Playing as a family

Four reasons why tennis can bring the whole family together.

Tennis is one of those sports where everyone can play a role. Even if you’re not a tennis coach, you can practise basic drills with the kids and keep them on their toes. Hire out a court on weekends, use sports facilities on family holidays and invest in a few racquets for the family so everyone can get involved.

Here are four good reasons to get your family down to the court…

1. Family time

Use tennis to spend family time together while keeping active and entertained. Some clubs offer family coaching, or you could take individual lessons and then reunite for some light-hearted competition. Family doubles matches are always a lot of fun, or you could open up the field with a round-robin family tournament. If children take part in weekend competitions, travelling as a family is a great way to support them, offer tips and get everyone involved in the social world of competition tennis.

2. Fitness role models

Children learn many of their life habits at an early age. If parents have an active, healthy and balanced lifestyle, it sets a great example for everyone to follow suit. Playing regular tennis is packed with health benefits including improved aerobic fitness, sharper coordination and balance, increased bone density and weight management. Be a healthy role model in your family and instill good habits in your children early on.

3. Accessible for all

Start the little ones out early with mini racquets and low-pressure balls and you’ll soon be enjoying rallies as a family. Different court surfaces help injury-prone players and there’s always a local tennis court you can rent out for a social set. Joining a club as a family is a great way to enjoy easy access to courts and keep up the momentum for regular sessions.

4. Teamwork

Playing doubles tennis helps you lift your game, as you want to do your absolute best for your teammate – whether it’s your sibling, parent, child or family friend. Sharing something in common with members of your family is a great way to keep connected and will naturally build your teamwork skills.

Five famous tennis siblings

The Williams sisters – Venus and Serena have dominated women’s tennis for decades and were coached from a young age by their parents. They have met in the finals of eight Grand Slam singles and have both held WTA World No. 1 rankings.

The Bryan brothers – Twins Bob and Mike Bryan are professional American doubles players and have won more games, matches, tournaments and Grand Slams than any other pairing.

Marat Safin and Dinara Safina – Russians Marat and Dinara are the first brother-sister duo to achieve World No. 1 rankings in tennis history. Their father managed their local tennis club and both moved toValencia,Spain to train.

The Murray brothers – We all know Scottish singles powerhouse Andy Murray but his older brother Jamie is Britain’s number one doubles player. Jamie won the 2007 mixed doubles title with Jelena Janković. Their mother, Judy, is a tennis coach.

The McEnroe brothers – John Patrick McEnroe and Patrick John McEnroe have both achieved immense success on the court. While John is as well known for his on-court antics as his incredible play, brother Patrick holds 16 pro titles and held the longest Davis Cup captaincy inUS history.

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