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Should My Child Use Speed Glue in Table Tennis/ Ping-Pong?

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Cans of Speed Glue

Cans of Speed Glue

(c) 2006 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Question: Should My Child Use Speed Glue in Table Tennis/ Ping-Pong?
This is a common question that will be have to be faced by all parents at some stage if their child is taking the sport of table tennis seriously. It's not a decision to be taken lightly either, with the issues of expense and health coming up against the need to be competitive with other users of speed glue. So with this in mind, should your child speed glue, and if so, when?
Answer: I'm possibly in the minority on this, but I personally feel that if a junior has any intention at all of taking the sport seriously in the future, then they should speed glue. Speed glue is an accepted part of the equipment used by professionals today - so juniors should be exposed to it as soon as possible, and taught how to use it properly to get the most benefit for their own style.

Speed glue allows players to get more speed and spin, with minimal disadvantages (I have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of speed glue here). I can't imagine tennis coaches arguing that their juniors shouldn't use modern rackets because they are too fast and powerful - in fact it would probably be the opposite - they'd want their kids using the best technology out there to help them.

It can be expensive, and there are some health concerns (although the speed glues that use the dangerous volatile organic solvents will be banned from 1st September 2007), but if your child is serious about the sport of table tennis, I'd think twice before stopping him or her from speed gluing. Speed glue makes a significant difference to what you can and can't do to the ball, and the tactics that can be used - do you really want your child to have to adjust his strokes and tactics when he or she does start to reglue?

With that in mind, I would recommend that juniors should probably start speed gluing as soon as they become serious about the sport, and wish to compete at the higher levels. It is not really worth the expense and inconvenience for kids who are just playing for fun, but it is necessary for those kids who are looking to play for their country one day.

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