Every now and then my friends and I go to our college rec room to play a couple rounds of foosball when we have some down time between studying and class. They’re people who grew up having foosball tables in their basements when the only time I’ve played is during the time I’ve spent in college.
Learning how to play better can be hard when you’re playing with experienced people. If you can’t find a partner on the same level as you are then you can use practice drills to enhance your foosball technique.
To get anywhere in the game of foosball you need to know how to control the ball when you have it. But how exactly do you get the ball? This can be very difficult when you start off but after working on your drills it will become second nature during a game.
Pinning is the term we use to describe the act of keeping the ball between the toe of your player and the table surface. Because foosball is such a fast moving game this can be very difficult but is essential to making effective hits.
The drill is quite simple. If you haven’t gotten the hand of actually pinning the ball without movement then practice setting your players on top of the ball. Sometimes the ball can be pushed out from underneath you if you set the player slightly off so this is important to know if you want to keep the ball in your possession.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of keeping the ball in place you need to add the movement. Hit the ball at different angles at the end of the table or with other players so that the ball will come back to the rod you’re using. Practice stopping the ball when it’s coming back towards you with speed.
If you keep your players straight up and down the ball is more likely to bounce off the players toes before you have the chance to pin it. Keep your players at a slight angle away from the ball so that the toe and the ball create friction to slow it down. Then you can lift the toe as the ball gets closer to the end of the toe.
Get a feel doing this with all of the different rods. Closer range rods can cause less time to think about your move and more pressure from the ball. You can also get a better feel of pinning when you practice your passing drills.
Passing is probably the most essential skill you need to work on as a beginner. Instead of relying on hitting the ball at different angles, passing is a skill that you can use to confuse your opponent as well as to locate openings in your opponents defense.
You’ll more than likely spend more time on this drill then with the pinning drill. Start off by passing the ball between different rods. After you’ve got this down then you can start working on the tough stuff.
Tic-tacking refers to when a player passes the ball to different players on the same rod. This is where your pinning skills come in. Start with the ball pinned under one of the outer most players. Move the player over while bringing the ball along with them. Once the ball is in the range of the next player continue moving the ball in the same way until it reaches the opposite player.
You can also use the side of the players toe to pass the ball sideways. Pass the ball to the next player clacking the ball in between the two. Then pass two players down by rotating the rod so the first player is out of the way and then moving it back so that your target player stops the ball. Do this between all of the players and continue to practice pinning while doing this.
The faster you can do this the better. You can learn to fake out your opponent by continually passing to your players until you find an opening to the goal.
There are many different maneuvers you can use to shoot a goal and it’s important that you use a variety of them so that your moves don’t become predictable. Because there are two defense bars between you and the goal it can be hard to find an opening so practicing different moves is important.
Doing a pull or a push shot requires the passing skill that you practiced. To do either of these moves you just make a very fast pass from your middle man to either one of the other players on either side of you and shoot. This is used when you see an opening between the two defense bars.
A bank shot requires getting used to different angles you can shoot the ball at. When performing a bank shot you’ll be mainly using the two outer players closest to the edge of the table. Kick the ball at an angle so that it hits the edge of the table and goes into the goal.
A rollover snake shot can be very difficult to execute. You need to pin the ball in the front of the middle player. Move the rod back and forth so that your opponent thinks you’ll keep passing the ball. When there’s an opening swing the player all the way around behind the ball and shoot it in the goal. This is a super quick process.
For any of these shots you need to remember not to make any of your moves predictable. You can keep your opponent thinking by continually passing the ball between players.
Defense is just as important to know as offense but unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot you can practice to improve it. The one thing you can do is practice stopping the ball with the two rods in front of your goal.
Another thing you can do is practice passing the ball between the two rods and pinning the ball specifically with the rod directly in front of the goal. Because this is your last resort rod, it’s good to get to know the feel of how far the ball can go before entering the goal.
What Are Common Foosball Techniques?
There are a couple of small things you can do to increase your foosball abilities. One thing is to have the right posture. Amateur players tend to stand directly in front of the table. Have an open stance with your knees slightly bent, lean forward a bit and keep your grip loose. A loose grip will help you make a faster transition from one rod to the other.
Another thing that you can do is to watch other players. If you’re having trouble getting anything down and making quick moves see how professional players keep their feet or how they place their hands. Maybe they have their own technique that just might work for you as well.
What is the Foos in Foosball?
Foosball is actually this American mispronunciation of the German word for soccer. Fussball is the German translation for soccer which literally translates to foot plus ball.