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I was watching a game of Foosball the other night, being played by two players, both of which were far better than me. I asked if I could play one of them saying that “Practicing against better players improves my game”. They told me that regularly practicing alone is the most important form of practice you can have!
I have never really put a lot of effort into practicing alone, so I thought I would look into this aspect of improving my Foosball game
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It is a great idea to practice Foosball by yourself, if you are serious about improving your game. When you are alone, you can practice the same move again and again, until you have the steps perfected! When playing someone else, you may set up a play a few times during a game, and try out a new play. When you are alone, you can practice the same play hundreds of times an hour. If you want to become a foosball pro, this will be necessary.
But when you practice, you need to be sure that you are picking the right parts of your game which need improving. Also, as you are alone, there is no one to show you how to do a particular play or to critique your style. You need to learn the routine before you practice, and what are the best ways to learn new moves?
Right, so you are alone, have a foosball table, and want to improve your game. How do you start? Well, as an example, the wrist flick is an important skill, being able to shoot the ball incredibly quickly towards the opponent’s goal. To learn this skill:
Read about the wrist flick, the correct stance, how to position your hand on the rods, the technique involved. Then watch some YouTube videos of people making this move, look at their posture and how fast they can hit the ball.
Now it’s your turn, put the ball on the table, and see if you can repeat everything you have learnt. Shoot the foosball towards the opponent’s goal. Then repeat the move, again and again, over time you will improve!
Before you can practice any new skill, you need to know how to do it correctly. The best way to gain this knowledge is for someone who is already skilled in this to show you how to make the new Foosball move, then you can try it, and they can tell you if you are doing it correctly.
This way allows you to ask questions and know that you understand the move. You can then practice the skill when you are alone. It will only take a few minutes of the “Experts' time.”
If there is no expert to show you a new skill, you can try reading a book or blog post on how to perform this latest move. Once you understand the theory, watch several videos on the skill being shown on YouTube. This reinforces what you have read, and should give you a pretty good idea of how the move should be completed. You then need to practice.
It is a good idea to re-read and watch the YouTube videos every now and again, when you are beginning a new skill. You may find as you practice you pick up bad habits and are not repeating it correctly. Once you can make a move and are just trying to improve your speed and accuracy, this will not be necessary.
Remember to take a break every 15 minutes, as you are practicing the same move; you are using the same muscles and tendons. Taking a break allows them to recover, reducing the chances of a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), and also improves your concentration and focus.
Being able to shoot the ball at high speeds towards the opponent’s goal is an essential skill, and always needs to be faster.
The 5 bar is one of the most important that you have, being able to pass the ball from man to man and take shots is another essential skill
Once you have the above skill mastered, you will be a better-than-average player. But there are a lot more things to learn and practice. There are some YouTube playlists later in this article, they have videos showing you how to practice individual skills, so I will not list them all here.
When you are playing alone, it's straightforward to score a goal, as there is no defence. To make it more challenging, you can use a Practice Plate. This a piece of wood or similar that you put in front of the goal. It makes the area that you have to shoot at much smaller requiring higher skill and accuracy. You can make several of these with smaller and smaller holes, as your skill improves.
This is a hard question to answer, as it really should be “As much as possible.” Everyone has different time constraints on their day and is aiming at varying levels in the game. Not everyone expects they can become a professional (For example, I know I will never reach the top levels in Foosball).
I know some ranked amateurs; they are practicing foosball alone for around 2 hours a day, 5 to 7 days a week
As you will practice moves hundreds of times over several weeks or even months, it may be hard to know if you are improving. Each time you practice a move, you will get a better by an imperceptible amount, which makes it difficult to notice yourself.
You can ask someone to watch you when you practice, and then again few weeks later, and ask them if you have improved. But you are likely to get the answers “Yes” or “I don’t know”, which are not a great help!
A much better solution is to video yourself practicing at the start for a few minutes, then again at regular intervals. This can be done by most people now, as they have access to a smartphone or digital camera.
When you video yourself, you can compare your skills with what they were like a week, or a month ago, so that you can see that you are getting better. This encourages you to keep trying, as you can see the improvement. You can also compare what you are doing with experts on YouTube videos, checking that your stance, positioning, and play are correct, making adjustments to your game as necessary. You will be playing professional foosball in no time!
You can learn foosball from someone who already has the skills you need to acquire and practice. This person can show you each foosball move and then you can try it under their supervision, so that you learn how to make a new foosball move correctly.
If you do not know anyone who is a skilled foosball player that you can learn from, you can learn foosball by reading foosball learning books or blogs on how to learn to play foosball. Once you understand the theory, you can watch videos on YouTube on each foosball move and try to practice what based on what you already read about it.
Taking breaks when you are practicing a new foosball move is important, so that you do not strain your muscles and tendons too much. This way you can avoid Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).
To hit hard in foosball, you need to learn the wrist flick, since spinning the rods is an illegal move and it can also damage the components of your foosball table, so it is not advisable.
Try practicing some shots where you hit the ball by concentrating on your wrist, keeping it straight and down towards the floor. Also, remember to keep holding the rods tightly at the last moment for a correct wrist flick.
It is important to know how to hold a foosball handle. Gripping the handles is essential when learning foosball, and you need to learn how to adjust your grip so that it is not too tight, but not too loose either, and how to choose between the two basic grips, which are the foosball closed hand grip and the foosball open palm grip.
How do you know if you are holding the foosball handle correctly? For the closed hand grip, pay attention to the skin between your index finger and thumb. If it is completely wrapped around the handle, that is a sign that you are gripping too hard. For the open palm grip, it is your wrist that is touching the handle and turns the rod.
There are several books available that may help you learn foosball. We have an article on Foosball Books here Foosball Books
Some of these books are :
There are also thousands of blog posts telling you how to do a particular shot. These are not always as in-depth as some books, but they are free. Just google to find them, for example, to learn the “Wrist Flick” google:
“learn foosball wrist flick.”
When practicing alone, the one thing that you must have is access to a Foosball table. Ideally, you need men that have an excellent quality foot square with a cross hatch for greater ball control. You want these men to be counterbalanced, but this is less important than the foot quality.
You also need a good quality ball, cork balls are the best for practicing ball control, but are slower than other balls. These do not seem to be used much in America. The most popular ball here is the Textured Foosball, like those supplied by Dynamo. These are fast balls with reasonable control. This is the type of ball you will use in actual games, so it is the type you should practice with.
Do not waste your time playing with a cheap plastic ball. A good ball is only a few dollars and will last a long time.
Again on YouTube, there is no shortage of videos instructing you on how to perform every move and every skill related to Foosball. Below are some of my favorites :
Unreal Foos Tutorials
Simple tutorials showing you how to make a lot of moves of a Foosball table
Road To Pro
A guy is telling you his story as he attempts to go Pro as a Foosball player. Has tutorial videos as well
Foosball Pull Shot: Zero to Hero
A set of videos instructing you on how to perform the Pull Shot
Easy Foosball Tutorials
Another set of videos showing a beginner how to make a lot of the basic moves required for becoming a great foosball player. there is no playlist, just look in the publishers' video list, they are easy to find
If you require more information, please check these references
www.foosballguides.com , article, “Play Practice Foosball By Yourself “, retrieved on, Tue 28-May-2020
forum.britfoos.com , article, “Viewtopic Php”, retrieved on, Tue 28-May-2020
www.reddit.com , article, “Practicing Defense Solo “, retrieved on, Tue 28-May-2020
is a Computer programmer with 25 years experience working in the Industry. Mainly using Microsoft products I have produced systems for several blue chip companies including The BBC, Natwest, British Rail.and Torbay Council.
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