Tennis: Why is it so Addictive?

By Charlie Chait

I have been playing tennis since I was about 8 when my mother drove my sisters and me to lessons. Growing up in Hawaii, it was a year-round outdoor sport. We played wherever and whenever we could. My sister even broke our front door’s screen door because she practiced her serve, aiming to it. I played all through high school, playing on my high school’s team. This was just the tip of the iceberg. When I stayed home for my freshman year of college, it was a no-brainer to try out for the team. It wasn’t until I transferred to Colorado, that my tennis career took a breather. That high altitude took away my passion for the game. As did college life.

After moving and starting a career, and other ‘adult’ activities took over, my racquet was only occasionally pulled out of the closet to hit a few balls with a friend, or a holiday when my sister and I were together again. Fast forward through marriage and kids. I was looking to take it up again. My addiction quickly returned and I wanted to play a few times a week.

What is it about tennis that is so addicting?

  1. You can pick up where you left off
    I soon found that I could pick up where I left off. I not only got better as I played more, but I surpassed my abilities. As a grown adult, I can still look forward to improving my game as I am wiser and savvier.
  2. It’s a workout for your mind
    My son is a chess player and a good one at that. He has taught me how his knowledge of the game of chess is very similar to the game of tennis. Even his tennis coaches are impressed with his ability to move his opponents around the court and anticipate the next move. Playing a match is like a chess match. This work on strategy and working the opponent is one of the things that makes our sport so addictive. Trying to outsmart your opponent all the while working on your own skills is the constant challenge. Having to ‘construct’ a point, as many coaches will say, from a moving target sent your way. A complete unknown variable from the beginning. Also, knowing that there is always someone out there that is better than you, keeps me coming back on the court to improve myself.
  3. It’s a stress reliever!
    I do have to say, that on top of all of that, taking your stress out on that little yellow object is quite gratifying. It takes a beating and keeps on coming back for more!