There are many reasons for both neurotypical and neurodivergent individuals to play this amazing sport. In my blog entry, I will list my top 10 favorite reasons why individuals with autism will benefit from participating in tennis activities.
Tennis increases fine motor skills (ie-hand-eye coordination, catching, throwing) and gross motor skills (ie-running, jumping). Children and adults with autism increase their fitness levels and improve heart, muscle and bone strength by participating in the sport. It is essential to be properly hydrated before and after tennis classes as well as to learn about healthy eating habits and nutrition.
Individuals with autism are visual, routine-oriented learners. Tennis helps these individuals improve their auditory and visual processing as well as problem-solving skills. Playing in tennis drills and matches creates opportunities for spontaneous thinking for both on and off the tennis court. The sport develops focus and brain power as well as short-term memory skills.
Tennis is a social sport because an individual must play against an opponent in singles competition and share a team with a partner for doubles. Receptive and expressive language skills are increased through requesting and commenting while playing the sport. For individuals on the autism spectrum who are non-verbal, the use of visuals and communication technology are essential components for communication success.
Tennis develops discipline for routines and provides a therapeutic outlet to reduce stress. The sport teaches individuals with ASD about valuable life skills such as integrity, sportsmanship, leadership, responsibility, perseverance and confidence.
I truly encourage children and adults with autism to engage in the sport of tennis for it’s life-long therapeutic benefits, both on and off the tennis court.
Love Serving Autism, Founder