When I first went to the tennis court, I was able to branch out and start my own business full time. I was looking for a better way to deal with the stress and emotions of it all, so on a whim, I took a letter and signed myself up for tennis lessons. I’ve always been very active, and as a kid I tried just about every sport under the sun—except gambling. I really liked it, hitting the tennis ball across the court was exactly what I wanted.
Now, tennis is one of the biggest silver linings to come out of the Test era. I absolutely love the game and take every opportunity I can to improve my game. The cherry on top is that the benefits of playing tennis are huge – it’s social, active, and both mental and physical. It is also a lifelong activity that you can do at any time.
Whether you’re ready to pick up a racket or need some inspiration to take on something new, here are a few reasons why you should consider playing tennis as a new hobby:
1. You can learn how to learn.
Since I have no experience playing tennis, I think the best option to start is to sign up for private lessons. The cost of lessons will vary depending on where you live, but the one-on-one attention I received quickly helped me learn how to handle the ball, establish my footing, and ultimately build confidence.
However, if private lessons aren’t something you can handle, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to learn. Group lessons are often expensive (but they’re a fun way to meet new people!). Check out your local tennis club for group classes, open play programs, and clinics — or ask a friend to play with you at the park.
2. It’s something only you can do.
After learning how to send every ball sailing into the fairway, I found that using a ball iron was very therapeutic. In between my lessons, I go once or twice a week to just play. Most tennis equipment has ball machines that allow you to adjust the height, spin and speed of the ball, meaning you can control how much exercise you get. It can be scary at first, but the more you go, the better you will feel.
I never thought I would be brave enough to play alone, but now I go several times a week to kick a ball alone. I’m all for playing games with others, but going to court alone will give you a golden opportunity to reset.
3. It is a perfect way to reduce stress.
If I’m having a stressful day at work and I need to let off steam, you believe I go to the tennis court. My coach always tells me to think about what makes me angry, and that’s when I hit the best ball.
It may seem counterintuitive to think about stress to reduce it, but I swear that’s what happens when you put that energy into a strong force. At the end of the lesson, I not only got a great workout, but I had released some stress.
4. It takes you outside.
There is no better way to relax and unwind than to get outside, and playing tennis is my new favorite way to do that. As a California girl born and raised, I love being in the sun, and we all know that spending time in nature is very beneficial to our mental health.
I also enjoy using tennis to break up my work day. If you have a flexible schedule and can get away for a quick game between meetings, go for it. You will feel so much better if you spend even 30 minutes outside instead of being hunched over your desk all day.
5. Clothing is the key to boosting morale.
I’ll be the first to admit that my first interest in learning how to play tennis was centered around beautiful clothes. When I was a kid, if there was a game that involved a jersey, I begged my mom to sign me up. There’s just something about slipping into a tennis shirt or dress that makes me feel more like myself than wearing yoga pants. I’ve always been a girly girl and everything about tennis style hits home with that.
When I first signed up for lessons, I was put in a fancy tennis room, stripped of all the preppy skorts, scrunchies, and racket bags I could find. Now that tennis and pickleball seem to be popular, there are many clothes that should be added to your cart. Hey, you have to look the part!