Grip Tips to Turn Your Foosball Game Around
When it comes to improving at foosball, it's best to start with the basics. What does that mean? Your grip. The way you hold the rods can make a big difference to your success in the game. Let's take a look at the ins and outs of foosball grip.
Different Grip Styles
There are two basic grip styles in foosball: Wrist grip and palm grip. Serious players will master both, and often switch between the two during a game. That's because different shots, such as the pull shot for example, can be taken better with one grip or the other. However, if you're new to the game, start with just one.
Wrist grip is probably easier for most newcomers to foosball. There should be a small gap between your hand and the rod, but your fingers will be wrapped completely around it. You'll rotate your wrists whenever you want to move the rod.
Palm grip is looser, with the rod almost resting on your palm and your fingers held loosely around it. When you move the rod, you won't rotate your wrists completely; here, the control comes more from your hand. This technique tends to be used more for particular, tricky shots, rather than as a general grip.
Pros and Cons
Wrist grip is great for newcomers to the game, as it's easier to master. It's usually regarded as the right grip for most foosball shots, and it can give you great speed, but only when you're doing it right. New players often struggle to get their wrists working fast enough to make the most of a wrist grip.
The other problem with the wrist grip is that it's very easy to hold the rod too tightly. This will seriously impair your game, and prevent you from shooting the ball well.
Palm grip allows you to flick the ball at the goal well. It also lets you set up one of the most useful shots in the game, the snake or rollover shot. However, new players often struggle with control in a palm grip. There's also the serious danger of accidentally spinning the rod, an illegal technique that will see you penalized.
Troubleshooting Your Wrist Grip
The most common problem for new players is gripping the rods too tightly. If you do this, then your speed, accuracy, and control will all suffer. Here are some key pointers to look out for as you play:
- Make sure you're leaving a gap between your skin and the rod. You should never be holding on as tightly as you'd grip, say, a baseball bat or hockey stick.
- To see at a glance, check your knuckles. Remember this rhyme to help you: Knuckles white, grip too tight.
- Rotate your wrists a couple of times to loosen them up and reduce the chances of a wrist injury. Remember, in a wrist grip, the movement will come from your wrists, not your hands, so don't try to force things with your fingers.
- Even if you start the game with the right grip, make a mental note to check yourself regularly. As you get excited, it's easy to forget yourself and start holding on too tightly again.
- Remember that most successful wrist flicks use your dominant hand (the right, for the majority of players). Don't try to force your weaker hand to manage a shot, as you'll often be setting yourself up to fail.
Foosball accessories can make a tremendous contribution to both increasing your ability and overall level of enjoyment for the game of foosball. If you're serious about this game, you might look into foosball grip aids to help you enjoy greater accuracy. As a foosball game progresses, sweaty palms can be a killer, so look for one of these lifelines. There are three common types:
- Handle wraps are similar to what you may have seen in baseball or tennis. They're the most popular grip aid, but they will need to be replaced regularly. View Handle Wraps on Amazon
- Foosball gloves are popular with some players, providing an alternative to wraps. Others find them unwieldy, and they are hard to adapt to at first.
- Handle tubes have a rubberized surface that slides over the rods. They're thicker, which can take some getting used to, but they last longer than handle wraps.
Again, your choice of grip aid comes down to personal preference. Experiment with different types until you find the one that's right for you.