The 2004 Nationals
National Championship DVD Listings
Inside The Pro Tour
Inside Foos Special Offers
THE 2004 NATIONALS: Young Guns Provide 4th of July Fireworks as Classy
Tour Veterans Go Back-To-Back
For the second year in a row the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Minneapolis,
Minnesota played host to the second major stop on the annual pro foosball tour,
the $60,000 National Championships. This five-day-long Independence Day
spectacular always seems to showcase some of the yearıs most competitive
action, and the 2004 version would prove to be no different. This yearıs
Nationals would provide foosball fans with a glimpse into the future of our
sport as the gameıs two brightest young stars put on an amazing show in the
Open Singles event, while also offering us a lesson in good old fashioned,
high-percentage style foosball from a pair of classy veterans who made history
in Open Doubles.
Nineteen year old Billy Pappas of Massachusetts, who broke through with a second
place result in Open Singles at this seasonıs opening event in Las Vegas,
continued his rise to the top in Minneapolis. Just as he had done four months
earlier at the Hall of Fame Classic, Pappas rolled through the winnerıs bracket
and defeated Terry Moore in a semifinal match to secure a spot in the winnerıs
On the other side of the bracket, the dynamic Tony Spredeman powered his way
through the competition and faced the talented Nathan Winter of Iowa in his
semifinal. In one of the weekendıs most entertaining matches Tony and Nathan
went back and forth, using their prodigious foosball skills to create one
seemingly-impossible, eye-popping play after another, to send the match down to
one final game. In that fifth game the two players alternated points to even the
score at three apiece. But it was the 2003 World Singles champion Spredeman who
would score the matchıs final two points, making him five for six shooting the
ball in the game, to reach a winnerıs side final showdown with his good friend
and rival Billy Pappas.
Continuing his excellent all around play, Pappas took it to the world champ in
the winnerıs bracket final, outplaying the aggressive Spredeman to defeat him
in four tough games to reach a second straight Open Singles final on the major
Now in the loserıs bracket, Spredeman faced the hard-charging Rob Mares, who
had lost an early round match to rising young Californian Adam Gilson. Mares had
then avenged the loss with a rousing, come from behind five game, final ball win
over Gilson before defeating Terry Moore and then fourth place finisher Nathan
Winter to reach the loserıs bracket final.
Coming into the eventıs final day with fire in his eyes, Spredeman put together
one of the most amazing single-match performances of recent years in the loserıs
side final, defeating Mares in three straight games in overwhelming style to
earn a slot in his second career Open Singles final.
In the highly anticipated final, with the stands jam-packed with spectators
Spredeman jumped all over Pappas in the first set, using his amazing far-wall
passing series and overpowering ³walking snake² shot to win in three straight
games, 5-3, 5-2, and 5-3 to send the match to one final 3-out-of-5 set.
In set number two it was Pappas who came out hot as he jumped ahead 4-1 and then
held on to win game one, 5-3. But Tony Spredeman came back to pull out a tight
game two, 5-4, and followed that up with another closely-contested win in game
three, also by a score of 5-4.
Now just one game away from his second career major tour victory, Spredeman
again came out aggressively in game four, surging ahead 4-2 before once again
holding on for a 5-4 win and the 2004 national singles title, the second major
title of his young career. After being dispatched to the loserıs bracket
by Pappas in the winnerıs bracket final, Tony ³The Tiger² played absolutely
incredible foosball down the stretch, winning 9 of his final 10 games against
Mares and Pappas to come back and win the title.
In the Mixed Doubles event at this yearıs National Championships 47 time tour
champion Terry Moore teamed with Semi Pro player Tommie Bagley of Colorado to
defeat tour veterans Dave Gummeson and Cindy Head in the championship final.
Gummeson, the 2000 National Mixed Doubles champ and Head, who has won three of
the last five world mixed titles, got on the scoreboard first, winning game one,
5-3. But the remarkably consistent Moore brought his team back, using his high
percentage 5-row and strategically-smart roll-over to claim game two, 5-2.
Hoping to send it to a second set, Gummeson and Head surged ahead 3-2 in game
three. But Cindy Head mistakenly called an illegal third time out, and Terry
Moore converted the technical shot to tie it at three. Gummeson answered with a
split pull shot to give his team a set point, but Moore again responded, picking
up a loose ball and quickly scoring it to take the set down to one final ball.
