Tennis is a fascinating sport for all ages
Every year, millions of people around the globe play tennis. As passionate tennis players, we can say from our own experience that once you’ve been bitten by the tennis bug, you’ll never get over it.
The following summary describes what distinguishes tennis and makes the popular sport so unique.
1. Why play tennis?
Anyone can play tennis. Tennis is considered a year-round sport and is played outdoors in the summer and indoors in the winter. Both the cardiovascular system and cognitive skills are enhanced: No two balls bounce the same way, so hand-eye coordination is especially strong in tennis players.
The strong visual-spatial perception combined with the correct use of force when hitting keeps tennis players fit into old age. There is the possibility in every age group to participate in the organized league system and thus to play tennis as a lifelong competitive sport. In addition, tennis can be played by two people, making it easy to arrange to play together at any time. At the same time, tennis is much less prone to injury than classic contact sports.
2. When to start playing tennis?
„The best time to start playing tennis is now.“
Playing tennis can basically be started at any age. Admittedly, at almost any age: children usually start their first training sessions, and thus coordination exercises and first strokes, at around 5 years of age. Children learn the complex movements very naturally at a young age and therefore much easier than late starters – similar to learning a foreign language.
Tennis can also be started at the age of 40, 50 or 60 – there is no age limit. It is of course advantageous to have already played a ball sport and to have a certain feeling for the ball as a basis. In the beginning, the focus is on the clean execution of the movements. Once these have been memorized, it doesn’t take long before you are able to hit the ball over the net a few times without making any mistakes.
It is also a good way to start playing tennis as a family: It is important that the fun is in the foreground and the composition of possible match pairings is as balanced as possible. A doubles match with father and daughter against mother and son is an ideal weekend program.
The re-entry into the sport of tennis should also be emphasized. Many a tennis player loses sight of the popular sport for a few years, but is happy to return later. If the basic techniques were already once present, these are fast again learned and the fun returns. Most of the time people are still annoyed that they stopped at that time, so it’s best not to stop at all.
3. Where to play tennis?
There are many ways to play tennis. The majority of player play as a member of a nearby tennis club. Alternatively, there are free tennis courts or tennis parks where tennis courts can be rented by the hour, both outdoors and indoors.
The tennis associations and districts also organize the annual league matches. Here, every level of play can find like-minded people and compete on a regular basis. The tennis clubs and tennis parks usually organize additional internal hobby leagues, so that beginners can also quickly find a connection.
4. How does tennis work?
Tennis belongs to the backstroke sports. In tennis, either two people play singles or four people play doubles or mixed. The first to win two sets is the winner, i.e. a maximum of 3 sets are played. The third set is often played as a champion tiebreak – an extended tiebreak to 10. A draw is not possible.
At the beginning of a match, it is decided by draw who will start the first game with serve. In the match the count is as follows: 15, 30, 40, game. A game must be won by two points, i.e. at 40-40, also called deuce, at least two more points must be played. After a game, the server becomes the returner and vice versa. After every odd sum of games, i.e. 1, 3, 5, etc. the players change sides.
A set normally goes to 6 and must be won by two games. If 5-5, it is played to 7 and if 6-6, a tiebreak is played to 7 with a two game lead. In the tiebreak, the first server starts with a serve, then the server is always changed after two serves. After every six points played, the sides are changed. A champion tiebreak is played instead of the normal tiebreak to 10 – with a two-point lead.
5. How to learn to play tennis?
The efficient way to learn to play tennis is a combination of tennis training under the guidance of a coach, playing the game yourself and absorbing theoretical knowledge. After mastering the stroke technique, the focus is more on the tactical variations of the game. With increasing experience, mental strength also becomes more important in order to show the best tennis in the decisive moments.
Tennis training under the guidance of a coach is the classic way of learning. The goal of a coach in the first hours is the clean teaching of the technique. This includes not only the correct grip on forehand, backhand, volley, smashes and serve, but also, among other things, the correct footwork, body rotation and tension, and ball throwing.
When playing on your own, on the other hand, the focus is on practicing independently what you have learned in training. In training, the trainer often passes the balls relatively evenly at the beginning, so that a sense of achievement quickly sets in. In reality, this looks different. Every ball bounces differently and with every ball hit – or not hit – you learn something new at the beginning.
The theoretical knowledge, such as the rules of tennis, can be learned independently. In addition to descriptions in books and watching tennis games on TV, there are also online videos for the visual learner.
6. What do I need to play tennis?
The tennis equipment grows with the tennis experience. While you should only bring your own sportswear for a trial training, hobby players should also bring a tennis racket, tennis balls and tennis shoes, and frequent or tournament players should also bring special tennis clothing including tennis accessories and a tennis bag.
For a first trial training and a first acquaintance with tennis, a tennis club or tennis park should be visited. This usually provides tennis rackets and tennis balls and sometimes tennis shoes. Depending on the tennis court surface, different tennis shoes are used, so it is best to find out about the existing surface of the court before buying.
