Wimbledon Week—Take Up Tennis Without Spending a Ton

We’re already a week into Wimbledon 2012 and the fresh tennis whites and exhilarating matches at the quintessentially British All England Club have us positively inspired.

If you’re bored with jogging or lifting weights we won’t blame you in the slightest. A person can only take so many hours at the gym before burnout sets in. Unless you’re careful you could collapse in a sweaty, self-pitying pool of running shoes and stopwatches—and under painfully unflattering (curse them) fluorescent lights no less. Don’t be that guy.

Instead let the famous Wimbledon Championships inspire you to take up the preppy sport of tennis. Adding a racket to your workout repertoire will keep you busy and in shape all summer. Get started with our advice for picking up tennis without dropping tons of cash.

Learning Tennis on a Scholarship
The initial investment of tennis may be the most intimidating—and expensive—part. Many novice players assume that they have to shell out extra cash for private lessons. But you, budget savvy newbie that you are, certainly don’t have to.

You can learn how to play tennis for free, even if you’re as green as the courts at the All England Club. Find good tutorial videos on YouTube, pick up a magazine with tips on perfecting your backhand, or just go practice. You can even check out a library book for a breakdown of the points system. Buy an inexpensive beginner’s racket for now and plan to invest in one from a specialty shop if you decide to keep up with the game.

Courts for Cost-Cutters
Maybe tennis is more popular in the land of Wimbledon than in the U.S. for cost reasons. Less people play, so indoor courts come at a premium. But summer is the perfect time to pick up tennis because it’s warm enough outside that you don’t need a club membership to hit the court. Just play early in the morning, or find a court with lights and play in the evening. Remember to arrive with your playing partner so you never have to walk alone if you go for a night game.

Clothes Make the Man, Not the Tennis Player
Sure, Wimbledon players are famous for their all-white garb. And it’s easy to get wrapped up in the cute dresses you can wear on the court. But you don’t need them. And if saving money is key to your taking up the sport, stick with the clothes you have. Gym shorts to hold your extra ball while you serve is all you need. Promise.

Your first experience on the court will give you the momentum you need to keep up with your new hobby. Don’t overwhelm yourself with worries over imperfect form, inexpensive equipment or tennis’ unusual scoring system. Just go play and forget the rest. You: 15, summer boredom: Love.