The slow growth of tennis in the US has frustrated me for many years. I have many thoughts on why tennis has not gained greater traction as a sport people play within the US. I think one avenue for growing the number of tennis players is sadly the state of US health. The rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even gout are rising rapidly within the US. These are largely “food born illnesses” as Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn might say. Exercise can help with blunting these trends even if dietary changes are the primary mode for improving US health. I personally need to do work on the fronts of diet and exercise.
Tennis is a sport for life. Anecdotally, I know of a man in his 60s who has been able to avoid medicine for diabetes by playing tennis 3 times per week to lower his A1C level. Anyone who has played tennis has seen people of all ages at parks and indoor courts alike getting physical activity. I have become a huge believer in 10 and Under Tennis, but there is no reason Quickstart Tennis for adults of all ages could not be a major prong in an anti-obesity/diabetes/heart-disease campaign. People like me prefer to play a game when exercising. Repetition on a treadmill etc. is not something everyone wants. Competition and social engagement make exercise easier to get commit to. Tennis requires a can of balls, a racquet, and 1-3 people (unless someone wants to work over a wall/backboard). Tennis can be done for life, it is something people stick with, and it is fun. This form of exercise could easily aid a country in need of more activity. Can someone get the USTA and the American Heart Association to work even more closely together?
Tennis is Active