48% of tennis players have an “A” average
81% aspire to attend college
A recent survey by USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the United States Tennis Association, released findings that show tennis is really more than exercise and a sport.
The study, conducted among high school students analyzed the educational, behavioral and health benefits to teens that play tennis. When compared to non-athletes and kids that play other sports, young people who participate in tennis get better grades, devote additional hours to studying, and spend more time thinking more about their future. This leads them to think about attending and graduating from college. It was also found that they have lower suspension and expulsion rates.
Some key findings from the report include:
Tennis players spent more time doing homework, and were more likely to report receiving “A” grades. A full 48% of students in the report have an “A” average and 81% say they will attend college.
Tennis players had significantly lower rates of suspension from school and other disciplinary measures than participants in other sports and non-athletes. In fact, 73% have never been sent to the principal’s office.
Participation rates within extracurricular activities and community involvement were higher among adolescent tennis players. Indeed, 82% volunteer in their communities.
Tennis players reported lower rates of unhealthy behavior such as drinking and smoking, and are less likely to be overweight or become obese.
Among all adolescent tennis players in the U.S., whites constituted 77%, Hispanics 14%, and African-Americans 9%.
“While most people may not be surprised to learn that the majority of adolescent tennis players score better than most other athletes (and all non-athletes) on education and social behavior, what is less known is that those benefits also cross all socioeconomics levels in varying degrees,” said Deborah Slaner Larkin, Executive Director of USTA Serves.
“Hopefully, this evidence-based research will encourage more educators, health policy makers and parents to promote tennis in physical education classes as well as in school and community-based sports programs so that students across the country will reap these important education and health benefits.”
"The evidence shows that tennis participation is clearly linked with educational achievement, health, and social involvement among U.S. adolescents," said Don Sabo, Ph.D., principal investigator. “USTA Serves is commended for its use of evidence-based research to evaluate the contributions that tennis makes in the lives of U.S. adolescents”.
The USTA believes tennis is a sport of opportunity. USTA Serves to date, has awarded more than $15 million in grants and scholarships to people, programs and organizations throughout the country in order to provide at-risk and underserved youth with greater opportunities to realize success.
They hope this investment pays off. The results of this survey say it should in the near future.