Many of us have heard of coaches advocating for their young athletes to play other sports. I recently read an article that gives this similar opinion by NBA superstar Steph Curry. He advocates for playing other sports for many reasons in which we will get into soon but let's stop for a minute and give a different perspective on this. Instead of saying kids should play multi-sports, why not adults? This will be the premise for this blog as I dive into the many benefits you would get from playing another sport outside of tennis. Let's get started!
Movement, Endurance and Hand Eye Coordination
To me, an athlete is someone who knows how to use their body efficiently and effectively to perform motor skills. If you struggle in other sports, it is possible your movement isn't up to par which can impact your tennis game without you knowing it. Other sports allow you to work on your movement which is the most important part of tennis. Playing sports like soccer, ultimate frisbee or basketball are great for tennis. Being fit is also essential to tennis. There are sports that allow you to build up your endurance on the court such as running and swimming. Lastly, to be consistently hitting the ball with the center of your racquet, you need to have solid hand-eye coordination. Sports such as racquetball, pickleball, softball and baseball can help improve this!
Tennis is a very one dimensional movement as your body is constantly turning and pushing forward. This can create wear on the body without knowing it. Trying other sports can give you a rest on those movements and also improve the parts of the body that are neglected in the sport. Try cycling and rowing to work the back and hamstrings to balance out what you are using on the tennis court.
Being able to compete is essential for a good tennis player. Playing other sports where you may struggle at will challenge your positive thinking and mental focus that will only improve how you are mentally prepared for a tennis match. For example when I play basketball, I've learned that hustle and effort can change the outcome of the game. This has been something I remember on the tennis court when I get frustrated with a match I'm playing.
Being on a team that you work together can be a fun change to playing on your own or with only one other player via doubles. You have the opportunity to build relationships with others that you may never would have in the first place.
Tennis will always be my favorite sport to play but I have to thank the other sports I've done for allowing me to be a confident and skillful tennis player. Consider what you need to work on the most and pick a sport that will help you achieve this!
Here's a video on trying to avoid injury via rolling with different equipment that allows more mobility for you to enjoy playing any sport you wish!