A collaboration space for the Pacific Northwest foosball community

Foosball’s Long Pull Shot

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.


One thought on

  1. I want to comment on those videos. The first video is NOT the right way to square up a pull shot. Frankly that first video’s shot went in via “Blind luck”. The video shows the man pulling past the ball (which is correct) but on the forward stroke the back corner of the man is contacting the ball just past the middle of the ball which is “Cutting the ball backwards”. This shot was squared up by hitting the ball with the corner of the foot, and that’s not the way to do it. As seen it is obviously possible to square up the shot this way, but the margin for error is insanely tiny. I suspect that shooting it this way was not the shooter’s intent.

    First off let me say there are basically two types of pull shots which are shot quite differently:
    1) The Spray – Which is usually shot long, no attempt is made to square up this shot, the main goal is to get the ball to the far corner of the goal as quickly as possible. Hitting the ball hard does square the shot up some, but no effort is made to otherwise square the shot, this shot will never wind up going at an acute angle (90 degrees or less) unless miss-hit like in the first video. (though that video was not a “Spray attempt”…it was definitely a miss-hit. The Spray can also be used to shoot a split middle when the defender is in a “Reverse” defense (guarding the strait/middle with the goalie and the middle/long with the two man.)
    2) the Square – The square shot is generally a tiny bit slower than the spray, as extra effort is being made to square or cut back the shot slightly. This is the shot of choice for shooting the long against a reverse defense, or shooting a middle on a standard defense. The way this shot should be accomplished is more like the second video. Here is the deal on the square: There are two components to pulling this shot off.
    a) The Stroke – You should pull the man past the ball and the downward/forward stroke on the ball should be accompanied by moving the rod laterally back toward the far side. When you end this shot the rod should wind up more or less back where you started at the far side of the goal. (The opposite is true of the “The Spray” when the downwar/forward portion of the shot is done while still pulling the rod toward the near side of the goal.) What you’re trying to accomplish is rubbing the ball back square or even with some cut back, very similar to an uphill brush pass. Your stroke through the ball should be in the direction you want the ball to go…though friction and momentum wont allow it to go in the exact direction you’re stroking, it will move it in that direction.
    b) The contact point – This is very subtle, and many player can play for years without noticing this. Flip a foosball man upside down, put you head above the man and look down at the front edge of the man. (Where the ball would contact the toe.) If you’re looking at a Tornado man you will notice that front edge of the toe is not flat and straight. It is slightly curved, slightly concave (Spoon shaped). Though very subtlety. If you think about that curved edge then you will realize where you should be contacting the ball on the face of the toe to get the most Square/cutback on your shot. You should be hitting the ball with the near half of the man. If you do that with the correct cut back stroke, you will brush the ball back at an acute angle. If you hit the ball with the Far half of the man or the middle of the man you will not get good cutback or squaring on your shot. Maybe I’ll try to make some videos of this. Anyway hope this insight helps for shooting “squares”.

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