How Can Tennis Benefit Baseball and Softball?
Both baseball and softball create many athletes with great throwing arms and hand-eye coordination that would benefit them if they played tennis, but did you know tennis could also benefit a player’s performance in baseball and softball?
Tennis helps many athletes develop a variety of skills that are as useful on the court as they are on the field. Tennis has a similar arm motion in the serves as baseball and softball throwing movements. This serve motion happens at the beginning of every match, and can strengthen the throwing skills of baseball and softball players. Besides enhancing an athlete’s throwing skills, tennis has many more skills it can help improve such as catching, striking, and running. The tennis player doesn’t catch the ball with the hand most times, but when they hit a drop shot it is similar to bunting, what a player hits a volley it is similar to catching a ball. When watching any tennis game, you’ll notice there are a lot of short sprints from one hit to the next that takes the players all over the court. These short sprints could also be useful, enabling the players to run faster from base to base in baseball or softball. The combination of these skills creates an athlete that has great hand-eye coordination at a higher speed, and at more frequent intervals enabling the players to grow quicker reflexes. These quicker reflexes will later allow them to see the ball coming their way when they return to the baseball or softball game during season.
One baseball player named Ford Stainback used to play tennis in high school during baseball off-season and credits this history to his ability to play baseball. He claims he is able to see the ball coming big and slow to him compared to the tennis balls that came his way in high school. He also states that the sport improved his hand-eye coordination and conditioned his body for tennis while he was still enjoying himself on the tennis court.
Like Ford Stainback, other baseball and softball players could also enhance their athletic skills during the off-season through tennis, and come back to the field even stronger and better equipped to win games for their team.
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