At 4-4, Moore advanced it to his 3-row and put away the final point to win
the National Mixed Doubles title for the fourth time in his career. For Moore it
was his 48th major open win, while for his partner Tommie Bagley the victory
represented the first major title of her brief career.
In the Womenıs events, Vancouverıs Moya Tielens, who over the past couple of
years has become far and away the best lady-forward on the planet, continued her
streak of pro tour success by winning both the Womenıs Singles and Doubles
titles in Minneapolis, making it eight straight major events that she had won at
least one major title.
In Womenıs Doubles Moya paired with her World Championship partner Joy Steward
to win for the third straight time on the major tour, defeating Chicagoan
Tiffany Moore, who was returning to the pro tour for the first time in more than
five years, and partner Gena Murray. Coming from the loserıs side Moya and Joy
won the first set, 5-2, and 5-2, and then followed that up with a 5-2, 5-3 win
in the second set to earn the victory and add the national title to their list
of recent accomplishments.
In Singles, Tielens won the winnerıs bracket, and then held off 2003 national
doubles champion and singles runner-up Stayce Fowler of Iowa to win her second
title of the weekend and fourth major championship of the 2004 season.
In the weekendıs other major event, 2003 National Open Doubles champions Dave
Gummeson and Tracy McMillin became the first team to ever win the U.S.T.S.A.,
National Championship two years in a row, utilizing their high-percentage,
ball-control style of play to defeat 1996 world doubles winners Rob Mares and
Tommy Adkisson in a very exciting final match.
Gummeson and McMillin, who, in contrast to the young freestyle artists Spredeman,
Pappas and Winter, play foosball the ³old fashioned way², won the winnerıs
bracket in impressive style, defeating the 17th seeded team of Nathan Winter and
Phil Nelson in the bracketıs final to advance to the championship match for the
second year in a row.
Since permanently pairing-up at the beginning of the 2003 season Dave and Tracy
have finished in the top three in four of their five appearances together, and
had reached the finals at this yearıs season opener in Vegas before succumbing
to the great Collignon and Loffredo.
Meanwhile, in the Open Doubles loserıs bracket, Rob Mares and Tommy Adkisson,
who had lost earlier in the semifinals to Gummeson and McMillin (after leading
two games to nothing) began to work their way back into the mix. First they
defeated a highly-motivated Louis Cartwright and his partner Steve Rogge, and
then followed that with a win over fourth place finishers Tom Yore and Bob Diaz
to reach the loserıs bracket final and a showdown with the weekendıs
Cinderella team, Nathan Winter and Phil Nelson.
After playing amazing foosball all weekend long, Nathan Winter, who had a
breakthrough weekend with two top-4 finishes, and Minnesota pro player Phil
Nelson found themselves up against a buzzsaw in the loserıs bracket final as
former world champs Mares and Adkisson defeated them in four impressive games,
5-1, 1-5, 5-2, and 5-2 to advance to their first open final in almost five
Looking to become the first team to ever go back-to-back at the National
Championships, Minnesotaıs Dave Gummeson and Tracy McMillin of Texas won game
number one of the 2004 National Open Doubles final by a score of 5-3 to grab the
early momentum. Dave and Tracy then continued their strong early play, moving
ahead 3-1, on their way to a 5-2 second game win, and a two games to nothing
lead. But Mares and Adkisson werenıt finished yet. ³Rapid Rob² and ³Two-Gun
Tommy² stormed back, using their versatitlity and experience at both forward
and goalie to get themselves back into the match. They counteracted the slower,
methodical style of Gummeson and McMillin by picking up the pace and using a
well-timed switching strategy to earn a 5-3 win in game three, with Adkisson
firing home the final point from goal.
With momentum now on their side, Mares and Adkisson really started to heat up.
Rob Mares scored on his first three 3-row possesions while Adkisson began to
find a defensive answer to Dave Gummesonıs pull shot, as the two-time world
finalists pulled out game four, 5-2, to take the first set to a fifth and final
In game five, Dave and Tracy once again began to control the pace of the match.
