The Science of Table Tennis - Introduction

Original by Santiago Sevilla - 2012

Table tennis is the 2nd most complete sport in the world, it defies the physics gravity laws, involves the use of brain and more than 80% of the muscles. Table tennis is a complete and popular sport in the entire world, everybody knows about it and how to play it in a basic way but in reality almost anybody knows about its complexity and benefits in mental and physical attributions. When most of people play in their houses they think that this sport is very simple, not so fast to play and that they only need to play with the hand, but this is not correct, table tennis uses almost all of the muscles, also a complete use of the brain in order to form strategies in each point and finally the reasons why this sport is so amazing when you look it at a high level, these are the sciences of table tennis.

Table tennis is an awesome sport in which physics play an important role, and it has developed so much that scientists are wondering how this sport defies the gravity laws. Table tennis games are very complex because of the spin, rotation, acceleration, gravity play and the Magnus effect, that make some phenomenon’s in a match, for example: a ball crossing down the net and reaching to the next part of the table; or a ball with almost no elevation being smashed when the logic and gravity laws say: the minimum of elevation of the ball, the most of spin and rotation given, so it could cross to the other side of the table. All these features play an important role during a point, that’s why is so amazing when you watch it in a professional level, with a very few seconds combine all of this scientific factors.

Table tennis isn’t a sport in which the one who smashes the ball faster wins the point; it principally needs the use of many brain structures. One basic example is when you normally play with the right hand and you start training with the left hand the result is that the other hemisphere start working and you become more skillful. The main thing in table tennis are strategies and these strategies should be done before playing each point or even the match. Another strategy is watching how your opponent plays so you could make the correct decision in order to win the match. Finally the concentration is fundamental in order to become a good table tennis player, even in professional players is very important to be a moment alone and imagine how your match is going to be. Mind training in which you apply the strategy to your opponent and see if it’s correct or not; all of this might be done before the match or tournament in order to be prepared. That’s why this sport is called an intelligent sport.

Many scientific studies said that table tennis is the most difficult sport to practice because of its complexity in the use of muscles, more than the 80% from feet to neck. Table tennis is such a complete sport that is catalogued behind swimming in its complexity because of its sequence in the use of each muscle and how each one complements the other.

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