I was first introduced to Table Tennis when I was 13. As someone who had only played cricket, and more cricket, I was fascinated by the Table and the net. I wanted to try this badly. I still remember my first few attempts at a serve, when the racket and the ball just didn’t seem to meet!
I am not a person who can be called ‘talented’ at sports. I was a fat and clumsy kid back then. I used to fall often and bumped into things frequently. Also, I lacked competitiveness. However, something about Table Tennis pulled me towards the sport, though I was not good at it. As days went by, I learnt new techniques and became one of the best players in my school. It became my stress buster. The changes I experienced in the process of learning to play this game are:
I was no longer clumsy.
My balance and attention had improved. My posture was much better, and I could finally carry things without the fear of dropping them. My grip was stronger and my reflexes also improved. This is because the sport requires utmost concentration and swift movements and adjustments. Also, one needs to practice different techniques like sidespin, topspin etc. Which improves one’s hand eye coordination.
I was no longer obese.
I was so determined to become a better player, that I devoted almost all my free time to Ping Pong. All those hours wasted on watching TV and playing video games were all now spent on playing. I lost weight and thus became fit. My stamina had increased, and I felt better than ever!
I paid more attention in class.
Long hours of playing Table Tennis had improved my attention span, as the game requires you to pay attention to your opponent’s shots and watching the ball closely. I was more observant of my surroundings than before.
I could handle pressure.
The competitive nature of the sport and the ample scope for deception by the players teaches one how to react to different situations in a short time. I had become used to being in high pressure situations, so I could also handle my academics, projects and extra-curricular well. Meeting difficult deadlines was no longer daunting.
Apart from these, I had developed my social skills, learnt to develop strategies to tackle different situations, and most importantly, learnt to accept defeat. So, Table Tennis is one game that I recommend everyone to play at least once. Beware, it’s addictive!