McMillin took 10-15 seconds on each goalie possesion, while Gummeson
methodically moved the ball from his 5-row to 3-row, and scored on three of his
first five shots, after patiently waiting out Adkissonıs defense, to give his
team a seemingly-insurmountable 3-0 lead. But Mares and Adkisson again answered
the challenge, scoring the next three points to even the game at three apiece.
Gummeson then surprised the goalie Adkisson with a rolling long pull shot to put
his team ahead, but a defensive block by Mares made it 4-4.
With the national title on the line, the defending champs proceeded to come up
huge when they needed it most. Gummeson hammered a solid pass through the lane,
called time out, and then sat on the ball for a full eight seconds before
exploding to the long hole to win the match and the title.
With the victory Dave Gummeson and Tracy McMillin became the first team to ever
win the U.S.T.S.A. National Doubles Championship two years in a row and have put
themselves firmly into position to contend for the world title this Labor Day
weekend in Dallas. As for the dynamic duo of Rob Mares and Tommy Adkisson, they
too have worked themselves back into the World Championship picture after Tommyıs
recent return to the pro tour after a four year absence.
This yearıs worlds is shaping up as one of the most competitive in recent years
with the exciting rise to the top of the sportıs young stars Tony Spredeman,
Billy Pappas, Brandon Moreland, and Nathan Winter, among others, along with the
continued excellence of names like Gummeson, McMillin, Mares, Adkisson, and
Moore. And of course letıs not forget about a couple of guys named Collignon
2004Nationals DVDS: Remember, you can enjoy all the excitement of
the 2004 National Championships by going to http://www.insidefoos.com. To aid in
your decision I have printed the listings from each of the three Nationals DVDs
ALSO: If you were in the finals of any event at the Nationals, your match was
recorded on DVD. Please contact us at email@example.com for ordering
New Column: Four-time tour champion and Inside Foos commentator Tom Yore
debuts a new monthly column, "Tom's Tips", in this issue. The esteemed
Mr. Yore will provide beginning and rookie players with some of his insights
into what they'll need to do to become successful tournament players. Welcome to
the newsletter Tom.
Next stop on the major pro tour: Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and the
sport's biggest event, the $135,000 World Championships, being held for the
ninth time in the last ten years at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. This year's event
should be extra special with the sport's new young stars battling former world
champions Loffredo, Collignon, Mares, Cartwright, Moore, Gummeson, Adkisson,
McMillin, Wydman, and others, for 2004 world honors. It should be a lot of fun
to watch and even more fun to commentate!
We'll seeya there,
Inside Foos Productions
Championship DVD Listings
DISC 1 TONY SPREDEMAN VS. STEVE MOHS
BILLY PAPPAS VS. TOM YORE
NATHAN WINTER VS. TONY SPREDEMAN
TONY SPREDEMAN VS. BILLY PAPPAS WBF
DAVE GUMMESON/TRACY McMILLIN VS. SCOTT WYDMAN/MIKE BOWERS
BILLY PAPPAS/BRANDON MORELAND VS. TREVOR PARK/STEVE TELLAS
DISC 2 NATHANWINTER/PHIL NELSON VS.
