Cardio Tennis, Anyone? ; an 'Elite' Sport Tries to Pump Up Participation by Appealing to a Workout-Mad America

By Kendra Nordin writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 6, 2006 | Go to article overview

Cardio Tennis, Anyone? ; an 'Elite' Sport Tries to Pump Up Participation by Appealing to a Workout-Mad America


Kendra Nordin writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


George Conlin is hustling. With his white cap pulled down low, the tennis pro instructs his class in a booming voice: "OK! Now, jumping jacks to the net!"

Eleven participants stretched across two tennis courts at the Longfellow Club in Wayland, Mass., obediently lurch forward - sans rackets. Next come lunges, then crossovers, then trunk twists. And that's just the warm-up. Soon the class grabs their rackets and lunge for balls hit at them rapid-fire, two in a row, before lapping the courts, slowing down just enough to tiptoe through rope ladders lining the perimeter on the floor. In the background, "Born in the USA" and "Play That Funky Music" beat from a boombox.

This is "cardio tennis," a program launched nationwide last year to try to woo gym rats to local courts and give seasoned players a way to improve endurance and foot speed.

Cardio tennis is one of several efforts by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) to revitalize participation. Other efforts include renovating public courts, offering more free youth programs, and marketing tennis as a lifelong sport for mind and body. It may be paying off. Tennis has seen an uptick in equipment sales in the past two years, a positive trend for an industry where participation has slid 13 percent over the past two decades.

"For tennis [participation] ... to be approaching what it was in the '80s is pretty good," says Mike May, a spokesman for the Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association (SGMA). "There are more things tugging at our time now.... It's one thing to watch tennis on TV, but it's another thing to find the time to play tennis."

The growth of fitness clubs and the recent popularity of extreme sports is giving tennis a run for its money. It seems whacking a ball over a net doesn't fulfill the fantasy of rugged individuality quite the same as, say, plunging down a gnarled hillside on a mountain bike.

Nor does an hour on the court translate into working up a sweat for the average tennis player, who spends more time retrieving wayward tennis balls than facing off with an opponent. And for an American public convinced that obesity is an epidemic, burning calories is now the end-all of exercise. SGMA numbers bear this out: Over the past two decades, activities that emphasize a cardiovascular workout have soared. The number of people using treadmills, for example, is up 992 percent.

Where some in the tennis industry saw a crisis, Jim Baugh, president of the TIA, saw opportunity. Why not develop a program that focuses on staying in motion instead of winning points?

That approach wasn't embraced at first by those who prefer silent courts punctuated only by the thud of balls and the occasional grunt.

"You definitely have purists who want to keep things traditional," says Mr. Baugh. "That's true for any activity. But you've got the people who really see the light and see the numbers with fitness activities. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Cardio Tennis, Anyone? ; an 'Elite' Sport Tries to Pump Up Participation by Appealing to a Workout-Mad America
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.