Complete Foosball Guide #5 – Some tips and tricks

Some tips and tricks

Okay, once you know all this, you’re basically left with a lot of different things you can do and techniques you can use (and you mostly know when to use them or how to apply them), but that still doesn’t really make your game. What you should develop is a professional playing style, which can be achieved by reading the following tips&tricks:

First of all, keep in mind pace and surprise. What can really throw off other players are changes in speed and action. Sometimes you can take it very very slow, and then suddenly accelerate. You can slowly pass the ball between man, and then suddenly shoot. Or the other way around, quickly tic-tac the ball and then do a slow angled (/spray) shot. And perhaps you’ve been doing the same shot 10 times this match, now try something else to surprise the others. Just know that, playing with a different rhythm than your opponent, basically forcing the opponent to follow your rhythm, can help a great deal in winning (psychologically).

Try to read the enemy: try to figure out their playing style, their best/favorite tricks, their way of defending – and then adapt. For example, I’ve taught you the best defensive positioning, but a smart player will see that you constantly use these tactics, and won’t even bother trying some shots anymore, but will move straight on to the few shots that do work!

And last but not least: there are many little things, little tips and tricks for yourself, that you learn on the way, just playing and trying out. Always try to improve your game.

 

That was all for today about Foosball, I’d love to hear some improvements for this tutorial or just personal experiences in the comments :)

Complete Foosball Guide #4 – Defending

Defending

A great defending team always wins a foosball match. Because, if a team effectively takes away all the possibilities for the opponent to score, they will not get any goals scored against them, which in turn automatically makes winning a lot easier. And in foosball, every moment the other team has the ball, you should be defending.

Many people make the mistake thinking that only the goalkeeper+defenders are for defense, and they rely completely on those to save every shot. But truth is, those two just can’t save every shot. Plus, the earlier you intercept the ball, the earlier you can start attacking ;)

What I’m saying is: the person holding the midfield and attackers has an equally important defensive position as the person holding the goalkeeper and defenders. Below I will show you different situations in the game and the best way for each person to behave/move.

1. Defending with the goalkeeper+defenders

If you’re holding those 2 rods, you should always be alert. Wherever the ball is in the field, there’s always a good chance it will come flying towards goal. Your goal as a defender is: any ball that comes near your 2-rod (the defenders) should be stopped and controlled there. Most of the time, a shot will end up hitting the wall next to your goal or hitting your keeper and bouncing off, and then you need to be able to keep that ball in possession in the defensive area.

In short, what you have to do is: check out which possibilities the opponent has to score, and try to cover the easiest shots (when you’re able to draw a line from the ball directly into your goal, that shot is so-called ‘open’). This way you either force your opponent to shoot a ball which will never get into the goal or to try and shoot a very difficult shot (which will most of the time also just make the ball end up in your defensive zone because he failed).

When the ball is somewhere around midfield or further on the field, there’s the following setup (/set of rules for yourself) you can use as a defender: Continue reading

Complete Foosball Guide #3 – Shooting/Passing

Shooting/Passing

Now that you’re able to catch a ball and keep it in your team, it’s time for you to do something useful with it (like scoring some goals). Many people who start playing foosball only know how to shoot. In fact, they think all you do in foosball is very rapidly shoot balls towards the opponent’s goal. But the truth is: learning to pass the ball is perhaps more important than being able to score a goal out of it. Why? Properly passing a ball will create a lot of chances in front of goal for you. Then it doesn’t matter how good your opponent is at defending, at least a few of your big amount of chances will go in.

1. Two different ways to pass that ball

Passing a ball in foosball is a very subtle thing. Overpowering a pass almost never does you any good, at least not if you’re a world class player. There are 2 types of passes, which we can categorise as vertical (on the rod) and horizontal (between the rods).