TOM YORE/BOB DIAZ
LOUIS CARTWRIGHT/STEVE ROGGE VS. GREGG PERRIE/GARRETT SCHERKENBACH
NATHAN WINTER/PHIL NELSON VS. DAVE GUMMESON/TRACY McMILLIN WBF
TOM YORE/BOB DIAZ VS. ROB MARES/TOMMY ADKISSON
ROB MARES VS. NATHAN WINTER
TONY SPREDEMAN VS. ROB MARES
NATHAN WINTER/PHIL NELSON VS. ROB MARES/TOMMY ADKISSON
DISC 3 OPEN SINGLES FINAL TONY SPREDEMAN VS. BILLY
OPEN DOUBLES FINAL DAVE GUMMESON/TRACY McMILLIN VS. ROB MARES/TOMMY
MASTERS SINGLES FINAL ROB MARES VS. TERRY MOORE
AVAILABLE NOW AT http://www.insidefoos.com: 2004 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
2004 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (pre-order)
2004 TEXAS STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
2004 HALL OF FAME CLASSIC
2004 FULL SEASON PACKAGE (HoFC, Nats, 10 hour World Championships)
1st TERRY MOORE 2nd ROB MARES 3rd TOMMY ADKISSON GREGG PERRIE
1st TONY SPREDEMAN 2nd BILLY PAPPAS 3rd ROB MARES 4th NATHAN WINTER 5/6th DAVE GUMMESON
1st DAVE GUMMESON & TRACY
McMILLIN 2nd ROB MARES & TOMMY ADKISSON 3rd NATHAN WINTER & PHIL NELSON 4th TOM YORE & BOB DIAZ 5/6th TONY SPREDEMAN & BUD SPREDEMAN
LOUIS CARTWRIGHT & STEVE ROGGE
Open Mixed Doubles
1st TERRY MOORE & TOMMIE BAGLEY
2nd DAVE GUMMESON & CINDY HEAD 3rd BILLY PAPPAS & CHRISTINA FUCHS
1st MOYA TIELENS
2nd STAYCE FOWLER 3rd CINDY HEAD
1st MOYA TIELENS & JOY STEWARD
2nd TIFFANY MOORE & GENA MURRAY 3rd CINDY HEAD & CHRISTINA FUCHS
PRO DOUBLES BRIAN TURMAN & JIM McKENNEY SEMI PRO SINGLES REID ABEL SEMI PRO DOUBLES CHAD BENESH & JONAS DRURY ROOKIE SINGLES MICHAEL SHERROD ROOKIE DOUBLES CHRIS HESANO/WAFIR HALAWI 3500 LIMITED DOUBLES BRIAN TURMAN & CHARLES MOORE WEDNESDAY DYP QUINN BEALE & A.J. ADELMAN WOMEN'S ROOKIE/SEMI PRO DOUBLES MELISSA KEGG & TOMMIE BAGLEY WOMEN'S ROOKIE SINGLES SARAH DALESANDRY WOMEN'S ROOKIE DOUBLES MELISSA KEGG & AMY BOEHM 35 AND OVER DOUBLES STEVE MURRAY & MARK DAVIS PRO/PRO MASTER DYP TOM YORE & ROB ATHA NO PRO DYP STEVE ROGGE & JEFF KIMMERLING STATE DYP DON PFLEIDERER & STEVE MOHS (Minnesota) VIFA DYP DAVIS PATTERSON & SCOTT PIERSON FORWARD SHOOTOUT DAVE ROSS GOALIE WAR JOHN GREENGO
Clearing out the National Championship notebook...
Tony Spredeman's performance in Minneapolis this year was somewhat reminiscent
of his dominating run through the Open Singles field at last year's World
Tony lost only 2 total games at the 2003 Dallas event on his way to the world
In Minnesota, Tony "three-straighted" Steve Mohs (5-0, 5-4, and 5-2)
and Gregg Perrie ( by a total score of 15-3) in the winner's bracket, and
overwhelmed the defending champ Rob Mares in a truly amazing three game
performance (5-4, 5-2, and 5-2) in the loser's side final...
However Spredeman did need five games to get past the talented Nathan Winter in
the semifinals, and lost a winner's final showdown to Billy Pappas in four
games, before coming back to beat "Billy the Kid" 6 out of 7 games in
For the seemingly-effortless Mr. Winter his two top-4 results represented
the best major finishes of his career...
Nate's Open Doubles partner Phil Nelson also played very well despite having
never traveled so far in an open bracket at a major championship...
Dave Gummeson and Tracy McMillin gave us a lesson in good old fashioned, high
percentage foosball in winning the national title for the second year in a
Gummeson's offensive 5-row is still one of the deadliest ever...
Billy Pappas continued his rise to the top in Minneapolis, competing in his
second Open Singles final in two 2004 major tournaments...
Sandwiched in between was a win in Texas in the singles event...
Vermont pro fooser Brian Turman proved once again that he is one the best
non-Pro master forwards around, winning both Pro Doubles (with Jim McKenney) and
the 3500 Limited event (with Chuck Moore)...
Four time World Champion Tommy Adkisson, who continues his return after a four
year absence, looked great in Minneapolis...
Tommy finished third in Masters Singles and second in Open Doubles, and enters
this year's worlds playing as well as he ever has...
TRIVIA TIME: Who were the only two Open Doubles teams to win both the
Nationals and World Championships in the same USTSA season?
