The concepts of teamwork and individual sport seem logically incompatible. However, in recent times, the individual sport of tennis has speedily gathered a local, national and global community around it and an unshakable element of teamwork.
In a sense, this individual sport has somewhat become a team sport. Now, it’s not just the individual professional player playing on the court; it’s their fans, supporters, professional coaches, trainers, mentors, association members, and community members behind the athlete. Similarly, in the community, it’s not just one tennis player on the court playing recreationally. It is the thousands and millions of players, teammates, coaches, tennis providers, organizers, team captains, supporters and others behind the entire tennis community in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.
Tennis is the only one-on-one sport that simultaneously embodies teamwork.
Even looking at individual professional players and how they bring a global team of community, supporters, and corporate collaborations with them will show just how much the one-on-one sport has drastically changed. New professional tennis stars like Frances Tiafoe continue to gain massive market awareness almost instantaneously and go from single player on the court to tennis “team leader” with everyone present at the match. Established professional tennis stars like Serena Williams boast a community that reaches global locations. It’s not just Williams on the court; it’s the whole world watching her game.
In Double Tennis, Team-Based Play Makes This Individual Sport a Partnership
At first, tennis was only a one-on-one sport until it later included doubles tennis. This team-based play is focused on teamwork in partnered sports and cooperation, coordination, timing and communication in full force among partners on the court. These partners no longer consider themselves individual players, but players who forge a strong relationship with another player. Together, they create teamwork that makes their dream of winning work.
Tennis Has Become a Community Outside of the Profession Too
Beyond The Match explains the teamwork aspect of this individual sport further, “Because tennis is unique in this regard, we wondered if something about the mindset of tennis fans was unique as well. And, as it turns out, tennis fans are especially inclined to embrace this community dynamic and happily lend their support to a striving champion.”
Tennis fans, unlike other sporting fans, believe in tennis’ ability to help resolve problems at the community level. They believe in a professional tennis player’s ability to bring other diverse and different groups of people together for a greater cause. They believe the individual sport of tennis is capable of bringing teams together to help society and create a feeling of togetherness. It is this togetherness that is culturally important. This sense of belonging creates tennis events, associations, programs, and outreach opportunities that support, educate, uplift and empower others.
Tennis in the Mid-Atlantic Creates Community
As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work, and this is no different in the individual sport of tennis. Besides fans and supporters, those in the world of tennis continue to bring the masses into this individual game through tennis associations, clubs, after-school programs, volunteerism, educational programs, public parks, and recreation events.
USTA Mid-Atlantic fosters social connections and uplifts neighborhoods and communities by creating fun tennis opportunities for all. Through the sport of tennis, individuals engage in physical activity, fulfill social and emotional needs and can achieve higher well-being. Plus, one can play tennis for a lifetime. When you become a part of the Mid-Atlantic tennis community, you will never be one individual on the court; your tennis friends will turn into your tennis family.
“Tennis is supposed to be a fun activity, and it’s also a great way to network and build strong relationships,” said Michael Retta, USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis provider and coach.
You will always have a team backing you up when you’re on the tennis court.
This United Front Helps Tennis Move From the Court to Community to Collective Merchandise Too
The beautiful sport of tennis has the seamless ability to move from the court to the community and see community-building efforts, team efforts, affinity partners, and branding collaborations coming to life, creating and cementing a feeling of unity for the sport and the community.
And when this happens, every sporting fan, supporter, tennis player and community member needs a unifying identity to go with it.
Every Sporting Community and Player Needs a Fan Base and Unified Identity
If you’ve ever watched a game of tennis, witnessed tennis fans seated in the grandstands, met a popular tennis player or played tennis yourself, you would have noticed that these players come with branded merchandise. This branded merchandise, recognizable stickers, photographs and memorabilia is held close to the heart by fans and players of the sport. Together, every fan or player and their prized merchandise become a united front, a fan base of togetherness.
And as fan bases grow and national borders turn to global ones, the individual sport of tennis then becomes an international team sport for the betterment of all. And every player, supporter, professional coach, tennis provider, tennis organizer, team captain, volunteer, facility and trainer who gets involved in tennis will help spread the game. This, in turn, improves communities, schools, the health of individuals in society, and the quality of life all around the world.
To be part of the teamwork that stands behind this individual sport, get involved at www.usta.com/welcometotennis.
USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps people and communities grow stronger, healthier, and more connected through tennis. Learn about our impact in the Section and how you can help bring tennis to more communities throughout the region.
Q: How many players are on a tennis team?
A: Tennis is played with two players or four players.
Q: What six characteristics make an effective team player?
A: Flexibility, collaboration, active listening, problem-solving, effective communication and a positive attitude.
Q: How do team tennis matches work?
A: Each singles match counts as one point for the overall score, and the first team to reach four points wins the overall match. To win a college match, a team must win either two doubles and three singles matches, or four singles matches.
Q: Is tennis a good team sport?
A: Yes, it is! Tennis is a great team sport because it creates team-building skills and helps tennis players learn to play in classes or a group learning environment. Competitive tennis provides a great team atmosphere within an individual sport and builds a social network.
Q: Is tennis a group team sport?
A: Doubles tennis is considered a “team sport” where lifetime friendships are often made from playing this individual sport in a team setting.
This article was written by Daniel Climans from stickeryou and is featured on USTAMASBlog.com as a guest contributor.