Vertical passing means passing from one man to another on the same rod. How to do this? Pushing or pulling the ball with the side of your man. Then receive that ball with the side of one of the other men on the rod. Why is this useful? Constantly passing on the same rod will make it difficult for the opponent to keep following and defending you. Therefore it creates holes through which you can then horizontally pass to the next rod.

Some tips: it’s hard to pass vertically and perfectly straight. Therefore from time to time a ball will roll a bit away from the rod. Then it’s your turn to show the world your ball control skills, and keep that  ball in possession.
Also, receiving a ball with the side of your man is quite hard, because a ball can easily bounce off in weird directions. Therefore, when passing vertically it’s best to slowly slow down a ball. This means that the receiver follows the direction of the ball for a few centimeters so that the ball is eventually stopped right before his feet. Continue reading

Complete Foosball Guide #2 – Ball Control

Ball Control

Ball control is a very important aspect of foosball, which is why it’s sad that most people forget about it. Most new players exploit the method of just trying to shoot every ball that comes near their rod at goal very fast, but that’s wrong. Against another newbie it might score quite a lot of goals, but once you play a bit longer you’ll notice it’s not the best way.

What you need to learn before you can do anything, is being able to quickly control any ball that comes near your rod. This not only means that you can efficiently defend any ball coming towards you, but it also makes you able to set up certain kinds of shots or passes.

In ball control, we can distinguish 2 styles. The one is just moving the men around the ball so that it stays in your possession, the other one is called ‘pinning’. When you pin a ball, you trap the ball between the toe (or heel) of your man and the field, so that in a split second the ball is stopped completely. Many people recommend you learn this method first, but actually I’m against it. Why? Because pinning a bal is a one-chance thing. If you miss your pin, the ball just continues to move towards your goal/opponent at the same speed. And to make it worse, the defender of your team probably expected you to have the ball, but you don’t, so that’s one goal against you. Therefore I recommend that you first develop a feeling for how much pressure to put on a ball, and how a ball moves and behaves with different touches.

But remember: ALWAYS keep a ball in your possession. Once you have a ball, never let go of it, as seen that in foosball your opponent can score from any part of the table. In real soccer, losing a ball to your opponent is already quite bad, but imagine what could happen in foosball…

Ball Control Exercises

1. Knowing where the ball will end up The first skill in ball control is of course actually getting the ball in your possession. To be able to do so, you must be able to instantly put your men where the ball will end up. This requires some training, for which we have the following exercises: Continue reading

Complete Foosball Guide #1 – Fundamentals

Get to know the fundamentals

 The Anatomy of a Foosball Table

Table Soccer/Foosball Table  A foosball table consists of a soccer field, with a goal on each side, and the rest of it are walls (slightly sloped), and 4 rods for each team (1 keeper, 2 defenders, 5 midfielders, 3 attackers). 

Of course, one team’s defenders are facing the other team’s attackers, and the midfield-rods are facing each other. You almost always play with 2 players in each team: one to defend (holding the goalkeeper-rod and the defenders-rod), one to attack (holding the midfield-rod and the attacker-rod).

The goalkeeper-rods can move only from the left corner of the goal to the right corner, all other rods can be moved up and down until one of the men hits the wall. All rods can be rotated a full 360 degrees.

The best standing position therefore is: standing far enough from the table so that you can comfortably pull both your rods all the way down, and standing solid on your own two feet (which means: do not lean on your rods, this damages the rods, and this only makes playing harder for you). Also, standing diagonally with your left foot forward and your right foot at the back helps: this is because your right hand needs more space to move freely. Grab the handles of your rods as if you are about to shake hands with them, your thumb diagonally facing up.

The idea obviously is to win the game by scoring goals yourself, and making sure your opponent does not score goals. Continue reading

Become a Foosball (‘Table Soccer’) Professional!

Welcome to the complete guide to becoming the most skilled foosball player in your area! The guide is split into 5 chapters, and the links to each one are provided below. Have fun and good luck!