We Love the 80's: The 35 and Over final at the Nationals featured
two of the greatest forwards to ever play the game in Steve Murray, who has 7
career world titles, and 6-time world champTony Bacon...
Murray and his partner, Mark Davis, outlasted Bacon and Howard Burns to win the
title in a tough two game match, 5-4, and 5-3...
Another future star? Semi Pro player Adam Gilson of California
broke-through with his best performance ever, finishing 7th in Open Singles...
Adam, whose father Terry worked on the old Tournament Soccer tour of the 1970's,
beat Rob Mares in the winner's bracket, and then took Mares down to the final
ball in the match for 5th place or better...
Terry Moore returned to the winner's circle for the first time in nearly 16
months at the Minnesota event, winning the prestigious Masters Singles title
while also capturing Mixed honors with Tommie Bagley...
Big Terry's last win was at the 2003 Hall of Fame Classic with Rick Macias in
We know that the sport's young stars, Spredeman, Pappas, Moreland and Winter,
are going to be major factors at the upcoming worlds, but watch out for the
talented veteran Louis Cartwright, who enters the Dallas event playing with a
tremendous amount of heart and desire...
Louis reached the finals in both major open events at last year's world's before
falling short against the steamrolling Spredeman in singles, and Adrian Zamora
and Eddy Gartman, who really caught fire on the event's final day, in doubles...
Don't forget Mary Moore's exciting Kentucky State Championships coming up August
5-8 at the Holiday Inn North in Lexington...
This $25,000 tournament, which is held midway between the Nationals and Worlds
is always one of the most well-attended stops on the annual regional tour...
See the "Upcoming Events" section below for more info on this event...
TRIVIA ANSWER: Todd Loffredo and Scotty Wydman in 1995, and Frederic
Collignon and Todd Loffredo in 2002 are the only teams to win world titles after
also claiming the year's national title...
After yet another outstanding series of radio reports
from Minneapolis, Table Sports Radio's Brad Anderson will broadcast his daily
internet shows from the World Championship ballroom beginning the evening of
September 2nd and continuing through the event's conclusion...
Go to http://www.natsa.org/tsr for all the details...
There really is nothing quite like a World Championship event...
The future of foosball. Is it here yet? We sure have been waiting for it for a
long time havenıt we? Let me see, the 90ıs kind of look like this: Todd, Terry
and Bobby win EVERYTHING. Rico came in during the last half of the decade and
proceeded to embarrass the rest of the tour. Interspersed in there were a few
great finishes from Tommy, Robbie, Scotty and Gummy. Swan burned bright for a
little while and Adrian snuck a few in there somewhere. But for the most part,
it was the same handful of usual suspects over and over. 1st place through 9th
place was the same old hodge-podge of masters with few exceptions (generally
some totally random pro or blazing hot semi-pro with a few upsets under their
belt that found their way into the deeper portions of the bracket). In the end,
there were never any real surprises about who would be in the finals or
eventually win the tournament. Ho-Hum
Can you name all of the guys that were supposed to be great? There are quite a
few guys that should have won something, and countless more that were
super-talented but just never really put it all together. How many of you have
that guy in your local bar that can do anything from anywhere at anytime:
DEADMAN PUSH-KICK **BAM** DEADMAN PULL-KICK **BAM** LIGHTSPEED WALLPASS_ DEADMAN
PULLSHOT **BAM**?? And with all those weapons, he/she just froze like a deer in
headlights when the pressure was on and couldnıt get it done? We all have that
person in our local area. If you donıt know that person, then YOU ARE THAT
PERSON!! So, no disrespect to the great players that have dominated the tour for
the past decade plus, but for crying out loud for entertainment reasons alone
we sure did need a little parity.
I think those days are finally behind us. Sometimes it takes a player or two to
blaze a trail and shift the perspective of the competitive community that we all
participate. I wonıt say any names, but there are a couple of younger foosers
out there leading a new generation that has been taking it right to the old guys
and challenging them to bring it or get ready for the old folks home. What has
been the difference? One word: Passion. Passion for winning, passion for
fighting every ball tooth and nail like it is their only reason for living.
Passion for being the best they can possibly be. And finally, it is a passion
for never giving up, ever.
