Sunday, April 25, 2010

Table Tennis League

If your child has started to get good at beating all of his or her friends at ping pong and is looking for a challenge the next step is to join a table tennis league. There are numerous table tennis leagues around the country and there's a directory of table tennis leagues nationwide that you can check out to see if there are any in your area. Table tennis leagues offer a variety of levels of play and playing against someone your level or better is the only way to get better. To get the most mileage out of a table tennis league, see if your child has a friend that they can take; it will give them some comfort to have another person their that they know and if you're lucky you can trade off car trips.

Typically the only thing that you need to join a table tennis league is a table tennis paddle. League fees are generally pretty reasonable, about the same as a baseball or soccer leagues. Most metropolitan areas will have a league that typically will meet once to twice a month.

If you searched around and can't find a league in your area, the next best thing is to start one. Assuming you don't have the space in your house to accommodate a half dozen tables, there are a number of places you can check out to see if they have room for the facilities. Places like church or fire halls, local schools or colleges, and athletic clubs all can have extra space to host a table tennis league. And if they already have a couple of ping pong tables all the better. If you get really serious you can buy software online that will manage your league for you that has stats and leadership boards and everything.

No matter how you do it, being in a table tennis league will provide tons of enjoyment, an opportunity to socialize with other people, and help improve your game adding a little friendly competition.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Table Tennis Conversion Top – Make your Pool Table a Ping Pong Table

A Table tennis conversion top is a great way to make your pool table into a ping pong table in a matter of minutes.  It’s by far the easiest and cheapest way to get your kids into table tennis so long as you have a billiards table.  Basically, what this is is a large wooden table that can be installed onto the top of your pool table.  The wooden ping pong surface is padded and designed to fit over either a 7 foot or 8 foot pool table and be secured with clamps.  By far the biggest difference between the different types of conversion tops is whether to go with a 1/2 inch thick table top or a 3/4 inch table top.  The difference could cost you around a $100 and really depends on your situation.

There are many different brands, options, and features available that make choosing one a little difficult.  In future posts we’ll do some reviews on tennis table conversion tops to give you an idea of what you’re looking at and what would work best for you and your kids.  I just wanted to provide this as an option in case you have a pool table and wanted to get a little more use out of it.  If this looks like an option for you and something you want to research more, check out the following articles:

One thing to keep in mind if you do go for these options is to make sure that a net is part of the purchase.  Some products sell the net separately and it can be a bit of a disappointment to find out that you can’t set it all up right away.  Some of the best deals you find on the internet are with package deals that include the table conversion top, paddles, net and balls.  This guarantees that everything is compatible and ready to go so you can get started right away.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Case for Tennis Tables for Kids

I had a table tennis table when I was growing up. We didn’t have much else, but my brother and I would play that table forever. It was endless fun, sweat and sometimes hurt feelings. Needless to say I’m advocate for table tennis (or ping pong, whatever you want to call it). But I don’t think that my pleasant memories will be enough to convince you so here are 5 reasons why table tennis tables are beneficial for kids.

1. Table tennis is active entertainment for kids

I understand that it’s difficult to find the time to do all the necessary household things and still get to hang out and entertain you kids. For this reason, it’s very convenient to let them hang out and watch TV or play video games. They get the entertainment they want and you get some free time to get stuff accomplished. However, these activities are little more than time wasters. It’s been shown that as humans our brains will shut off when watching TV, that our brainwaves are the same as the most useless stage of sleep. Video games may provide the added benefit of hand eye coordination but that’s about it. With table tennis, kids are moving around and I can guarantee you once they get into they’ll be working up a sweat. And with playing table tennis, kids develop the same eye hand coordination and that only improves as they get better and better. Also, when playing table tennis you have to be able to think what your next move is going to be; it requires thinking fast and adapting to your opponents style of play.

2. Table tennis will teach your kids sportsmanship and respect

I think this can go for just about any sport, but by playing table tennis (especially in a league with other kids) kids learn about the qualities of sportsmanship. They learn how to be a good loser and a gracious winner. And unless they go undefeated, they learn humility and how to overcome adversity. But probably most importantly, they learn competition. Kids who are introduced to a healthy competitive environment (key word: healthy) are better adjusted to deal with adversity and tackle challenges head on. This leads to stronger self-confidence, better academic performance and more success all throughout life. All this from a game you play in your basement with your friends.

3. Table tennis gives you an opportunity to connect

While table tennis provides a platform for all of the qualities expressed in number 2 above, it requires some guidance. Even if you’ve never played ping pong before, playing table tennis with your child will help to connect with them and spend quality time (and don’t worry, you’ll get better at the game). Research has shown that parents who spend time with their children have a better connection, are given more respect, share more of the same values and have a healthier relationship.

4. Table tennis is a cheap investment in your kids

While table tennis tables can be a large expense, they are a onetime purchase. If you select the right ping pong table and give it minimal care, you’ll have a table that lasts your kids entire childhood. The only thing you’ll need to purchase on a semi-regular basis are ping pong balls (they have a way of getting lost or squished) and occasionally ping pong paddles. What other sport can promise this? Most sports you have to purchase uniforms, equipment, league fees, travel expenses. If you just have a table tennis table in the basement there are no other expenses. If you do decide to enter into leagues there are some minor league fees but nothing compared to football, baseball or soccer.

5. Table tennis is simple, year round fun whenever you want it

Once you have your table tennis table set up, the net adjusted and a healthy supply of extra balls you can play table tennis whenever you want. You can play it outdoors if you have nice weather and want to enjoy the breeze, you can play it in your basement any time of day or night (as long as it doesn’t keep anyone else awake), you can play it in the garage. All you need is another person and you can play for as long as you want. Actually, you don’t even need that! Most table tennis tables can be folded up on one side to provide a surface to practice against. It’s simple.

As you can see, table tennis offers a multitude of health and social benefits for both you and your child. For a small investment in money and a healthy investment in time you can develop the table tennis game in to whatever you want it to be with your kids. Spend a little bit of time researching what type of table would be right for you and make the investment. You won’t be sorry.

Welcome to Table Tennis for Kids

Table Tennis for Kids is a blog that brings you innovative ways to interact with your children through table tennis. This includes reviews of the best gear, special articles on cool table tennis tricks and tips, and the latest in the table tennis world.

What Table Tennis for Kids can do for Parents

Here at Table Tennis for Kids we want to bring fun and excitement to your children and use that as a way to interact and build up a bond. It’s been shown that children who engage in exercise are more responsive and well-adjusted. Table tennis is a great way to provide exercise year round and for a minimal investment. It’s undeniable that there’s a rising epidemic of childhood obesity which can lead to problems such as diabetes and heart trouble. As a parent, I understand that it’s difficult to constantly be engaged with your child(ren) and that it’s easy to let them just watch TV or play the latest PS3/Xbox game. But if more kids put down the controllers and picked up a paddle, you would get much more than just exercise. Table tennis builds reflexes, quick thinking and just as much hand-eye coordination as any video game. Table Tennis for Kids will provide you with advice on purchasing equipment such as ping pong tables, paddles, etc., reviews on different equipment, advice for getting your kids into table tennis as well as some tips on how to take your kid’s interest in ping pong to the next level.

We hope that you stop by often and enjoy the advice and articles that we provide. If you have any questions as well as any topics you’d like to see covered please feel free to leave a comment below.