Just about everyone has played ping-pong (or table tennis, as it is commonly known) at sometime or another, it's one of the most popular sports in the world. But what are some of the reasons that table tennis is played by so many people? And what exactly does table tennis have to offer you?
(1) Health and Fitness
Table tennis is good for your health—it's great for getting up a sweat and getting the heart rate up. Played at the higher levels, it's one of the fastest sports around. But you don't have to be a pro to get a good workout. Just a couple of hours a week hitting that little white ball around can do wonders for your fitness.
(2) Gentle on Your Body
It's easy on the body. You can play ping-pong according to your own capabilities and limitations, and still be competitive. And being a non-contact sport, you don't have to worry about those bruises or even broken bones that you can get in contact sports.
(3) Everyone Can Play
There's no age or gender barriers—it's common at clubs for 60 year old veterans to be playing 15 year old juniors, or men playing against women, and with everyone having a great time and a close match. Families can all play each other without having to worry about the bigger or stronger members dominating the game. In fact, many athletes with disabilities can compete on equal terms with able-bodied athletes at table tennis, since there is much more to the game than sheer power or strength.
(4) A Sport for Life
Table tennis is a lifelong sport, that can be played competitively right up to your eighties and beyond. It's never too late to start, and you won't have to hang up your bat later on because you are getting too old for the sport. As you get older, better use of tactics, and technology such as long pimples or antispin, can compensate for slowing reflexes or waning speed around the court.
(5) Keeps You Mentally Sharp
As you get older, ping-pong is good for the brain. There is an awful lot of thinking, planning, and strategising going on out there on the court, all of which helps keep the old grey matter active!
(6) You Can Play Anytime
Table tennis is an indoor, non-seasonal sport. You can play it all year round, day or night, and you don't have to worry about bad weather or covering up to keep those harmful UV rays off you.
(7) You Can Play Anywhere
It's space efficient. You don't need a huge amount of space to have fun playing ping-pong at home, and a foldaway table can be put away when you aren't using it. By the time you really need to stretch out and move around the court, you should be ready to go play at your local club, which should have plenty of space to run around in. At clubs, it quite easy to fit from 8 to 16 tables in the space used by a basketball court. Play some doubles and that's up to 64 people having fun at once!
(8) Make New Friends
Table tennis is a great social sport. You'll get to meet plenty of people down at the local clubs. Play a competition once in a while and you'll be able to compete and make friends with a whole bunch of fellow table tennis enthusiasts.
(9) You Don't Have to Spend a Fortune
You don't have to spend a lot of money to play ping-pong. A basic table tennis bat can be bought for around £5 and will give good service while learning the game. A good racket for intermediate and advanced play would usually be around £30-£300. The cost of joining a club and the weekly club fees are usually quite low compared to sports such as golf or tennis.
(10) Enjoy Yourself
It's fun! Table tennis is a wonderful sport to take up for life. It's easy to play, yet difficult to master. You'll always have another challenge to look forward to, and another mountain to climb.