It is the type of fearless passion that every competitive spectator longs to be
a part of. It is the type of energy and vigor for the game that incites all who
are watching to want to practice their tails off so they can execute and perform
the way those who I am referring to have under the bright lights of tension
thick pit matches. It is the type of ambition for greatness that awakens ancient
fires in Todd, Terry, Adrian, Tommy, Robbie, Gummy, Swan, Louis and others to
remember the competitors they could be, and bring their OEAı games back to the
table. It is something foosball has needed for a long time.
Letıs all hope for some more parity. Letıs hope Todd gets a little angry, Rico
feels a little heat, Tommy starts barking again, Robbie throws his rod a little
more, and Louis keeps pumping his fists at his opponents. It will be the best
thing to happen to foosball for a LONG time. Meanwhile, the young guys will go
for the jugular, and I can sit back and enjoy the show.
Practice, Practice, Practice. This is what we have all been told as we
seek to improve our skills in the various interests in our lives. Whether
it be golf, pool, tennis or even the guitar the same holds true for foosball;
you must practice in order to reach the next level.
What most people are seldom told is exactly what to practice or even how
to practice. Numerous regimens can be followed or created with individual
styles, but few techniques will produce the success that can and will be
achieved by good old-fashioned repetition.
It is the repetitive process which makes the fast wall pass automatic or the
inside snake shot easier to time under pressure. When the mechanics of executing
a pass or shot are grooved into a natural stroke the mind becomes more focused
on reading or timing the defense and less focused on how to perform the action.
Practicing the basic shooting and passing options through repetition will allow
you to learn any additional options more easily.
This month in The Zone, I'll turn the column over
to my good friend and tour pro Jim McKenney, who'll give his views on
what it takes to be consistent & successful on tour...
Assuming that the mechanics and mental aspects of the game are already in one's
possession, the best advice for good performance in foosball is rest, solid
nutrition, and proper warmup time. I will give my take on these aspects as
applied to participating in a major.
Rest- Above all, rest is paramount in achieving optimum performance in
any endeavor, foosball included. This doesn't just mean the night before
the tournament or at night during the weekend event. I mean that in the week
prior to the event one should be rested. Lot's of people practice before a major
and many play right up to the tournament time. I'd suggest putting your time in
on the table a few weeks before, playing if possible, in long endurance
sessions. This will obviously condition you to the physical drain (including
long periods of intense mental focus) of extended bouts of play which certainly
will be a requirement during any major foosball tournament. All table work
should be completed the week prior to the tournament because if you're not ready
by then you won't be ready AT the tournament.
I further suggest NOT PLAYING the week prior to the tournament. If anything
maybe some very limited 5 row work but that should be it. This gives you time to
physically and mentally recuperate and attack the game with a fresh exuberance.
You'll find yourself amped up all weekend because you'll be itching to get on
the table. Last minute endurance sessions running up until the day before the
major will only serve to hurt your game because fatigue will start to set in
during the early portion of the tourney, or physical limitations or old injuries
can crop up due to stress exerted in the shoulder/wrist joints or the back, for
example. Your body will reward you with peak performance if you give it ample
physical rest and sleep.
Nutrition- Eating properly during a tournament can be the difference
between first place and going out in two. We have previously discussed the need
for rest prior to a major foosball tournament, but getting enough rest is just
part of the equation. Eating the right foods will also help one's physical
performance. I find that if I eat some sort of high carbohydrate meal (pasta or
bread-based) one day prior to a tournament I'm pretty well fueled up with energy
for an event by the next day. By taking in carbs, I'm refueling my glycogen
stores. Gyclogen is the energy stored within muscle cells that provides the
go-power to do physical activity. Carbs also provide the media to transport
protein to build and repair muscle tissue damage occurred during strenuous
During a long tournament, it is desireable to eat smaller, more frequent meals
to maintain a steady energy level. Try no to eat large multi-course dinners if
you are expecting to play matches soon afterwards. Most likely, many of you have
felt sleepy after a large meal. This is due to two things:
1) a large fat and protein based meal. This is not what you want to perform
well. Balancing carbs, fats and proteins in each meal would be the best plan of
2) The volume of food can take enormous amounts of energy away from other
processes and are redirected towards digestion. Smaller more frequent meals will
free up that energy for accute physical and mental performance while maintaining
consistant levels of blood sugar and energy throughout the day.
