WE LOVE TENNIS <3
Tennis has the reputation of being a demanding sport in terms of effort and endurance. Most people believe that you have to be young and fresh to play. Some of this is true especially if we are talking about the high or professional level of tennis. However, to be old does not necessarily mean to be done with the sport. And this brings the question asked by many seniors: Can I play tennis even if I am old?
Our answer is yes, why not. Tennis is simply a game, and a game could be played by anyone aside from age or gender. Unless aiming for a career, old people have the freedom to play and enjoy the beautiful game of tennis, provided that they pay some attention to prevent injuries.
In addition, tennis improves their athleticism and health, strengthens their core and muscles, and enhances their ability to focus.
What is Considered Old in Tennis?
In general, a professional tennis career ends in the thirties with few exceptions of players competing at a very high level even after their forties, such as Feliciano Lopez or Roger Federer. But to keep it simple, a tennis player is considered senior when he is older than 35 years.
How Does Tennis Affect Seniors?
Playing tennis in middle or old age has many benefits. It is really the sport for a lifetime. See how it greatly improves your life:
1) Positive impact on the mind
Playing tennis allows seniors to make good use of their time and avoid sitting all day at home. It encourages them to go shopping for tennis equipment, put on sports clothes and go meet and talk to people. It has been proven that sport for middle-aged and elderly people helps them socialize and communicate in an effective way and enjoy their time more.
2) Keeping fit
Tennis affects the general health of seniors in a positive way. It helps burn fat, strengthens the muscles, and lowers the chance of having heart attacks. Furthermore, tennis allows people to clear their minds, stay mentally sharp and communicate better with people.
3) Increases life expectancy
The secret to a longer life is a healthy diet and regular exercise. All sports help to increase life expectancy by a good fraction. A reference from the Copenhagen City Heart Study indicates that sports can help sedentary people increase their lifetime by 1.5 years to 9.7 years as follows:
- Club Activities : +1.5 years
- Calisthenics: +3.1 years
- Jogging: +3.2 years
- Swimming: +3.4years
- Cycling: +3.7 years
- Soccer: +4.7 years
- Badminton: +6.2 years
- Tennis: +9.7 years
That shows that tennis can increase life expectancy by a whopping 10 years.
How Can Old Players Enjoy Tennis Safely?
Nothing stops people from competing between them. In fact, in the majority of tennis clubs, we often find older players in their fifties, sixties, and even eighties having a good time together. They surely know how to enjoy the beautiful sport in a safe way. We have some tips to help practice tennis and avoid injuries or pain.
1) Use technique instead of power
You can generate enough pace with smooth and short swings if you execute the shot motion correctly. As an old player, you want to have a stable stance in an open position with feet on the ground facing to the side. The striking point has to be in front of you. Use a short and smooth swing to go through the ball. Move the shoulders a little bit but in a comfortable manner. We are trying to generate power with the least amount of effort.
2) Bend the knees
To keep a good balance and a low gravity point, bending the knees is crucial for all players but even more for seniors. It helps tremendously to maintain the balance, hit pacier balls and avoid falling down.
3) Volley often
Long exchanges can be exhausting for old players. Therefore, it is good to go closer to the net and work on the volley more often than a young player. The key is to have fun but also to save energy for the rest of the session.
4) Use a light racquet
As you get old, the muscle tone is not as strong as before. So try to choose a light racquet with reduced strings tension in order to be comfortable and less tired.
5) Prefer clay courts
If you have the choice, play in a clay court. Hard and grass courts are very tiring for the knees and the joints. As an old man or woman, you better keep it healthy and avoid injuries and they are lower in clay courts.
What Do Seniors Need To Play Tennis?
To start playing tennis, you need first to make a resolution right now. No matter where I am or how ill or depressed I may feel, I will start tennis right now. Thus, begin by searching for nearby courts or clubs. Simply type ‘tennis court nearby’ or ‘tennis club nearby’ and you will find many results.
After that, it is essential to have the right equipment to practice safely. We have a complete guide on tennis equipment, but for now, let’s keep it simple.
1) A good racquet
There are some criteria to choose an adequate racquet for senior players:
We advise lighter racquets for old men and women. Choose something under 300g/10.50oz
A big or a small handle may cause tendinitis. We advise taking the time to grip the racquet and feel it to be sure it is comfortable enough on the hands.
Head strings size
Aim for a bigger head size, which is in general more common with lightweight racquets. This allows for fewer errors during the ball strike.
2) Adequate shoes
When shopping, ask for tennis shoes rather than standard sneakers. Tennis shoes are designed specifically for tennis courts to provide the necessary support and comfort while playing. They are made with absorbent materials and allow better sliding.
However, you should buy a tennis shoe depending on the type of court you are playing in. A hard court shoe is different from a clay court shoe and from a grass court shoe. Please ask the retailer for more information.
For the shirt and pants, it is not necessary to buy specific ones designed for tennis. You can go with any comfortable clothes as long as they are not from synthetic fibers that may cause overheating.
To wrap it up, old people can still play tennis. This beautiful sport is very beneficial for health and can increase life expectancy by years. In addition, it helps clear the mind and socialize with people more often. We strongly recommend tennis for seniors who are still in doubt on when to begin and we encourage them to take some precautions on the court.
We also have a guide for people who can’t find a partner to play with and still want to enjoy tennis alone.
If you have suggestions or comments please leave them below.