 Overview (of contents)

  1. Get to know the fundamentals
    1. The Anatomy of a Foosball Table
    2. The Rules
  2. Ball control
    1. Ball control exercises
  3. Shooting/passing
    1. 2 different ways to pass that ball
    2. 3 different ways to shoot that ball
    3. Shooting (on goal): a few examples of shots
  4. Defending
    1. Defending with the goalkeeper+defenders
    2. Defending with midfield+attackers
  5. Some tips and tricks

Learn to Sing

Some people are just naturally talented great singers, and some are not. You thought that, didn’t you? Well, it’s partly true – some people have a better ear for music than others – but that certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to sing! I could tell you here about all the pros of being able to sing, but I guess you know them yourself: other people think you’re amazing, and you yourself can make beautiful music! Before you start reading these tips & tricks and exercises though, you need to know that singing is something you’re continually improving: it’s not like after reading this you suddenly became Freddy Mercury overnight. No, it takes time and practice and patience to achieve the singing ability. Therefore, this guide will focus on the following:

  1. What IS singing? Basic theory, definitions, vocal range, etc.
  2. The correct posture and principles
  3. Vocal warm-ups
  4. Strengthening your vocal chords
  5. Achieving your fullest sound and range

So basically, I’ll first tell you how the voice works, then I’ll make sure the basic foundation for singing is okay (no tension, standing up straight, etc.), and from that point we can start really working on your strength and volume and range.

What IS singing?

Singing is, as we all know, the act of creating melodious sounds with your voice. So how does that voice work? Somewhere in the middle of your neck is your larynx. This larynx controls your breathing, swallowing, but also your talking/singing. You can easily see the position of your larynx, as this is where you’re ‘adam’s apple’ is. Within your larynx is a so-called ‘voice box’, which is where your vocal chords are placed. You have 2 vocal chords, one to the left side of your voice box and on the the right side. When these 2 are not connected, you hear no sound (this is the case when just breathing). When these 2 are connected, you can blow air through them to make them vibrate, and then depending on the amount of air and the length of your vocal chords, sound will be created. Therefore, you should know your vocal chords are muscles – just as any other muscle, it needs to be trained to be able to reach and sustain notes. The only problem is: because you’re using your voice all day everyday to talk, you can easily overburden your voice. Now, we all know that when you put more stress on a muscle than it can handle, it grows stronger, so whats the problem!? Well, a muscle grows stronger when it’s resting, and when you’ve for example cycled very much and feel pain in your legs, you usually give them some rest, but you often forget your voice. And if you have a wound in your voice for too long, it becomes a scar, which we call a ‘vocal nodule’. And with proper training, these scars aren’t that much of a problem, but if not these nodules will cause your voice to crack and become uncontrollable. Then there’s only one question left to answer: why does everybody’s voice sound different and why is everybody’s range different? Continue reading

How to Change Habits

We all have our own nasty or bad habits. Some people bite their nails when they are nervous, some people drink a lot of energy drink when they need to stay awake late at night to finish some work, some people check their smartphone every 2 minutes just because they don’t feel like doing anything they have to do because that’s boring – you name it. But the problem is, next to the fact that these habits are bad, that most people don’t know these habits of themselves! And even if they do know, they don’t know how to change it, because they think ‘well, I need energy to finish this work, what else is there to do than drink energy drink!?’. Therefore, what this post is about, is to teach you to identify every habit you have now and the habit you wish to have, and then showing you how to change it!

  1. The Anatomy of Habits
  2. Identify & experiment
  3. Happy result

The Anatomy of Habits

So, what is a habit exactly? A habit is something you’ve done so often that you start to do it without thinking about it. That doesn’t mean that’s bad per se – if you have a good thing such as a proper teeth brushing routine as a habit, that’s a good thing! Thus what you’ll want to do is not take away your habits, but change bad to good.

A habit consists of 3 parts (The 3 R’s): Continue reading