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For us, there are two kinds of table tennis: the kind you play at home, in the holidays, or even at the office, which we call free ping pong, and the kind you play in a club according to the official rules. Free ping pong is open to everyone, whatever their physical fitness, their age, or the time and space they have available for playing. It's the ideal activity if you want to take up a sport or get back into sport and, the more you do it, the more physical, sporty, compelling and technical things will get.
- The fun of ping pong
- Physical exertion
- Analysis, strategy.
1. A Real Thrill (Honestly!)
When you listen to table tennis fans telling you about their sport, :their eyes light up as they talk about how fun it is to feel the ball bouncing off their bat and how satisfying it is when they land the perfect shot.
As a novice, you'll be satisfied with just managing a few rallies. Then you'll be proud when you place the ball in the right corner of the table. Your first spin will be a victory that definitely deserves a dab! And you'll be bursting with confidence when you manage to get your opponent's massive smash back into play.
And if anyone tells you that you don't get much of a view when playing ping pong, : take your rollnet on your next hike!
2. Concentration No Matter What
As a precision speed sport, table tennis requires intense concentration from players, and this will often determine the results of a match no matter the standard of play. You'll learn to block out any distractions around you and focus your attention solely on your game.
This ability will also prove useful away from the ping pong table: at work, at school, for managing stress, or for finishingWar and Peace!
3. Physical Exertion
Working up a sweat doing table tennis? No way! Yes way! As we said before, :with table tennis, you're the one who chooses the intensity at which you play. For simple rallies you won't exactly be dripping with sweat, but over the course of several matches your eagerness to beat your opponent will get things hotting up. Want to work on your cardio and your glutes? Then join a club! The speed of the footwork and repeated shots will give you a really good workout! So remember to stretch.
4. Analysis, Strategy.
Your first few shots will no doubt land in the wrong place, veer off to one side or get stuck in the net. After a while you'll start to get the hang of controlling them, but you still probably won't be thinking tactically. It's now that a new goal starts to emerge: taking control of the game! Your weapons are :analysis and strategy. Watch your opponent and try to make their life difficult by putting them off balance: Play to their backhand if they aren't confident with it, play deep in the table if they are too close, and play blocks when they use their topspin…
Yes you'll learn to analyse and make decisions, but above all you'll learn to do it quickly!
Remember to play the ball, not the point- Develop your reflexes- Conscious actions gradually become automatic and turn into reflexes you'll start off inaccurate but gradually become more precise.
Level 1:initial inaccurate rallies, with the ball flying off the table or into the net
Level 2:more precise balls but not in control of play. Constantly defending.
Level 3:attempts at placing the ball.
Level 4:analysing the opponent's game and applying tactics to win the match.
Don't wait to finish War and Peace before sharing any other benefits that we've forgotten!