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 guaranteed to get is any sponsorship. Yes, you may be a great player, but you can’t be sure how many competitions you will win. There is a lot to think about, read this article for more ideas before making the big move!
How To Become A Professional Foosball Player
Most people think foosball is just a tabletop game to play in the bar, but for some is it an opportunity to enter ”The Zone” that is typically reserved for minor sports stars. Not just a barroom game. It is a competitive sport that’s played at a professional level by people all around the world. Your standing nose to nose with your opponent, it is almost like the weigh-in for a boxing match, and you are going to fight, you are battling against each other.
This article is for the those people 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!
Foosball Professional – 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 going to be anywhere near good enough to succeed as a Foosball Professional!
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 ( A Foosball Pro If You Can)
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 Excellent at one 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. Go To Professional Competitions
Go to competitions, what them on the TV and YouTube, be honest with yourself, and ask could I beet these players? If you can honestly say “Yes” then it may be worth entering your first tournament
6. 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 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 as 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 re-enter the competition in 6 months. Nothing worth having comes easily!
Professional Foosball Salary – How Much Can You Earn?
(Professional Foosball Earning Graph)
The Golden days of Foosball competition earnings are gone, at least for the moment. In the 1970s and 1980s, there were some incredibly high paying tournaments, however with a lot of these sponsors no longer around, these super payouts have now gone.
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. 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 Professional 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 manufacturers 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 2019
One of the biggest Professional 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 foosball players and eventually led to the game as we know it today.
The Foosball World Cup is an international game, in 2019 it will be played in Murcia Spain
How Do You Make Money As A Professional Foosball Player?
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 in 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
Sponsorship Of A Professional Player
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 popular 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 account (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 money with you will be worth.
Professional Foosball Player Rankings
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
Tables Used In Professional Foosball Tournaments
There are only a limited number of makes of table that are used in Professional Tournaments. These will vary from country to country, as most manufactures only sell in their home country. (A full size table is bulky and very heavy – Not ideal for shipping to other countries, it can be difficult in your own state to get good shipping)
Tornado Tournament 3000 Foosball Table
Tornado are one of the most respected table manufacturers in the world, coming out with some great innovations over the years. Their flagship table the Tornado Tournament 3000 is one of the most respected tables on the market. It is used in a lot of Professional Foosball Tournaments. ITSF Approved
Garlando Pro Champion Foosball Table
This is another table that is approved by the ITSF, of excellent quality well and respected. This table is also common in Professional Foosball Competitions.
Warrior Professional Foosball Table
The Warrior Pro foosball table is a great table also. It is not yet an official championship foosball table, as it does not have the approval of the ITSF. But it does have the recognition of the body, and may be approved soon. Also is used in several competitions
Foosball World Championship Results
If you would like to see the current Foosball World Championship Results, they are maintained by the ITSF. You can find the current Champions, as well as a host of other information on their website
Best Professional Foosball Player In The World
At the time of writing ITSF leader is Tony Spredeman. Obviously this changes quite often
A multiple World Champion, and obtains a consistent rank in the doubles too.
He has won several World Championships including the Tornado Worlds Championships in 2008.
Professional Foosball Player Interview
Short, well-produced piece on top player Tony Spredemen.