May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a great time to familiarize yourself with education and awareness on the topic. Taking care of your mental well-being and speaking out about mental health should be and can be honored year round. At USTA Mid-Atlantic, we believe tennis has the ability to foster character, community, and well-being for every individual. Part of the well-being aspect of tennis is social, emotional and mental health benefits.
Professional players such as Naomi Osaka have spoken out about just how important it is to take care and acknowledge the state of your mental well-being and shedding light on how it’s okay to just take a break sometimes. According to the Physician and Sportsmedicine Journal Vol 37, when participating in tennis, “Regular participants experience a wide variety of health-related physical and mental benefits, from improved cardiovascular, metabolic, and bone health to improved agility, coordination, and even stress and anxiety management.”
The benefits tennis has on your mental and physical well-being don’t stop there either. “Since tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking, it may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and thus promote a lifetime of continuing development of the brain, reported scientists at the University of Illinois.” Through a multitude of studies conducted, check out this list of 34 specific benefits on how tennis is a lifetime sport for ALL ages!
Tennis is a sport that caters to all ages and abilities and USTA MAS strives to make tennis as accessible to every community as possible. As we recognize Mental Health Awareness month (and national physical fitness and sports month), we are serving up a few ideas for ways you can get into tennis and hopefully experience the well-being benefits the sport provides.
Ways to get out on the Mid-Atlantic courts this season:
- Join a USTA MAS League
Finding your place on court to play and compete can be just what you need to bust the stress. Check out our step by step guide to become a USTA Mid-Atlantic adult league player. Still need a little more assistance? Check out Tennis Connect and we will help you find the right match for a team in your area or contact Leagues@mas.usta.com for more information on adult tennis opportunities.
- Join a Flex League
Have a busy schedule? Flex Leagues are a great way to still join in on the fun all the while fitting your time on court into your own day! You choose the location, date, and time to play your matches so you can still curate that healthy balance in your life.
- Recreational Play
Tennis can be a method of relaxation and not just for competition. Looking to brush up on your skills? Or are you looking to get your family involved in the fun? Recreational play is a great way to just find your passion in tennis and the ability to learn something new!
Taking care of your mental health can look different for each person. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to expressing yourself. Tennis is meant to be a fun sport that gives you lasting experiences you can enjoy! If you are looking for more resources on mental health, USTA has several articles for both adults and youth players.
Jack Groppel & Nicholas DiNubile (2009) Tennis: For the Health of It!, The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 37:2, 40-50, DOI: 10.3810/psm.2009.06.1708
USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Learn about our impact in the Section and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.