased the uptake of tennis and fitness in young kids.
Our LTA Youth Programme offered a number of free resources and equipment for both referring and referred schools. Successfully referred schools received:
These mental and physical wellbeing benefits are brought to children at a crucial time as we support them to ‘bounceback’ from the Covid-19 pandemic. Keep an eye out for our LTA Youth Programme once the new tennis season is back in full swing next Spring.