Is Playing Ping Pong Good For Your Child?

By Ishana Deb, Contributing Writer
September 3, 2017
Is Playing Ping Pong Good For Your Child

Looking for ways to get your child away from the TV? Take him to a ping-pong club and watch him transform into a healthier version of himself in just a few months.

Children’s participation in sports and other physical activities has declined significantly in the past few decades. In today’s day and age where video games and electronic media take center stage in people’s lives, kids rarely like to take part in sports on their own accord.

According to an article published by The Aspen Institute, the number of kids playing basketball, soccer, track and field, baseball, and softball has decreased by nearly 3 million between 2008 and 2013. Also, less than 1 in 3 children participated in vigorous physical activity at least 3 times a week during this time frame.

Physical & mental benefits of ping pong

Strenuous physical activities like ping pong are extremely important for the healthy growth of a child. The decrease in children’s engagement in sports has led to several health issues wherein child obesity and psychological problems bag infamy.

A survey report released by the National Institute of Mental Health on “Major depression among adolescents” stated that about 3 million teens across the US aged 12 to 17 years had at least one depressive episode during 2015. This number accounts for 12.5 % of the population of the country in that age group. Regularly indulging in vigorous physical exercise can render several benefits to the mind as well as the body.

How does ping pong help your body?

  • Coordination: One of the earliest “unspoken” lessons grasped by a beginner in the game of ping pong is to quickly act upon a decision.

    The sport requires players to understand the tactics adopted by the opponent and to accordingly match their own strategy, all in the short span of the ball leaving their own court and being hit back into it.

    Thus, mind and body coordination plays a very important role in ping pong. It also helps to sharpen the responsive skills of the brain, which in turn aids in several other areas of life.

  • Reflexes: Ping pong, like most other non-individualistic sports, helps to enhance motor skills and reflexes in the body.

    This is extremely helpful during a child’s early development, especially those with ASD. Children with autism benefit immensely from coordination-centric sports since these activities expose them to an established repetitive pattern, which in turn helps them to gain control over their own motor behavior.

    Quick response games like ping pong are also very helpful for improving the mechanical competence of the body. Children involved in such activities from an early age adapt to other sports more quickly in later life.

Why ping pong is good for your kids?

  • Attention: Most parents complain about their kids having a short attention span; always shuffling between multiple activities while completing none. This can have a negative effect on their education since a lack of attention can quickly divert kids away from their books to the phone or TV.

    Ping pong is a highly focus-oriented sport, as the player is required to consistently keep track of the ball as well as the opponent’s moves. Children with attention deficits greatly benefit from such an exercise as the brain is being trained while indulging in a fun activity.

    When started from a young age, the child undergoes strenuous brain exercise during the early stages of growth. This is beneficial in terms of progress in several other spheres of life, including schoolwork.

  • Memory: For a child starting out with ping pong, the frequency of practice sessions can vary anywhere from three to five days a week. The initial drills taught by the coach are usually the basic moves involved in playing the sport.

    Repeated practice of the same exercises gets the movements deeply imbibed in the long-term memory. The unpredictable nature of sport requires that the player be an expert in all the maneuvers that he has learned. Thus ping pong can act as an intensive exercise for the memory.

    Ping pong fitness thus goes far beyond the physical, and lives up to its name as the “brain sport”.

  • Ping-pong
  • Social interaction: A ping pong center is a great place for kids to bond with others of a similar age. The shift toward Internet-based social interaction platforms has led to a huge rise in the new generation avoiding one-on-one contact with others.

    A lack of social skills or awkwardness during an in-person meeting can cause a lot of damage to the future of a child in terms of career prospects.

    It is therefore extremely important for parents to make sure that their kids are involved in a healthy amount of social communication offline.

  • Best hang out: A sports center can serve as a spot for kids to hang out after school or during the holidays. Moreover, practicing together can assist in the learning process, as they are easily able to judge and rectify each other’s mistakes.

    Ping pong sessions can also be used as means of get-togethers. Planning family or neighborhood matches during the weekend is a great way to catch up with your loved ones.

  • Fitness: Ping pong provides an effective workout that lacks the boredom of a regular gym session but has all the benefits of a high-intensity interval training routine.

    The sport offers a mix of cardiovascular and strength training that strongly improves the level of fitness in the player’s body. Increase in aerobic capacity boosts heart health and helps to maintain an active lifestyle in the long run.

  • Physical benefits: Ping pong workouts also challenge the neuromuscular system of the body leading to better balance. Muscular growth is promoted, which leads to a better physique in kids as well as adults.

    Another advocate of ping pong as a wonderful form of exercise is its mood enhancing capacity. The intensive cardiovascular activity aids in the release of certain “happy hormones” like dopamine and serotonin which are known to be mood lifting chemicals. Hourly sessions at least three times a week can thus prove to be excellent stress busters, especially for students and working individuals.

Teach your child to play ping pong

Parents should undertake thorough research before enlisting their child in a ping pong center. The prime objective is the positive development of the child; hence proper care must be taken to ensure that he is comfortable with the setting and is able to easily learn the skills required for the sport.

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