Though it's not under consideration for inclusion in the next Olympics, foosball is still a proper sport – at least to people who love the game. Therefore, like every other sport, you will need certain skills and strategies to do well at foosball. Contrary to what most people believe, foosball is as much a game of the mind as it is physical.
In this article, you will learn the different foosball strategies that you need in order to gain an upper hand over your opponent and win more games.
Serve at Your Five Bar
Every foosball game point begins with a serve. Since you can legally serve to yourself in foosball, unlike other sports such as tennis or badminton for instance, use the opportunity to maximize your scoring chances by serving the foosball to your five bar each time. Just add some spin to the ball so that the ball rolls on to your five bar and not to your opponent's players.
As mentioned earlier, foosball is as mental as it's physical. By serving the ball to yourself right off the bat, you are sure to rattle your opponent and put them on the back foot in the opening minutes.
Learn to Pass from 5 Bar to 3 Bar
Foosball is a game where control over, and possession of, the ball are paramount. It's imperative you learn how to pass the ball from the five bar to the three men bar. The five-player bar or the rod right in the center of the table with five men fixed to it is the equivalent of the 'midfield' in football. The third bar is basically the offense line-up. Scoring a goal with your three bars is easier since there is one less opponent bar blocking your goal attempt. Also, the space between your bar and the goal is less. Not to mention, the range of shot selection from your three bar is varied.
Holding the Rod Handle Properly
Wrist grip is quite essential in foosball. You should wrap your hand over the handle and swivel your wrist clockwise and anti-clockwise for effectively turning the rods. Your shots must be precise and quick. The quicker your shots are, the greater are your chances of scoring a goal. However, this doesn't imply hitting the ball with all your might.
- Keeping a free and flexible hold on the handle will ensure maximum speed and motion, and bring down resistance (if any).
- You can ascertain whether your hold is right based on the space that exists between the handle and your palm.
- Another proper handling strategy is turning your wrist immediately so that the rod spins approximately 180 degrees when you take the shot.
If you turn your wrist only a quarter or 90 degrees, your shots will lack the pace needed to score.
Related Article: Foosball Wrist Injuries - How to Prevent Injury and Treatment.
Master 'One Shot'
The one-shot strategy is important since you just cannot depend on your passing skills alone. When needed, you should be able to score a goal with a single shot. Professionals usually focus on the snake or pull shot, since those are extremely quick shots which increase your goal scoring chances. Focusing on a single shot will also help with maintaining control and setting up a shot. When attempting a single shot at the goal, it's important you get the angles right. This may entail hitting the ball diagonally.
Moving Your Players
Ensure your men are constantly following the ball. Moving your players is critical irrespective of where the ball is on the table. If the opponent is on the offensive and has the ball in possession on the right side of the table, your players should also be on the same side.
For your offense to do its job, your defense should be on point. If your defense is lacking, you're not winning a game of foosball. In fact, defense lays the foundation for your offense. Talking about defense, make sure you handle your goalkeeper well. If not, you will very easily concede a goal. Having said that, keeping a tab on your goalie at all times is not that simple. Keep practicing to get better at it.
Keep Ball Possession
Make sure you have the ball in possession or control as much as you possibly can. A lost ball means a missed goal-scoring opportunity. Following the ball also helps with your defense. In other words, more than a handful of balls can be blocked by just following the ball. Keep track of the ball irrespective of where it is on the playing field. Unlike most amateur foosball players, do not try to hit the ball as soon as you get possession. It's okay to play with the ball while it's in your control. Pass the ball between your players calmly without losing possession; nobody can tackle you like in a real game of soccer!