Foosball Tips #4: some offensive concepts for noobs

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First of all, thanks to everyone for comments and upvotes, really preciate it. The format I used before (pick a subject and try to gather all thoughts in a structured manner) was really time consuming and I’m not sure everyone could follow it all the way. I was trying to write some sort of textbook for beginners, but I’m not sure anyone other than veterans of the game or real hardcore people would go through it all.

So for this one I’ve decided to just give two or three general tips and maybe go in-depth, but not as crazy as in my last posts. I’ll go over ‘traditional’ tips first and then move to my personal, perhaps a bit unconventional, tips.

So bare with me :>

Numero uno is rather abstract, but it is essential to playing 3 rod and offense in general – to win real games you need more options than your opponent.

On a very basic level I would put it like that: your opponent goes left – you go right. And in reverse. If you can’t go right – you lose.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with metagame/dynamics of many 1 v 1 sports, but this principle is universally true from chess to boxing. At some point you will meet an opponent with a similar skill level to yours (equal, in theory). That is where you find out what really works and what is just a bad habbit you were geting away with all this time.

In foosball offense player on 3 rod always has options where to score and goalkeepers job is to narrow down your options. It is not really difficult to learn how to recognize and shoot open holes. Tough part is having the discipline and the skills to be able to exploit any open hole at any given time.

My personal rule is that if you can shoot long pull shot (for instance) 8-9 times out of ten – consider you’re on the right path.

Second advice that I don’t see anyone give to noobs: work on your wrist!

Just put the ball near the center dude on the 3 rod and freakin move the player around the ball as fast and for as long as you can! This incredibly simple drill will improve your ‘foosball flexibility’ a ton! I guarantee you will be surprised by how easy it will be for you to control  the players after you put some time into the ‘helicopter’.

That is how good Collignon was in 2008, ten years ago!

Number three is the most unconventional, but even if I’m just stupid and completely wrong, you can still take away something.

‘Multistepness’ is imho the best quality your 3 rod can have. I’m talking about executions consisting of multiple passes and ending with a shot. Vast majority of foosball shots are simply about moving the ball from it’s current position and shooting immediately. This totally makes sense because of the natural advantage you have as an offense player who ‘triggers’ the events and forces the goalie to react. But my point is different. If I had to teach a child how to score, I would first explain the enormous advantages you get by simply moving the ball, and how you can make the goalkeeper play catch-up all the time.

The current position of the ball dictates all the upcoming events, it narrows the range of shots goalkeeper has to block. Needless to say that if he doesn’t respect and ‘follow’ all emerging possible shots when you dribble the ball around, he will probably get scored on.

Now, to me the current ‘meta’ of foosball, where snake/pull shot are so dominant, simply points on the sad state of human perception organs :> It basically means, that only one motion out of the current position of the ball is enough to create the space and open up the holes needed to score. If you ask me, foosball prior to 90s and 00s was the real deal. Viability of pull kick meant that offense-defense relations were much more about mind games, rather than playing odds and reflexes. At least it was a two-part shot.

But hey, this doesn’t mean that playing defense now is pointless or not interesting :>

The second thing is that we are not obliged to exclusively shoot such simple and straightforward shots. This ties up nicely to my initial point that “multistepness” (I know, as a foreigner I don’t have the right to torture English like that, I’m sorry :>) is the quality that can inspire people and help win games. Pull/snake are your bread and butter, yet sometimes they just won’t work. But if you think about it, constantly changing the ball position, dribbling tic-tac and constantly reversing the ball’s travel vector (please, forgive me) is uncounterable.

On each step of our routine/execution (that is trained in advance) you are in control and can choose whenever to release the shot, depending on how the goalkeeper “follows” you. Add the fact that from any spot on the playfiled there are usually numerous ways and directions you can shoot.

And the last, fourth concept goes something like this: shots that have ‘cutback’, that redirect the balls movement are increadibly deadly.

This is something my soccer coach explained to me many moons ago. One of the toughest shots for goallkeepers in european football to catch are the headers from the corner. Simply because you redirect the travel trajectory of the ball. I couldn’t find any article or even a proper youtube video to explain better, but I have found this.

And the best I could find from real world

Just notice how goalkeepers from the last video so often can’t do anything but stare at the ball. In the first clip the ball gets redirected twice which leaves zero chance to the goalkeeper. This is just human nature and it works in foosball too.

So yeah, this is basically it for today. The whole thing took me much less time to write than the previous guides, so hopefully, if this way of expressing my thoughts proves to be better, I’ll post more often. Cheers!

 

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