If you have already found fun in tennis and train sometimes without a coach, you will not get around your own tennis racket, tennis balls and tennis shoes. There is a wide range of tennis rackets for every level and style of play. The three most popular tennis brands are Babolat, Head and Wilson.
There are also different types of balls depending on your playing strength. Especially in the beginning, pressureless, slightly larger tennis balls are suitable. With these tennis balls, you will achieve faster results when playing back and forth. Gradually, the balls can then be exchanged for the right tennis balls.
As a frequent or tournament player, you have about 3 tennis rackets that you bring with you to the court in your tennis bag. In addition to the classic (white) tennis socks, tennis shorts or skirts with room for balls and tennis shirts are standard equipment. In addition, depending on the weather, tennis caps, headbands or sweatbands can be worn when playing tennis.
7. How much does it cost to play tennis?
The annual cost of playing tennis averages 1,075 dollar, or about 90 dollar a month. However, the annual cost can vary from 600 to over 5,000 dollar depending on the region and one’s own preferences. The cost includes the annual club membership fee, one hour of tennis training in the summer and a one-hour indoor season ticket in the winter, the pro-rata cost of equipment and its wear and tear.
Membership in a tennis club costs an average of 200 dollar a year – but varies from 50 to over 1,000 dollar a year. With club membership, the club’s own outdoor courts can be used free of charge during the summer months from around mid-April to mid-October.
One hour of tennis training costs an average of 50 dollar. Depending on the trainer and the region, the price varies between 40 and 120 dollar per hour. This price is usually divided by the number of participants – from individual training to 4-person training. This results in a pro-rata price of approx. 12.50 dollar per week in a 4-person training group or, assuming 26 weeks of training in the summer, 325 dollar.
Depending on the time, day of the week, hall surface and region, a one-hour indoor subscription costs on average 800 dollar and varies between 600 and 1,000 dollar. The indoor season starts at the beginning of October and ends at the end of April. This price is again divided by the number of players, so that with 4 players a pro rata contribution of approx. 200 dollar is due.
The pro-rata costs for the equipment and its wear and tear vary greatly, depending on the number of tennis strings, the wear and tear of tennis grip bands and tennis balls, among other things. Additionally, the usage of the tennis equipment plays a strong role. As a flat rate we set an average of 350 dollar per year, but this can vary from 250 to well over 1,000 dollar.
8. When not to play tennis?
There are really only two reasons not to play tennis:
1. physical limitations: This includes playing tennis prematurely after an injury, such as a heart attack or torn cruciate ligament, or playing tennis after childbirth, especially during a cesarean section.
2. extreme external conditions: this includes, for example, playing tennis in extremely hot and humid temperatures. In addition to sunscreen and sunscreen, it is essential to consume plenty of fluids – preferably plain water. In addition, the blazing midday sun should be avoided.
9. Alternatives to play tennis
As an alternative to tennis, padel tennis, squash, badminton or table tennis can be played as a backstroke sport. While active tennis players usually do not pursue an alternative backstroke sport in parallel because they do not want to get out of the habit of the correct swing movements, sports such as golf can also be played in parallel.
In padel tennis, the court is much smaller than a tennis court and is fenced in by side and back walls. The ball may also be played over the walls. The net in the middle, the wooden padel tennis rackets and the 2-4 players are still strongly reminiscent of tennis. Especially in Spain and South America padel tennis enjoys great popularity and also in the US there are first padel tennis courts.
The squash court is also much smaller compared to tennis and you are surrounded by walls and usually a glass back wall in a kind of cage. There is no net but only markings on the walls and on the floor. The rackets and hitting surface are a bit smaller and also the rubber ball is rather golf ball size. Squash is always played under cover and you can find squash courts in many sports parks.
A badminton court is also much smaller compared to a tennis court and the net starts at waist level rather than floor level. The markings on the floor show both single and double lines. The badminton ball is equipped with springs and is hit over the net with a small hitting surface. Badminton courts are also found in regular gyms, so all that needs to be set up to play is the net. In the park you can always see many people playing badminton.
Table tennis requires even better reactions than tennis. The plastic ball is played back and forth over the table tennis table and the stretched net in the middle. The small table tennis bats lie directly in the hand with a short handle. Table tennis tables can be set up anywhere with a little space. In many hobby cellars the popular game belongs like a soccer table.
Golf is played outside on the green meadow or in the grass. A small, hard rubber ball is sunk with as few strokes as possible in 9 or 18 holes. On average, the stroke target is between 3-5 strokes. At the end of a round of golf, people meet at the 19th hole, the restaurant, to reflect on the round played over a drink.
10. Summary and conclusion
Tennis is a fascinating sport for all ages. Tennis is often played in local clubs, where trained tennis coaches are also available for training lessons.
The annual costs including membership in the club, training in the summer, hourly subscription in the winter and proportional equipment amount to an average of 1,075 dollar or 90 dollar per month – with fluctuations from 600 to over 5,000 dollar per year. The first tennis purchase usually includes tennis shoes, tennis rackets and tennis balls. After that, the equipment is steadily expanded.