For me the location is pretty simple. I was born and raised in Kansas City. I’ve lived and died by my Chiefs and Royals (mostly died, but my 2014 and 2015 Royals gave me a heck of a ride!)
A sporty person in general, Ping Pong was something I played a lot in my basement and friend’s basements quite a bit. We thought we were pretty good, and I went along thinking that for quite some time. After many years of wondering, I finally decided to find a place in town I could go to “see how good I am”, so I jumped online and did a quick search for Ping Pong in Kansas City.
Welcome to Table Tennis, “Rook”
The place I found, the Athletic Club, just so happened to be a place where my buddy’s brother had just started playing at recently. I joined him one day, and I was very quickly humbled when I stepped up to the table and attempted to play what I thought was ping pong.
The first person I hit with was a Russian gentlemen that didn’t seem to impressive to me. I was watching him before I got to the table, and I thought to myself, come on, he’s not moving very fast. He’s not hitting very hard. What’s so special? I got this!
I stepped up to the table, hit the ball his direction, and what came back was like nothing I had ever seen before. The ball looped from my left to right with some crazy arch, and when it hit the table it jumped away from me and I completely missed. What the heck was that!? I no longer “had this”.
We proceeded to try and hit together, but I couldn’t even keep the ball on the table. I was making contact now, but the ball would fly off the end of the table onto the floor, and he would just continue to play, hitting the ball back onto my side of the table without missing a beat. I shook his hand that day, and I said “I’m going to get better so that I can compete with you.” He smiled and welcomed the challenge. An addiction was born.
When the table tennis bug bites, it bites hard. Since that day, about 4 years ago, I have been consistently training and playing multiple times per week (sometimes every day) in an effort to improve my skills and compete at a respectable level. In ways it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever learned, and also the most rewarding. I am now trading matches and having extremely competitive matches with that gentlemen that introduced me to the real sport of table tennis, and it’s a lot of fun!
Good Community for Ping Pong in Kansas City?
When I first started playing in 2013 there was a group of really good players, a smaller group of people that played at a bar, and that was about it. Now there plenty of places to play Ping Pong in Kansas City. The community has grown a lot, and there is a wide range of beginner level players to advanced skill level players.
Hope to see you around!