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5 Benefits of Playing Recreational Tennis

09/03/2014, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

Need an excuse to get out on the court? Here's 5 of 'em...


Picture yourself on a not-so-typical Saturday morning.

There are no kids around, everyone has something else to do. You’ve got nothing planned until after lunch, and you had a busy week. A normal week.

Sure, this scenario might not happen that often, but what if you had something to do that forced you to open up this Saturday morning window? What if you had a game that you could call your own?

If hockey belongs to your son or soccer belongs to your daughter, tennis can be yours.

The great thing is that you don’t even need to be that good to enjoy it.

For many people in the lower mainland, tennis is much more than this, it far exceeds a simple recreational past-time. For instance, the North Shore Winter Club’s own Fabio Walker has four National Junior Titles and a gold medal from the 1989 Canada Games.

For people like Fabio, tennis is a way of life.

The great thing about tennis, though, is that you can still stroll onto a court to challenge Fabio to a match.

You might get destroyed, but you still could. Tennis brings people together in a way hockey, football and basketball can’t. 

Here are five more reasons to get into a weekly recreational tennis routine.

1. Tennis is a Good Workout

Instead of going to the gym and forcing yourself through a complex routine of weights, stationary bikes and stretches, tennis lets you work out without even realizing it. 

Sure, your game could probably benefit from some time in the fitness centre, but tennis is a fantastic way to get a sweat going in under an hour.

2. Tennis is a Lifelong Sport

Whether you’re 9 or 90, you can play tennis. In fact, your game will most likely improve after retirement because:

  1. you’ll have more time to devote to improvement

  2. your life will be more free of distractions

Tennis is very much a mental sport, so sticking with it will not only improve your physical skills, but also your ability to flex your brain-muscles. Competing hard and employing careful tactics and strategy will become more of a habit and less of a chore. 

3. You’re Never Too Old to Learn

“Sure, I’d love to play a game I’ve been working on for the last 40 years, but what if I’ve never played before?”

All you need to play tennis is a racquet and a few tips. Fortunately it’s easy to book private or semi-private lessons at the North Shore Winter Club.

Or, if you learn better by throwing yourself straight into the fire, you can enter a tournament at an appropriate level of experience. 

4. Tennis is a Social Sport

Tennis is no less competitive than sports such as hockey or even lacrosse, but the major difference is that you spend an entire game staring your opponent in the eyes

Tennis etiquette dictates you shake hands and basically ‘make up’ and leave your animosity behind once a match is over. And, as we saw with the recent NSWC Summer Smash, tennis players are always willing and able to chat about the sport over a drink or three. 

5. Tennis is Universal

Similar to playing at any age, tennis is accessible to anybody, anywhere. As other sports become elitist and driven by politics at every conceivable level, tennis continues to soldier on all over the world. Even soccer, a game that once required only a ball, is becoming a tough sport to commit to full-time due to strain on the body and the money required to travel.

Bonus Point 6: You Can Beat Your Kids (at Tennis, of Course)

Tennis is a game anyone can play, and it’s perfectly acceptable, nay, encouraged, to challenge one’s children to a match.

While kids fall deeper into a circle of self-involvement brought on by hockey and other sports you drive them to, tennis is a sport you can claim as your own at the dinner table after absolutely dominating your child.

Now, how does a match sound?

Nevermind, I’m busy that day. 

And by busy I mean terrified.

photo credit: aloshbennett via photopin cc

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