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USPTA Announces "Tennis-for the Health of It"
Dr. Jack Groppel announced that The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) linked their own initiative, "Exercise is Medicine," with that of the USPTA's "Tennis- for the health of it."
US Healthcare Costs Grow
Data compiled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) indicate that US national healthcare expenditures grew by more than $600 billion between the years 2000 and 2005. If we go back a bit further, those data show that national healthcare expenditures grew by more than $1.2 trillion from 1990 through 2005.
US Healthcare Trending in Wrong Direction
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in its Executive Summary of Health, United States, 2020, "In recent years, progress in some areas has not been as rapid as in earlier years, or trends have been moving in the wrong direction." Essentially, it is no secret that Americans are becoming less, rather than more, healthy despite all of our knowledge and resources.
Sport Scientist, Groppel, Touts Tennis for Health
As a world-renowned author and speaker on the subject of sport science and human performance, a USPTA Master Professional, and Honorary Chairman of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Sport Science Committee, Groppel is as well positioned as anyone to address the links between tennis and health. At the convention, Groppel alluded to 34 specific reasons why playing tennis on a regular basis enhances physical, mental, and overall health. These reasons form the foundation of the USPTA's initiative to spread the word that, in addition to recreational element of the game, tennis can burn more calories than other popular activities such as rowing, hiking or golf (click link for source).
ACSM amp; AMA Join with USPTA
As compelling as any argument Groppel used to support the USPTA's new "umbrella phrase" was the news he delivered of The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) linking their own initiaitve entitled, Exercise is Medicine, with that of the USPTA's Tennis- for the health of it. With members of the medical establishment supporting tennis, and perhaps one day even prescribing tennis, as a means of disease prevention and health recovery, the industry should continue to blossom.
Tennis a Sport on the Rise
And blossom it has done over the past several years. Groppel highlighted the most recent industry figures provided by the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), and those data position tennis as the only traditional sport showing growth over the past five years (click link for source). Based upon figures that represent tennis equipment sales, TV viwership of tennis events, and frequency of play by the public, the TIA concluded that "tennis has consistently led participation against all other traditional sports".
Perhaps the versatility of tennis and the cost efficient nature of the game have contributed to its rise. With a wall close by, you can play the game alone if you choose. But most find the game more rewarding when playing with one other (singles) or three others (doubles) on a standard tennis court. With clinics, social mixers, competitive leagues and tournaments for kids and adults in every region of the country, and public facilities in virtually every neighborhood, once you have borne the minimal initial cost of a racquet and balls, all that's left is fun exercise.
Tennis Expense Minimal
Speaking of cost, depending on your level of play, your budget, and personal tastes, you can pick up a racquet and a can of balls at your local WalMart, Sports Authority, or Tennis Pro Shop for less than one night out on the town, or one videogame cartridge for the kids...and tennis is healthier than both! If after trying the game you decide that you want to improve and perhaps even compete, the USPTA provides a "Find a Pro" service that allows you to locate a certified Tennis Teaching Professional in your area to help you develop competitive skills.
Tennis- For the Health of itan Apt Description
Previously promoted as the sport for a lifetime, which it continues to be, tennis is now also being positioned as an activity that can extend that lifetime in a fashion that stimulates mind, body and spirit. Tennis- for the health of it is more than a marketing strategy; more than a new initiative. It is a description of the game, and for those interested in staying or becoming healthier, it certainly is a good fit.