I Know a Little

by KC Watkins

We’ll be looking at Foosball’s long pull shot because I have some slow-motion of one of the best pull shots in Seattle. The first video is at 240 frames per second so you can get a good look at the strike on the ball.

The pull shot, many years ago, was one of the most dominant shots in foosball because of the physics of being human. You can generate more speed and power pulling towards yourself than pushing away. Even though the roll-over is used by most top level Foosball players now, there are world ranked players that still shoot the pull shot. And most good players have one they can pull out when needed.

Jessie is going to be a little pissed that I didn’t use one of the perfect shots.

Even though this isn’t a long shot, I chose this one because it illustrates a point Jessie shared when we were looking at the video. He wasn’t happy that he overran the ball, “I’m just glad I got out past the ball. That’s what I need for a good long-shot. ”

And there it is, the knowledge nugget I want to give away this time.

One of the most important secrets to a superior long pull or push shot is to get around on the ball and strike with the man slightly beyond the far plane of the ball. This overtakes the momentum of the foosball and redirects it. When you hit this right it feels like you scooped the ball into the goal.

But the main point is getting around the foosball. It is even more important than being perfect, as the video clearly testifies. So lets take a look at an almost perfect long-shot now. The defense is OK but there are two major mistakes. One is not covering the long hole enough, and the other, well, Jessie just waits for the right rhythm to take the shot.

There is something I need to say about this video, it looks regular speed, but this second video is at 120 fps, so you can get an idea how fast it really is.

There is plenty of upside to getting around on the ball. It will help prevent spraying the ball beyond the goal into the wall. It makes the defender cover more goal by bringing the far edge of the box into play. And it gives a more consistent shot.

The downside; it takes longer to make the shot, so it takes speed to make this shot consistently. Second, it is a hard technique to master and takes dedicated practice time to gain consistent success.

And there it is, that old nemesis, the key to this or any technique; practice, practice practice. So keep practicing and foos on.

By KC Watkins

If you have been watching any foosball video or tournament play and want to learn the Rollover or the Euro Toe shot, the first thing you will have to do is learn how to get the ball out there in front of your man with the foot resting on top of the ball. Warning; this will take Practice.

All Toe Up

In foosball to gain this position is to toe up, or front pin, as the position is called when you have the ball held by the toe of the man (the pointy part of the foot) in front. There is a back pin too, but generally pinning is done out in front of the man.

The front pin is more useful for offense so we’ll be looking at it. There are a few basic ways to execute the move, the corner tap, the brush up, and the back pin sweep are the most common.

The key to getting the foosball pinned no matter which technique you use is consistency, getting that consistent movement. Everyone uses their technique for the same reason; they feel they get a consistent movement, a consistent result, out of it.

So, who’s wrong? No one, really. Find the method that feels right to you, and practice that one. Because practice is the key here.

corner tap

Assuming you’ve been practicing your tic-tac skills, the corner tap is a move directly from tic-tacing.

As the ball approaches the center man you try to hit the ball with the forward corner of the man to get it to roll forward.

This technique may take longer to perfect. It takes a certain level of exactness to use the corner of the man effectively. But, it is a game friendly technique, if you make a bad hit the foosball has a tendency to stay within the reach of your men, giving you a better chance of keeping the ball while you learn.

The Brush Up

The most common method out there of getting the foosball onto the toe of your man is the brush up from a tic-tac. Largely because less perfection is required to get the pin.

The action of the man moving forward will change the direction of the ball’s momentum regardless of exactly where the ball and side of the man meet.

Ideally, you want the foot of the man slightly behind the rod when you make contact. This ensures you enough of a stroke to get the ball moving more forward than sideways. But the forward stroke needs to be just right, not to firm or to soft, to get the momentum of the foosball to change and still stay close enough to catch it.

And of course, this method will work to get a back pin; just, you know, do it backwards.

The Brush Up can also be used standing still. The standing method takes a high level of touch and practice. Because the ball will be pushed away from the man with anything but the slightest of touches.

The Back Pin Sweep

This move is used by more advance players for a variety of reasons. One main reason is this method uses one smooth movement from beginning to end leaving less room for error, giving you better consistency and ball security.

I have used this example of sweeping from one man to another because it is easier to learn this method, and this is a great exercise in ball control. Once you learn this continuous smooth movement it is much easier to move on to a sweep and catch with the same man.

This is an advanced method but I encourage you to try it out and practice this move at least a few times because moving the ball from a Back Pin to a Front Pin is always a handy skill. Who knows maybe this is the move for you, the one that fits your game.

Regardless of which method you use, I have to say it one more time, the key to consistency and control, is my old nemesis; practice, practice, practice.