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A lioness hunting.

6 Reasons Why Tennis is Important to Humanity

05/20/2015, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

What do lions, cavemen & your overhand smash have in common?


Tennis is misunderstood. There are so many different layers behind the game, different levels of skill, different reasons for which people play - but it all comes down to one common factor:


If you play, you know what I mean. If you don’t, try it: your opinion of the person on the other side of the net will shock you. 

Did you know that the Arabic word for palm is arhat - similar to racquet? Some believe tennis was played by the ancient Romans and Egyptians and French monks 1000 years ago. They called it je de paume, or game of the hand.

Learn more about the history of tennis.

Through all that history tennis involved into more than a game for humans everywhere - it’s a passion, an obsession satisfied only by smacking the ball over the net (or watching someone else do so).

Here are the six main reasons people in North Vancouver, scratch that, people all over the world, are obsessed with tennis. 

1. It's Primal

Anyone can play tennis. Tennis involves nothing but a human being and their racquet as they prepare to take on not only their opponent, but themselves as well. Tennis highlights are most basic competitive desires. Like a lion in the jungle or a prehistoric primate searching for food, we thirst for the kill and the thrill of the hunt. Everything that makes us good hunters makes us good tennis players: speed, agility and a killer instinct. 

2. It Reminds Us How Old We Are

Even lions age. Tennis involves dynamic movement everywhere in our body, so when one muscle group weakens or our reflexes slow down, we’re aware of it almost immediately. No, this isn’t supposed to be a good thing, but sometimes reality ain’t pretty. As we age we just have to be smarter. 

3. It Reminds Us We Can Change Ourselves

“Ok, so I’m getting old, thanks for reminding me Kelvin you son of a -“ hold the phone, I didn’t say you couldn’t do anything about your age. My back was screaming at me every morning for six months before I did something about it. So you’re aging, this is pretty normal. If you don’t like how your body is responding to your mind on the court, then do something about it

4. It's Ours to Master

Few sports require the level of discipline that tennis does. The sheer amount of hours required to master different elements of the game is astronomical. Natural talent goes a long way, like it does in every sport, but in tennis you’re free to grab a racquet and a ball and head outside to the street. Tennis is a mental game, each match forces you to beat another person, so you’ll hardly have time to think about your shot before you make it. Want to be better at tennis? Go get better at tennis. 

6. It's Lifelong

While we’re not busy hunting down our opponents (in a strictly figurative sense, of course *looks around nervously*), we’ll probably pick up a few new friends along the way. Look, you’re not going to master the game overnight, like we said, so if you spend enough time involved with any community you’re going to find new people with whom you relate. You can play tennis your entire life. It’s a game that travels with us wherever we go and brings those we care about along for the ride. 

Sounds like a great way to experience humanity, right?


photo credit: Closeup of Timba via photopin (license)

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