Table Tennis Is The Number One Neuroscience Game for Your Brain!

By Ishana Deb, Contributing Writer
October 6, 2017
Table Tennis Is The Number One Neuroscience Game for Your Brain!Source: coachfederation.org

Looking for an activity to improve your brain and body’s reflexes? Then table tennis is the game – it is the neuroscience game for you!

Ping-pong is one of the most popular sporting activities worldwide. The fanfare is vast, from small tables set in suburban cafés for casual players, to high-end sports clubs containing a multitude of setups used by professional athletes.

How has a game that consists of bouncing a tiny ball with a racquet smaller than the size of your are managed to entice so many players?

Table tennis is first and foremost a brain sport and a neuroscience game. The level of mind and body coordination demanded even from beginners is immense, making the sport an extremely interesting challenge.

Choose table tennis for your kids!

Table tennis has managed to reach nearly all corners of the globe. It is actively played by people of all ages,from three- or four-year-olds at a community sports facility to eighty-year-olds at a senior center!

People choose to play table tennis for the plethora of benefits it offers, especially in improving brain activity.

Most regular players report that they begin to experience the positive effects of the game mere weeks after taking up the sport. Ping pong offers an incredible combination of physical and mental fitness that is unparalleled with that of any other sport.

Benefits of table tennis as a neuroscience game

  • Coordination

    Table tennis is a fast-paced, strategy-based game wherein the plan changes every second in response to the actions of your opponent. Players are required to be on guard constantly during a match while trying to predict and respond to the actions of the opposite player.

    The game demands a tremendous amount of brain and body coordination, which only increases as a player advances in skill. This cooperation between the brain and the bodyserves to activate different parts of the brain at once. An improved reflex capacity of the body is a direct outcome of the coordination skills developed in the game.It is considered as a great neuroscience game.

    An article published by Table Tennis England stated that, in a study of 164 Korean women aged 60 and above, table tennis was observed to help in the improvement of brain function much more efficiently than dancing, gymnastics and other activities.

  • Decision making

    Table tennis players have to start making decisions based on assumptions about their opponent long before the match starts. The posture and behavior of the person playing opposite can speak volumes about the kind of moves they are going to make in the game.Ping-pong players need to make pretty accurate decisions about their opponent, since just one wrong estimation can cost the entire game.

    Decision making is, hence, a very important part of table tennis. This skill is especially beneficial developmentally for children of all ages to practice.

  • Concentration

    Table tennis is known among researchers and players alike as a game that helps to increase concentration and coordination in brain.

    Players need to be maximally focused during the entire match, since even the slightest bit of falter can cost them several points. Additionally, the player’s concentration needs to be equally divided between their own performance and their interpretation of their opponent’s actions.

    Regular participation in table tennis scan positively affect a person’s day-to-day life. With practice, you’ll find that your experience a greater level of focus in other activities as well, and that you can comfortably sustain your attention for longer periods of time.

  • Composure

    A table tennis match is always a stressful affair given that a considerable part of winning or losing is determined by the ability to perform under stress.

    The player needs to remain calm throughout the entire game. Most coaches continually remind players to keep their focus on their performance and not on the scoreboard. This kind of stress-reduction training can help a person to remain composed during stressful situation sat work, or at home, as well in the game.

Table Tennis Neuroscience game

Involving kids in table tennis

Young children are extremely adept at learning new skills quickly, and this should be encouraged by parents by involving them in constructive activities early in life. Many sports centers recommend a starting age of 4 to 5 years for joining a table tennis coaching session.

  • A sports center can offer important social exposure to kids where they can meet and interact with their peers. This not only benefits them socially, by offering opportunities to connect with others, but also allows them extra support in practicing the game together.
  • Children start developing a healthy sense of competition from an early age. Fostering this competitive spirit in a healthy way can benefit kids as they attempt other activities both in and out of school.
  • Table tennis is a great way to increase kids’ ability to concentrate. Young children can be easily destructible, and this can impact their ability to study at school as well as home. Playing ping-pong at least three times a week can help to increase their focus, thereby helping them to perform better academically.

Kids do well with encouragement and appreciation. Each child learns at his or her own pace and in their own way. As table tennis can be considered as a neuroscience game, it helps kids to bring focus on their actions and its impact on behavior and cognitive (thinking) functions of a child.

How do I start playing table tennis?

  • If you want to join a table tennis class, start by exploring a few sports centers that offer classes.
  • Checking out a place in person is always more useful than looking solely online.
  • Before joining a table tennis class, make sure you have a clear idea about what you desire to achieve from your experience.
  • In case you have any special requests,such as nutritional advice, talk to the coach about it. He or she will be able to guide you properly through the process.
  • It is always advised to consult a doctor before pursuing any new activity regimen.

A research article published in the PLOS Journal stated that, in a study of 48 table tennis players between the ages of 7 to 11 years, their participation in competition is based on factors like motivation, parental influence, training facilities, etc. rather than on perceptuo-motor skills.

It also said that the performance of a young player is based on growth, maturity, context and experience. By encouraging your child to try table tennis, they are not only building important mind-body skills, but they are also exposed to a context that emphasizes learning, growth and the overall nervous system.

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