By Bill Towler, USTA Oklahoma President
The March/April 2019 issue of Tennis Magazine published an article “The Game of Life” which referenced a much talked about 25 year study which found tennis added an average of 9.7 years to one’s life over those who were sedentary. What really stood out was how tennis measured against other adult recreational activities: 6.2 years for badminton, 4.7 years for soccer, 3.7 years for cyclists, 3.2 for jogging and 1.5 for those that worked out in health clubs.
It is not just the exercise that tennis provides that led to the study results. To quote the study’s authors “Belonging to a group that meets regularly promotes a sense of support, trust, and commonality which has been shown to contribute to a sense of well-being and improved long-term health.”
This aspect of our game can not be underestimated. Golf, while a great game, is about the social experience with the 3 or 4 men/women you are playing with. Tennis, on the other hand, is about the community experience we enjoy when we play. Thus, the social fabric of the game that I believe directly impacted the results of this study.
Which brings me to our adult leagues. Think about it. We play in a team based, advancement programming system. We play men’s, women’s and mixed leagues. We are part of a team and the experience that comes with it. Further, we may stick around after a match and enjoy the beverage of our choice with our teammates and our opponents. A little socialization going on.
Not to be prejudice here but when I see the spread that some of our women’s teams put out after a league match I continue to be amazed. The men, while we may participate in the post match beverage, have no game when it comes to the catering the ladies put out there. Again, a community social experience.
In Oklahoma our USTA adult league’s continue to grow and prosper. Our staff, led by Mary Jo Tasker and Michelle O’Quinn, sincerely work incredibly hard on scheduling and programming to provide the very best experience to our league participants. In 2019 Oklahoma will have over 7000 participants in our adult leagues. We measure participation and pay close attention to these metrics. A “participation” means that if you play in 4 adult leagues that represents 4 participations. Pretty amazing numbers.
2019 adult leagues are up and running. I want every player to feel free to call any member of our staff, both volunteer and paid, with questions you may have – any time. We are here to serve you – our player and member. Tennis is a game for life. Go play adult league tennis and live longer. See you on the court!
Read more articles in our March edition of the Baseliner.