Summer is certainly starting to poke it’s little head out and say hello, which just makes me smile as everything seems a bit more beautiful, relaxing and happy. This last weekend we have had some glorious weather and as I have already been busy working, as our first Major Event tournament the Aegon Open kicks off in Nottingham. So thought this was a perfect time to share some info on how you can get into tennis this summer. Now before I go any further I have to admit that I try and play as much tennis as I can (which is not very much at all, only once this year so far) but simply trying to juggle being back at work, being a mummy, eating, sleeping and just functioning each day means I am lucky if I get any form of exercise in, let alone tennis. Although my friend Natalie and I did have a hit a few weeks ago and when you get playing, you forget how much fun it actually is and also a brilliant work out. Plus we are rubbish so just laughed the whole time and definitely felt like I had worked every muscle in my body the next day.
So for my blog this week, I thought I would rave about all the brilliant things tennis can do for you, but also where you can go play either in a group, family or with your partner and also in some cases for FREE. If that wasn’t also enough, take some inspiration from all of the celebs who love tennis including Olly Murs, Miranda Hart, Greg James, David Haye and Romeo Beckham to name just a few.
Now for some serious stuff…according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, recent research has revealed that as well as being a fun activity, tennis could help you to live longer. It was found that those who played a racquet sport had a 56% reduced risk of death from heart disease and stroke, compared to those who didn’t participate in such a sport. A bit serious but there was a lot of coverage about this in the media a couple of months back and you can’t argue with science!
With over 5.3million people in Great Britain playing tennis (about 11% of the population ages 14+) at least once over the last year, and with a certain Andy Murray inspiring people to get on court, as has our female British No.1 Johanna Konta, you can’t help but be proud of Tennis in Great Britain at the moment. Now during the month of July when Wimbledon is on we see a lot more people on court and talking about tennis and we have over 2,715 LTA registered venues to play, so if all of that isn’t enough here is some more fun info…
Health benefits of tennis:
- Tennis is a whole body workout, as you are constantly running, stopping and changing direction according to the ball. The stop-start nature of tennis means you require short bursts of energy, and these varying intervals are great for your stamina much like a HIIT work out when you go to the gym
- It is low impact which means fewer injuries and means you can maintain your physical well-being
- Tennis increases flexibility due to the constant stretching and manoeuvring to return the ball to your opponent
- Some people can burn up to 300 calories in 30 minutes of play however the harder you work, the more you burn
- Playing tennis regularly is beneficial to your heart and lungs and has could decrease your risk of diabetes
Psychological benefits of tennis:
I have talked before about mental stigmas and there has been a lot in the news recently and especially being championed by the incredible Bryony Gordon for Heads Together about the benefits of being active and your mental well-being. Giving yourself the head space is so important and I really do find that playing sport, no matter which one really does help. So I have also included some psychological benefits of playing tennis
- Effective accommodation of stress because the physical, mental and emotional stress of tennis will force you to increase you capacity for dealing with stress
- Learning how to recover by adapting to the stress of a point and the recovery period between points, which is similar to the stress and recovery cycles in life
- Planning and implementation of strategies since you naturally learn how to anticipate an opponent’s moves and plan your countermoves
- Learning teamwork since successful doubles play depends on you and your partner’s ability to communicate and play as a cohesive unit.
Ways to play:
- Find your local court – www.lta.org.uk/play/find-a-court/
- Tennis Tuesdays – the ever-popular all-female training sessions (in partnership with Nike) runs May to October. Women can hone their tennis skills while getting fit in a fun environment. No racket? No problem! All coaches provide rackets and balls. Simply turn up ready to play! Tennis Tuesdays will be available at over 200 venues nationwide, including London, Birmingham, Oxford, Glasgow (prices start at £5, venue dependent). Visit www.tennistuesdays.co.uk to find your nearest court
- Local Tennis Leagues – aimed at adults of any ability, Local Tennis Leagues offer friendly, competitive tennis at nearby park courts all year round. Players are grouped with those of a similar standard and can arrange matches at a time and venue that suits them. Scores can be submitted and winners of each group receive a prize. With over 100 leagues available nationwide, everyone has the opportunity to get on court. Visit www.localtennisleagues.com for more information
- Great British Tennis Weekend – the UK’s biggest free tennis event returns for its fifth year, where parks and clubs will be opening their doors to offer free tennis sessions and events to families and friends. This will take place on 22nd & 23rd July 2017. To find your nearest session and reserve a place, visit www.lta.org.uk/gbtw
- Tennis for Kids – a free 6-week tennis coaching programme for children aged 5-8 and children also receive a free racket too. This was first introduced on 2016 and over 10,000 children tried tennis for the first time. Due to the programme’s success, we doubled our target this year and over 20,000 children across the UK have taken up lessons and got on court. If you haven’t got your child signed up this year yet, there are still some courses running, if not worry we will be back next year and you can find some more info at http://www.lta.org.uk/tennisforkids
I hope that has given you some inspiration and also ways you can play some tennis this summer, as always any questions pop me through an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and if you are playing tennis – make sure you make a big song and dance about it on social media with @britishtennis #gohitit
Lauren – workingmummablog