Table tennis is a sport that any age and physical ability can play. It is a great sport to help stimulate the brain and improves reflexes and hand eye-coordination. Table tennis is a low impact sport that is able to help keep you fit as well as increase flexibility, with very little strain on joints.
Here are the top benefits of playing Table Tennis:
- Improves reflexes: Table tennis is such a fast paced, short distance sport, as a result it aids in the improvement of fine and gross muscle movement. Also, it requires short bursts of exertion and then recovery, which can contribute to the improvement of fast-twitch muscle development.
- Playing improves hand-eye coordination: Table tennis also helps to stimulate mental alertness, concentration and strategy building skills. Making it a perfect game for kids to help sharpen these skills from a young age, also can help older people to stay sharp.
- It’s a great family sport as anyone of any ability can play: Table tennis is a perfect sport to be played at home, in pairs or as a team. It is the perfect family fun activity that gets you away from the TV, phone and any other electronic device, for a few hours.
- Improves strength without putting any strain on joints: Table tennis is a great sport to help increase core, arm and leg strength without over exerting your joints. It also can be a great way to burn calories, especially considering how fun and addictive it can be, you’ll be playing for hours before you even notice.
At Sportsmart, we stock a variety of indoor and outdor tables from a number of different brands, including: Stiga, Alliance, Cornilleau. Check out the full range here.
With so many different tennis racquets out there, all of which at first glance look the same. How do you know which to choose? Unless you play competitive tennis, you probably have no idea. This guide is here to help.
As with almost anything, do not simply pick a tennis racquet based on the colour or because your favourite player uses that tennis racquet. This may have detrimental effects on your performance.
If you are new to the game, then we recommend a lightweight racquet with a larger head. The larger head provides more power and is more forgiving (allowing for mistakes, if the ball doesn’t connect with the center or, ‘sweet spot’).
More experienced players however, may want to invest in a heavier tennis racquet with a smaller, mid size head, as this allows more power & control.
Other important things to consider when choosing a tennis racquet include:
Balance: This is the weight distribution of a tennis racquet. A light-headed racquet, or one that is evenly balanced, enables beginners to have more control without the risk of fatigue or getting tennis elbow.
Weight: The weight of a tennis racquet determines how quickly your arm will become fatigued. Lightweight (or approx. 250-300g) is easier to swing but lacks fast, hard power shots. Determining which weight tennis racquet to get depends on your physical ability as well as your training/ability.
Grip: Choosing the wrong grip size is the fastest way to end up with wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries. The best way to determine which size grip you need is to test a tennis racquet out (which you can do at Sportsmart).
Frame: Tennis racquets are rated for stiffness from 10-100. A flexible tennis racquet frame (rated under 69), results in less power. However, a stiff frame (rated over 69) can result in greater arm strain. Frame stiffness comes down to a matter of preference.
Strings: A racquet with a string configuration of 16×19 (open string pattern) allows for more give and spin, but also tend to snap more. A racquet with an 18×20 (closed string pattern) is a lot denser, therefore less prone to snapping. This configuration is more suitable for a player who has great ball control and power.
These are the main features to look out for. However, it is worth also considering if the tennis racquet comes with interchangeable grommets. Which are designed for advanced players who want to mix up their game. Lastly, Graphene XT technology, is a special frame material that makes a racquet lighter, without losing stiffness or power.
Shop our range here
Introducing the new Graphene Touch Radical Tennis Racquets, now available at Sportsmart.
The new Head RADICAL series contains the ground-breaking Graphene Touch technology which aids in shock absorption and creates an incredible feel. Making it one of the most versatile tennis racquets you can buy
Recommended by none other than Andy Murray, the RADICAL PRO tennis racquet comes with a brand-new design, the innovative Graphene Touch technology, a heavier frame and increased power.
|HEAD SIZE:||630cm2 / 98 in2|
|WEIGHT (Unstrung):||310g / 10.9oz|
The RADICAL MP comes with the innovative Graphene Touch technology, this racquet would be perfect for the all-court advanced player who needs the perfect combination of power and handling.
|HEAD SIZE:||630cm2 / 98 in2|
|WEIGHT (unstrung):||295g / 10.4oz|
The RADICAL S comes with a much bigger head size compared to the previous 2 models, making this racquet perfect for ambitious recreational players.
|HEAD SIZE:||660cm2 / 102 in2|
|WEIGHT (unstrung):||280g / 9.9oz|
Are you transitioning from junior to adult? Then the RADICAL LITE would be a perfect first racquet. This racquet provides increased maneuverability and easy playability to those intermediate – beginner club players.
|HEAD SIZE:||660cm2 / 102 in2|
|WEIGHT (unstrung):||260g / 9.2oz|
Still not convinced? Why not try before you buy on our demo wall?
