Tennis serves up benefits for all your other sports activities:
Tennis is the ultimate mind-body sport. Running down shots and zipping them back comes from being fluid and flexible. When you play well, it seems effortless and is similar to the relaxed state you find in yoga and Pilates.
Balance—we know that's the key to skiing. Did you know it's also one of the keys to playing tennis well? You can't just run and swing at the ball. In between, you must gather yourself and find the perfect balance that will let you power the ball over the net without ending up flat on the court. And that's all you're trying to do when you fly down a hill, right?
Many top European tennis players also play soccer. A lot of it. You can see it in their footwork, which is light and smooth. Both sports involve predicting where a ball will be and accelerating to meet it on time. That's a skill that can be practiced on both a tennis court and a soccer field.
You don't see many good surfers with flabby abs. Which isn't surprising, since their lower body, back, and stomach core muscles are what keeps them on the board. And, more than any other area of the body, the core is what makes a successful tennis player. When you swing a racquet, it may look like your arm is doing all the work, but the power starts in the core.
Tennis and basketball both emphasize short sprints and lateral movement. So how does tennis improve your hoops? It's the stops and starts. Tennis conditions your leg muscles to start, stop, and pivot in unpredictable directions—all in a split-second. And that's what basketball is all about.