Playing foosball is not just about the skills – it’s a mental game. You size up each other and try to decipher what’s going on in between your opponent’s ears. The pros in foosball would tell you that they can’t read minds; but can read body language. Being able to predict what your opponent would do next based on his behavior and playing style in previous tournaments would give you that competitive advantage.
Check out the Top 6 Foolproof Tips on How to Play Foosball Like a Pro
Know the rules by heart
You must know and understand foosball rules of engagement before you decide to enter any tournament. Make sure that you have up-to-date copy of the official WTSA rules. Once you enter the tournament arena, check with the head official to know whether there are last minute revisions made on WTSA rules.
Know your opponent
Winning foosball does not just depend on the physical aspects of the game – there is also the mental side of it which is also very important. Knowing how your opponent moves will make him or her predictable and also makes him more vulnerable to your offense.
Psyche yourself before a match
Mental focus is very important for foosball players. If you observe pros, they would psyche themselves before a match. Some would even talk to themselves; take long deep breaths to let out the pressure, while others chew gum to relieve tension. There is no one-size-fits-all regimen for mental or psychological preparation before a game. You can listen to your favorite music while doing warm-ups on the foosball table. Whatever you do, the key to winning is to keep your concentration and mindset sharpened all throughout the game to disable any external distractions that can get you out of focus.
Claim every shot and make it your own
Create a novelty mark in shots that have been recycled by the masters of foosball. You should be able to find a shot or series of shots to master and stick with those. Some of the classic foosball shots you can master are the following:
- Mirror Shot – This is a popular offensive move in foosball which involves strategic shadowing technique of your opponent’s defenders and goalie.
- Bank Shot – This is a sneaky and fast shot that can pass through the savviest defenses. This requires a player to be prolific with the laws of physics such as Newton’s Second Law of Motion which states that any object triggered by sudden motion or if kicked as in the case of foosball; will bounce off the wall right into a goal.
- Focus on your execution – Playing mind games is crucial to any sport but don’t let it distract or slow you down. Focus on the ball and on your own moves. One of the biggest mistakes that even the most successful players make is that they focus too much on the opponent’s move. It actually helps to be able read the cues from your opponent but you should concentrate more on your own execution. The thing is – your opponent could purposely switch moves to deceive or confuse you. Focus on your strategy. Decide on what shots to try, block out defenses, keep your eyes glued on the ball, and make that precise execution.
Best Foosball Players in the World
Here are the 3 best foosball players in the world and how they come to be on top of our list:
He has definitely stormed his way into foosball with recent winning streaks in the ITSF Men’s Single World Championship in January 3, 2013 (Nantes, France) and April 9, 2015 (Torino, Italy). This Austrian champion is noteworthy for his remarkable snake shot style. He started his career and made ripples of attention when he won in the Garlando ITSF World Championship Series Singles Under 18 Junior in July 20, 2007. He has since then became relentless in emerging as one of the youngest and most coveted foosball players in the world to date.
This Belgian champion foosball player is coined to be the greatest player of foosball of all time. He has successfully taken over not just Europe but the world. He has encrypted the sport for 15 years as he won tables left and right from 1997 to 2012. His recent winnings include the Multi-Table ITSF Men’s Single World Championship wherein he won for 3 consecutive years or from 2010 to 2012. He is the only player in the world that has won most tables and most championship tournaments for his 15-year tenure. Additionally, he is also the only European foosball player that has dominated the United States foosball scene with success. He is semi-retired but continues to play whenever he can such as when he won P4P and Leonhart World Championships in 2013 and Bonzini World Championships in 2014.
The golden child of foosball is certainly out to paint the town tables red. Ryan “Mind Games” Moore is a top-rank foosball superstar at only 26. This American ITSF Men’s Single World Champion in 2009 has captivated hearts and made necks turn not just with his noticeably rugged good looks but with the way he brilliantly hammers the table. He is also the only player to ever beat the best international champion of foosball Frederic Collignon. He is a very technical player and is famous with his mixed shots in foosball. Foosball is basically Ryan Moore’s bread and butter.
It’s practically the “family business” which is run and managed by his mom. He started playing just about the same time he learned to walk as Moore would put it. His trademark is that rough and tough demeanor the Ed Hardy look as fans would say. He would play with a hangover but this could be his lucky charm when playing. He plays it cool but with that viciousness to win. He is the “Party Boy” of foosball one of the “Kings” that a lot of newbies would want to follow on the way up the foosball platform.
Foosball is said to be an evasive sport which many can play around but not everyone can master the rods. The best foosball players in the world have started relatively young and have fallen in love with the sport not just the game. It’s all about feeding the passion, building the hunger, and mastering the game at its core. No one ever goes pro without knowing the basics. Foosball is not just spinning the rods or intimidation right across the table it’s about allowing the ball to ricochet right into that goal. Your eyes should be in the ball and on that goal in life and in foosball.
He was recently awarded by BBC’s Blue Peter badge and cloth emblem for his continued excellence in the game. It’s like a homecoming for him as he has first been featured on Blue Peter, a British Children’s TV show, which became his vehicle on showing off his skill in foosball. At 13, he has already won his first Open Singles title in UK. This pathologically started his winning streak. He is currently sponsored by Heineken beer and Red Bull; to name a few.
In this YouTube video, Heineken Table Football Tricks, raking in over 750 000 views, he showcases some foosball tricks to his fans worldwide on his favorite Tornado foosball table:
- Brush Pass – This is usually performed on the 5th bar by tilting your player back so you can move the ball from side to side. This allows you to the brush the ball to another player on the 5th bar and then passes it on to the 3rd
- Pull Shot – You place the ball right next to the middle player, and then you pull the ball towards you to quickly snap it towards the goal.
- Snake Shot – The player traps the ball under his foot, once the ball is secure and tight in place, pull and push the handle to move the ball sideways. Catch the handle before it spins. Turn the handle bars with your wrist allowing the player to do a backward maneuver in time for striking the ball.
- Tic-Tac Shot – This trick can be played either at the offensive or defensive side of the table. It got its name from the clicking sound made when passing the ball back and forth. This is a cloaking method used to confuse the opponent so that he won’t have a clue as to when you’ll go for that shot. You will have to pass the ball to and fro a number of times and keep attuned to your opponent. When your opponent’s defense is down, that’s the green light for you – you then take the tic-tac shot to the goal.
- Pin Shot – You pin the ball under the player’s foot, move the ball sideways, and then lift the player slightly to make sure that the ball is able to move parallel until the end of the table. Use the palm roll technique when hitting the ball to ensure that you get it right to pull or push it to the goal.
- Total Eclipse – This trick is absolutely bombastic. If you are confident enough with your skills and want to show off to your friends this is the perfect trick. You place the ball forward at the bar, the objective is to hit the ball onto the sidewall and as it bounces back into the ramp, that’s when you snap it over the goal.
Rob also shared how to effectively execute the defense on foosball and his secret winning exercise to win every match.
- Defending – Most players would hit the bars fast trying to block the ball; but this won’t do the trick. When you’re on the defensive – try to go slow but precise in your movement. Keep your eye on the ball, and just shuffle it around the goal.
- Secret Exercise – It’s all about practice (lots of it!) and learning how to do ball control especially using your left hand trapping and pinning the ball. This will surely improve your foosball techniques.
Rob Atha has definitely earned his stripes in the industry of foosball. He is not UK’s and the world’s number 1 player for nothing. Follow his cue and learn the ropes from the pro and you, too, can make your own awesome foosball trick videos.