TIA Cardio Tennis Manager Michele Krause just finished running an afternoon of Cardio Tennis sessions at the grand opening celebration of the Montgomery TennisPlex in Boyds, Md., outside of Washington, D.C. She finally has a moment to relax before heading to California for the USPTA World Conference, where she and some of the National Cardio Tennis Speakers Team members will put on morning clinics for the attendees and offer a presentation to USPTA pros.
"Yesterday, we did a great training session for about 20 tennis teachers at the new Montgomery County facility," she says. "And today at the grand opening, we had a lot of people on the courts." Then she talks about one middle-aged woman who had never played tennis before.
"She came for the first session, but was very unsure about Cardio Tennis and worried that she would look foolish, or not be able to keep up, or just not enjoy it," Krause says. "But she loved it so much, she ended up being the first one in line for the second session. We just created another customer for Montgomery TennisPlex's new Cardio Tennis program.
"Many people think they either need to get in shape to do Cardio Tennis, or they can't do it because they don't play tennis," Krause continues. "That's just not true. It's a very safe and healthy workout for any age, any ability level and any fitness level. I always refer to 'The Biggest Loser.' Two years ago on that TV show, Anna Kournikova [now a CT spokesperson] put the 15 contestants through a Cardio Tennis workout. They weren't tennis players, yet they were smiling and laughing throughout the workout. If those people, weighing 300 to 400 pounds, can do Cardio Tennis, anyone can."
According to the Physical Activity Council, more than 1.3 million people are doing Cardio Tennis—a remarkable figure when you consider that Cardio Tennis was only created in 2005. (And in fact, participation has been above a million for the last three years.)
"I don't know of any tennis program that, in seven years, has had that kind of phenomenal growth rate," says Jolyn de Boer, executive director of the Tennis Industry Association, which manages Cardio Tennis. "Clearly, Cardio Tennis is speaking to consumers and addressing what they're looking for in a fitness activity."