Drinking a "Red Bull" or "Monster" can bring up the level of
one's physical and mental accuity but it's not the type of thing that you can
uptake consistently throughout the weekend. With all stimulants, there is the
inevitable "crash." You never get something for nothing because it all
balances itself out in the end. You might perform energetically from these
drinks but when you come down off of the caffeine or sugar, you will be worse
for wear, so to speak. Your body will try to make up for the demands that the
energy drinks put on it by feeling sleepy or weak. This yo-yo effect is not a
good thing for an extended bout of physical activity. Another thing that should
be noted about most high energy drinks is that their main compenent is caffeine,
which is a diruretic. A diruetic makes one lose water as opposed to maintain
hydration. It would better instead to be hydrated throughout the day, as it
helps ensure smooth muscle contractions and helps to prevent injuries such as
muscle tears. Think of caffeine laden drinks more as a last resort when you need
the quick pickup in the early evening.
The better alternative to energy drinks is to achieve a steady energy level by
eating something during the tournament like natural peanut butter and jelly on
wheat bread, tunafish sandwiches (again on whole grain breads), small amounts of
pasta, fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, grapes, etc... Other good foods or
snacks that require minimal effort to digest while providing high energy without
the sugar spike would include nuts, oatmeal, raisins, some type of barn cereal,
a good meal replacement powder (MRP) such as from Nectar, Myoplex or Optimum
Nutrition protein shake with bananas and/or berries, etc...
Eat something about every two to three hours regardless of hunger level. It is
easy to lose track of eating when playing in a multi-day foosball tournament. So
by eating small leals often, you stannd to fulfill the proper energy
requirements that your body will need. Supplements such as creatine can also
help your body sustain prolonged effects of physical activity. Regular creatine
monohydrate powder is relatively cheap, contains no calories and should be taken
on a daily basis on the morning of and afternoon during the tournament. Don't
worry about "loading" phases and crap like that. Just take in 5
milligrams twice each day because your body only processes that much at a time
anyhow. Anymore than 10mg is just voided from the body through urination and
you've wasted your money. You can mix the powder in some gatorade, apple juice
or grape juice. There is no need to "load." Don't mix it in grapefruit
or any other type of highly acidic juice because it will break down the creatine
and make it unusable in the body.
Warmup- Probably the best preparation that you can do before a big match
is to warmup properly. This means what it sounds like: warming up the muscles
for optimum performance and minimalizing the chances of muscle injury. Warming
up is especially important in the early morning and after long breaks between
matches. I like to start out slowly by shooting a few racks at 1/2 speed or so
and eventually building up to full speed. Something that really works out well
is to play a goalie wars or 1 ball rollerball to get the reaction times up to
snuff. These types of games can get the blood flow circulating and oxygenate the
muscles for increased performance. The side benefit of playing these types of
games is that you'll find that you will exhibit greater ball control and you
tend to pick up more loose stuff rolling around the table. More possessions =
higher winning percentages.
Stretching your back, shoulders, arms and even legs will limber you up to
execute your game more efficiently. Use smooth and steadily progressive
stretches and not "bouncy" type movements to avoid muscle strains and
sprains. Tight muscles are slow muscles and will have a tendency to make you
misexecute more frequently because the opposing muscle groups (chest and
back/biceps and triceps) cannot enjoy the full range of motion necessary for
proper passing and shot execution. Relaxed muscles can perform smoother and
quicker than tensed up muscles. You'll find that shot speed increases when the
arms/shoulders are relaxed as opposed to having a "death grip" on the
handle and loading up for the shot. Tells will be less evident as well. Once you
are warmed up, stop playing. You have achieved your optimum playing condition
and anything more becomes a waste of valuable playing energy. Lots of people I
see are constantly playing pickup games early in the tournament and burn out
well before the late stages of an event. This comes back to the issue of resting
your body. Conserve your energy and use it all out in actual matches. You can
always play pickup games at the end of your event after you pick up your trophy
I hope this stuff helps some of you out there who want to perform better over a
long foosball tournament. Just remember; rest, nutrition and proper warmup are
all you need to do to outlast your opponents who don't follow this
regimen. For the other competitors that do follow this regimen, I say buy
them lots of beers before your matches. (LOL).
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http://www.vifa.com For info on the major pro tour and
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