Tennis Industry magazine

 

Your Serve: It's a Beautiful Thing

Tennis has been making life better for millions of people. Let’s spread that around even more.

By Vic Braden

It doesn’t matter where I go, I always run into someone who has a beautiful story to tell about how tennis has changed his or her life for the better. There’s something special about tennis that seems to be hard to wrap our arms around.

For example, many marriage proposals have taken place on a tennis court, families have been reunited after years of estrangement, and many people claim they are alive today because of all that tennis has brought to their lives. Could it be that there are just too many beautiful things about our great game to be put into a single article?

One year at the Vic Braden Tennis College and Coto Research Center, we conducted a survey as to why people play tennis. We were surely expecting five or six major reasons to surface. However, to our surprise, we received over 100 different answers to why people play the sport.

Of course, the beauty of the health, social and time advantages of tennis popped up in our research. But we also heard many comments like, “It helps me do better in school,” or, “I discovered my best friends on a tennis court,” or, “Tennis helps me keep our family together.” These answers were not expected.

Just to make certain that I had a fair representation, one of our coaches conducted the same survey for a master’s thesis. Bingo! The same 100-plus answers cropped up. This helps me understand why tennis will always survive, in spite of the naysayers outside of our sport who would like to spread doom and gloom about tennis so that they can siphon off a few million people for their own business.

Not long ago, I asked a group of male slow-pitch softball players and a group of golfers to name a sport better than tennis at utilizing several major variables. They couldn’t name one sport, including their own favorites, that could compete with tennis.

Sports bring to light childhood emotions and experiences faster than anything I know, and sports are a major force in the understanding of human behavior and the development of a wholesome character in each of us. Playing a sport such as tennis should be one of the finest treasures known to mankind.

So, as someone who earns your living through tennis, what does all this mean for you? What can you do to enhance the healthy growth of the game?

The answer is so simple. To ensure the growth of tennis, we need to bring new people into the game. Think about it: If you can convince all of your members or customers to each bring one new person into tennis, the sport will double in size overnight. For a sport that has given each of us so much joy, encouraging one person to get into our game will keep us at the top. And just think about how increasing the number of tennis players in this country will positively affect your business.

How much time will it take to get one new person into tennis? The answer is normally one hour. Once a person gets the feel of striking the ball, running, laughing and sleeping better, they’re hooked. And now, you have help getting more people into the game, through the massive tennis marketing campaign and Tennis Welcome Center program that the industry is rolling out. And keep in mind, while people are being introduced to tennis, they should be laughing their guts out. Those who learn this way are usually in the sport for a lifetime.

So encourage all your customers and members to get one new person playing tennis this year. They’ll have given someone the best gift in the world, and you’ll be giving back to the game that has given you so much.

About the author

Vic Braden has been teaching tennis for more than 50 years. He is a licensed psychologist, author, sports educator, researcher, and sports television commentator.

Vic Braden

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About the Author

Vic Braden  has been teaching tennis for more than 50 years. He is a licensed psychologist, author, sports educator, researcher, and sports television commentator.

 

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