Ping pong — or table tennis, as the pros call it — may seem like just a casual sport. But this seemingly humble sport is not only globally popular, but also loaded with health benefits for all ages.
Take for example keeping that little plastic ball on the table for a basic volley. Playing a game improves overall hand-eye coordination and engages the brain for concentration, game strategy, alertness, and sharpening reflexes. It also improves fine and gross muscle movement and balance, and is a non-impact activity for joints. But beyond the physical benefits of table tennis is an opportunity to be a part of a community that is focused on engaging the overall wellbeing of students during their time on campus.
We recently spoke with David Hershey, an avid table tennis player and the leader of Juice House’s Table Tennis “blend.”
“It is easy to go day-to-day stuck in a routine of going to classes without thinking of the other reasons to be here on a college campus,” Hershey said.
The majority of students are spending the bulk of their time on campus, so how can that time be set up for success while gaining meaningful, peer to peer and community relationships?
Juice House Table Tennis “blend” is a great way to provide that point of connection. (Send an email to email@example.com to learn more and attend weekly events!).
“Table tennis has also historically been…very diverse…, so it can be a great way for those who are struggling to find a sense of community to get involved and not feel like an outsider,” Hershey said.
Being able to connect old relationships with new ones while developing skills and a love for the sport are particularly valuable to Hershey; he grew up playing the sport at home with family.
“Getting to experience that with new friends and then even my father gave table tennis a special place in my heart,” he said.
Table tennis is more than an activity; it’s a way to improve campus overall.
“Table tennis can have such a large impact for so many students across this campus, and all it needs to start is a few tables and a few students looking to start something new on campus,” Hershey said.
Feeling a little intimidated on how to play or just want to improve your game? We’re here to help get you started and out here to meet us! Check out our list of tips below:
- Find the right position—squat! This brings you more at eye-level with the ball and makes it easier to rock from side to side to get a better swing on the ball.
- Change how you hold the paddle—instead of gripping the paddle like a tennis racket, turn the paddle downward. This will help keep the ball angled toward the table.
- It’s all in the stroke—when you hit the ball, swing your arm with the paddle down as a “salute” gesture towards your opponent.
We’d love to meet you and hear about your college experience and ways that we can together foster positive, rich and healthy experiences on UT’s campus. We’re sure you’ll find more to enjoy than a volley or two at the table; we’re here to cultivate and expand relationships across our campus community. Become a Juice House member to join our Table Tennis “blend”!