National guidelines recommend that young people accumulate at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for proper growth, development, and overall health. Many children participate in PE classes irregularly and/or choose to be inactive during recess or lunch breaks. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that children receive their recommended dose of daily activity from these traditional school-based sources. It is important to supplement them with physical activity opportunities at and away from school. What better than tennis, the sport for life, to do so!
This USTA Serves Special Report, More Than a Sport: Tennis, Education and Health, is the first nationwide study to analyze the educational, behavioral and health benefits for adolescents who participate in tennis. Using data from Monitoring the Future (MTF), a highly respected, federally funded survey, the researchers compared the education and health profiles of tennis players with other high school athletes, as well as with
high school students who do not participate in sports. The results confirm USTA Serves’ belief in tennis as a sport of opportunity and validate our mission to support programs that enhance the lives of children and families through the integration of tennis, health and education.
While most people may not be surprised to learn that the majority of adolescent tennis players score better than most other athletes (and all non-athletes) on education and social behavior, what is less known is that those benefits also cross all socioeconomic levels in varying degrees. This is particularly important information as we work not only to grow tennis, but also to increase our efforts to make the face of the sport
more closely resemble the face of our country.