Table tennis, or ping pong as it’s fondly called is loved by kids and adults alike. It’s an easy to play, low impact sport that has multiple benefits for its participants. Table Tennis has been an Olympic sport since 1988. It is the second largest played sport in the world and is also referred to as the life-time sport, because it can be played your entire life!! Para Table Tennis has been part of the Paralympics since its inception in 1960. Here are 6 reasons why your child should play table tennis.
1. Early social bonding
Whether it’s played in schools, community centers or at home, table tennis is a great tool for bonding amongst friends and family members. Communication and social skills are improved as children play games and learn to play the sport. From my experience as a coach, I have noticed that as children are exposed to the world of table tennis and sharing the same interest they become more open to socializing. Playing with the family is always fun and can bring members closer as more quality time can be spent on the table.
2. Physical development
Playing table tennis frequently is a great way to stay in shape and improve hand eye coordination. Studies done in different parts of the world have shown that table tennis aids in the strengthening of bones and muscle development. The repetitive and multidirectional movements promote your child’s agility and flexibility.
Schools around the world implement this low impact, indoor sport into their Physical Education programs because of its many benefits to children.
3. Good for the brain
According to Dr. Wendy Suzuki, professor of neuroscience and psychology at New York University, “In ping pong, we have enhanced motor functions, enhanced strategy functions and enhanced long-term memory functions.”
Table tennis works parts of the brain that are responsible for movement, fine motor skills and strategy – areas that could be growing stronger with each match. This makes table tennis ideal for your child’s young and developing brain.
4. It’s inexpensive
Compared to other sports, table tennis is a relatively cheap sport. The equipment needed to start is fairly inexpensive and can last a very long time. Apparel consist of tees, shorts and sneakers. Although, students seeking to play at a professional level will see a substantial price increase for equipment and playing gear.
5. Easy to play
Table tennis can be played by anyone no matter size, age, or gender. Its simple rules makes its easy to learn. A favorite amongst seniors and paraplegic players, table tennis is the most popular racket sport in the world. Its ability to stimilate mental alertness makes it a plus for all ages.
6. It’s fun
Whether played recreationally or professionally, it’s easy to learn but difficult to master – the game offers a fun factor unrivaled by no other. Ping pong, the recreational game is enjoyed by over 20 million Americans who play mostly in garages and basements. Table Tennis, the Olympic sport has over 300 million active members in national associations worldwide.