Basketball can be played on many different surfaces; from synthetic indoor flooring to outdoor, concrete and asphalt. It is important that whatever basketball shoes you pick can withstand the surface that you typically play on. If you play basketball indoors, it is also worth checking if there are any rules about the type of shoe you can use on an indoor court.
In addition to the basketball court surface, the level you are playing at is another big factor to consider when purchasing basketball shoes. A casual player may opt for a better value option than a highly competitive player who plays multiple times a week. Other important aspects to consider when purchasing your new basketball shoes include:
- Cushioning and stability
Basketball requires many start–stop movements along with quick direction changes, running and jumping. A basketball shoe that hasn’t got enough cushioning can result in strong jolts in your legs. For the sake of your joints, it is important to ensure you have a correct fitting shoe, as well as shoes with enough cushioning, stability and grip to ensure you don’t hurt yourself or jar your joints. A good quality shoe with a strong grip is perfect for basketball, to ensure you don’t slip over with any sudden direction changes.
It is important to ensure the fitting of basketball shoes is perfect. Again, with the amount of movement involved in basketball it is easy to roll an ankle. One way to help prevent this is to ensure your feet are snug in your shoes, to prevent any extra movement within the shoes. This also helps to prevent blisters due to rubbing. A better fitting basketball shoe will also provide more comfort and overall support.
It is inevitable that your feet will get hot and sweat, no matter what sport you play. To reduce this effect, choose good-quality, breathable basketball shoes. They will be more comfortable and better fitting, with less pressure on your feet.
What is the point of compression clothing?
Compression wear is the best to wear when engaging in demanding physical activity. It helps boost circulation – resulting in more oxygen being transported to the active muscles, helping to improve performance. Compression wear can also help to reduce muscle fatigue. Compression wear is lightweight, breathable and body firming, making it ideal for both low and high impact training, competition as well as recovery.
How does compression wear work?
Compression wear works through the use of strategically placed panels. These panels wrap and support the major muscles being used in physical activity. Compression wear helps to reduce vibration and fatigue in the muscles. It can also help to keep you feeling dry, as the material is designed to wick moisture away from the skin. Many high-end compression brands contain a 50+ UV protection, making it perfect to wear all year round.
How does compression wear fit?
Most compression brands determine size using the BMI index, weight and height. Compression wear should be quite tight to work effectively.
At Sportsmart we stock compression tights, tops, shorts and socks. We also offer both normal compression and thermal compression – perfect for winter.
Having just completed Connor’s Run on the weekend, I experienced that all too familiar burning pain in the side of your abdomen that signals a stitch. It makes any runner want to stop in their tracks until that pain subsides. So, I decided to do some research to understand what causes this familiar pain and the best way to prevent it from happening in the first place.
What is a stitch?
Basically, a stitch occurs when there is a reduction in blood flow to the diaphragm. There is no definite reason as to why this occurs. Theories suggest it is caused by pressure from the legs on to the diaphragm from below, in addition to quick breathing putting on pressure from above, resulting in the muscle pinching and cutting off the blood and oxygen supply.
How can you prevent a stitch?
1. Stay hydrated: Ensure you are well hydrated in the 12 hours before exercising.
2. Don’t eat too much food or sugar: Avoid large quantities of food in the 2 hours prior to exercising. Also stay away from sugary drinks and lollies.
3. Deep breaths: Most runners swear by deep, steady breathing to help avoid a stitch. If this doesn’t help, try slowing your pace and reducing intensity until the sensation subsides.
See a doctor if you experience persistent pain following exercise.
At Sportsmart, we are passionate about kids’ participation in sport. Here are some of the benefits:
- Sport improves physical health.
- Participation in sport at any age promotes health and wellness. Instilling this philosophy in children is the best way to promote health and wellness not only when they are young but for the rest of their lives. Learning these habits as a kid makes it easier to maintain as we get older.
- Sport increases self-esteem and confidence.
- Playing sport helps to establish a healthy self-esteem and can boost confidence. Seeing the results of practice pay off on match days, and the positive reinforcement and encouragement from parents, coaches and teammates, will improve a child’s self-esteem and confidence in their abilities.
- Sport encourages teamwork, communication and leadership skills.
- Team sports require teamwork, communication and leadership: three important criteria that an adult is required to be able to demonstrate when going for any job. Learning these skills as a child provides a great base for future success.
- Sport is a good way to relieve stress.
- Physical activity produces endorphins, which make you happy. Sport is a great outlet for stress relief, and to reduce the effects of negative emotions.
- Sport is fun!
- The biggest reason for kids to engage in sport is simply because it is FUN! So get out there and get your children involved in sport!