You want to become a Professional Foosball Player, play all around the country and give up the nine to five lifestyle? Do you have what it takes?
You are going to need to be an incredible player, your income is going to vary, as the only money that you are certain to get is your sponsorship.
This article is for the category of those who love foosball so much; they want it to be involved in everything they do. So, if you possibly eat, sleep, breathe, practically live foosball, and even get paid to do so, then read on!
Paid to Play?
Firstly, a lot of people do not realize that you can be paid to play the game we all love. Do not get me wrong, it’s not easy, and you will have to be the best-of-the-best to make a living from the sport, not everyone is good enough to succeed
What Do I Need to Do to Become a Foosball Professional?
Foosball professionals are the very best players, you are going to need to practice your play for many hours every day, it may get boring, but if you want to become a true professional, you will need to play, play, play
2. Have Good Opponents
You need to play the best players that you can, preferably people who are better than you. You really try your best against someone it is difficult to beat, as you are at a disadvantage. We have all had that great feeling when playing someone worse than yourself, and know you can win without trying. Always push your limits.
If someone is slightly worse than yourself, give yourself a disadvantage, so you really have to push to get that win. Play one-handed, don’t use your attacking bar. That way you will really push yourself and improve faster
3. Be Very good at 1 shot
Not many people can be good at everything, so it is better to become incredibly good at one type of shot. If you look at the list of World champions from the past, you will see that some of them were good at multiple types of shot, but most of them had one speciality which they were great at (This is mainly the “Snake Shot”).
The list of ex-world champions can be found here, and their best shot types https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world_table_football_champions
4. Accept Failure
You will not win every time, especially when you are just starting out. You must learn to accept failure and try, try again. I know it is an old cliché, but this fact is true. If you want to be successful in anything in life, you must learn to accept your failures and to keep trying.
This should be easy to do, but it is the most common thing that stops you from achieving your goals in life
5. Enter Competitions
This is going to allow you to judge your own skills against another professional, or people hoping to become professional players. This is how you will be able to tell when it is time to quit your job and start paying to travel to and enter those big competitions. You do not want to start doing this because you can beat all your friends, or your parents say you are good enough. You need to be regularly winning against others of a professional standard.
You may go to these competitions and realize that you are not as good you thought that you were, and these people are way better than you… Use the advice above, Accept your failure, Practice twice as hard, and reenter the competition in 6 months. Nothing worth having comes easily!
How Much Can I Earn?
(Professional Foosball Earning Graph)
But you do not want to know what your father or grandfather could have won, you wanted to see what you can get for yourself! Firstly, I am not a professional, I am nowhere near good enough to join the professional circuit.
According to the website simplyhired.com, the average salary of a Professional Foosball player is $74,000. The bottom 10% of professional players earn around $40,000, and the top 10% earn around $138,000. These sound like great figures, and they are, but remember that you need to take into account that you need to pay for your travel, entrance fee, food and other general expenses while you are away from home.
Of course, you are going to need to travel, you will be away from home quite a bit going to tournaments both nationally and if you are good enough, and willing to internationally. Obviously, this lifestyle does not suit everyone, but most people enjoy the travel, excitement and Foosball Groupies (I have never seen nor heard of any Foosball Groupies…sorry, I don’t think the sport is glamorous enough)
Who runs the Foosball scene in the USA?
In America Foosball is governed primarily by two ruling bodies, one National, and one international, these are
• International Table Soccer Federation
The International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) is a non-profit organization based in France that promotes table soccer. The ITSF endorses soccer tables that meet requirements for international competition.
The ITSF has expanded to more than 66 countries and they include: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China, Central African Republic, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Hong-Kong, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic Of Korea, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA.
• Valley International Foosball Association
The Valley International Foosball Association (VIFA) is an American “association of coin machine operators, foosball table manufacturer and foosball players, working together to provide increased interest in the game of foosball”. The league is headquartered in Bay City, Michigan, and was founded by game equipment manufacturer Valley-Dynamo.
Foosball World Cup
One of the biggest Foosball Competitions is the Foosball World Cup. The first foosball world cup took place in the 70s and spread like wildfire. Across the US and, eventually the whole world, you could win $50k or a new, usually costly, car. Just from playing foosball! Bear in mind, this was a time before video game arcades had caught on and foosball, pool, and air hockey were the staple after school games of any teenager worldwide.
This led to the birth of the first international foosball leagues and the first professional players and eventually led to the game as we know it today.
The Foosball World Cup is an international game, next year it will be played in 5th to 8th January in Nantes, France
How Do You Make Money As A Professional?
As in most competitive sports, you earn money in two ways, prize money and sponsorship
This is the simpler of the two, you enter a competition, you play well and finish in the top few, and you win the money for your result. You’re earnings depend on how good of a player you are! This year, regional and national tournaments across the United States will bring more than $250,000 in prize money.
The internet is the best way to find any competitions, merely google “foosball competition <state, town>” to see any upcoming local contests.
Some of the pages informing you about national and international tournaments are given below
This method is more variable and will depend a lot more on you, the individual player. It depends on several factors these include:
• Your Results
• Your Age and Appearance
• Your Social media following
• Your general fan base
It really boils down to how populate you are, and your results.
Sponsors can be found online or will find you, through social media and tournaments, you will need a fan following or have some good results before anyone is going to consider giving you their money
The average sponsorship deal is about $1-5k a year and up, though it helps to know how much they profit in a year so that you have a good idea of how much they would be willing to spend for your promotion.
Foosball can be televised, depending on what country the tournaments are in, and how popular it is in that country, but for the sake of offering consistent exposure to your sponsors, I heavily advise using the technology at hand. Make an Instagram or Youtube (or both!) dedicated to your foosball journey. If you treat your followers as friends, they will bring their friends, and the more they bring, the more sponsorship with you will be worth.
The International ITSF maintain the world rankings of Foosball players in some categories:, these people will be your competition:
The ITSF also maintains the World country rankings. This show how well a country is currently ranking in the World Foosball – Current Country Rankings
Foosball Professional Interview
Short, well-produced piece on top player Tony Spredemen.