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Rollover Training System

Setup the Rollover Training System
These instructions are based on the concept that you have the TSTS rollover training system.  If you do not have the system, please look at the pictures above to get a mental picture of the "holes" for shooting and get a hockey puck or a small block of wood or something to replace the "puck" we use in the system!

Your kit comes with: 1 Practice puck and 2 Horizontal strips.

These pictures show you the height of the "puck", a block of wood can be used if you do not have a puck!

 Table sides: Let�s assume you are going to be practicing from the Yellow or Red side of the table.  We will make statements based on you being positioned on the yellow side or the black side of the table, please note this is based on the handles/men you control on that side.

 Concept of shooting holes: If you are playing goalie you will be defending 5 basic holes.  The 1 hole is closest to you and the 5 hole is the furthest from you, this puts the 3 hole in the middle.  The person who is shooting against the goal (like the rollover shooter) would see the holes in reverse (because they are on the other side of the table) the defenders 5 hole would be closest to the shooter with the 1 hole on the far side of the goal!

 We advice you to lay everything out and play with it for a while to see if you like the placement.  When you are satisfied go back and peel the backs and stick the strips on.  If you save the back papers you can reuse your system as it was designed to be reused several times!


 I.                    Take a Horizontal Strip and place it on top of the rail in front of the score peg, the red one should be closest to the yellow side so the 5 hole is closest to you

 II.                 Take the other Horizontal Strip and place it behind the 3 bar so it will not interfere it your practice.  Does your table look like the picture above?


The Rollover

We want you to learn the stages of the rollover in reverse order.  Learn the rollover from the rebound, back to the setup.  You may think this silly now, but when you are in a 4-4 game and you miss a shot but pickup the rebound, you can call a time out and say a little thanks to us for teaching you the rebound, before you put away the game winner!


The rollover is a very mechanical, regimented shot.  You do the rollover in different stages.  This shot is not nearly as fluid as say the pull shot.  You have the setup, the pitch, the stroke past the ball, the spin, the cut back, the striking of the ball, and the rebound.  You must learn each part and you can�t do the shot well if you don�t do each and every part well.  Remember, it is far better to shoot a slow shot, that is sharp, crisp, at the corner of the goal then to shoot a fast, sloppy shot that hits the wall.


Assuming you are not going to shoot 100% and assuming the goalie is not going to gather in and keep every ball you miss, there will be opportunities for rebounds.  Rebounds are free shots, same as a good pass, a steal or a technical foul.

 To catch a rebound

Before you can catch a rebound, your man must be down, your hand must be on the handle and you must be thinking rebound.  This is going to be the hardest thing to learn about the rollover, but if you learn to do it well, you will play well.

Striking the ball

This is the pay dirt part of the shot, the point where the man hits the ball.  If you have done all the stages up to now correctly, the ball will be in front of the rod.  It will be at the place where you intended to shoot from and your man will be moving back against the direction of the ball slightly.  You will be hitting the ball with the outside 25% of the mans foot.

Outside 25%

That�s right the outside portion.  Did you even know that the foot of the man is slightly curved inward?  Well look at it closely sometime, you have a nice little curve there.  So think about it, if you hit the ball on the curve �inward� part the ball will tend to go in that direction, so, you get a natural �cutback� effect.

Cut back

When you are about to strike the ball, as you are snapping your wrist down and pulling your arm up you may want to go back against the direction of the ball.  We say �may� want to because many shooters don�t need a cutback and if fact just spray the ball a little bit.

The Spin

The principle of the shot is to pull or push the ball then spin the rod on your wrist and hand (but less then 360 degrees) and strike the ball.  The spin is not reckless or hard.  You really don�t need that much power or speed.  Do you know that the fastest rollovers don�t go over 35mph?  Focus on hitting the ball properly to beat the defense.

The stroke

Move the rod all the way PAST where you want to shoot, say about � of an inch.  Do not start the spin until you are all the way out there.  Do not cheat or cut corners.  Complete the entire stroke!

The Pitch

This is the part where you start with your man on the ball and you use your wrist to roll the ball towards the spot you want to shoot from.  Sounds easy but this is the second hardest part, after the rebound.  You will need to practice this part of the shot more than any other part in the beginning.  The pitch needs to be accurate, but we admit this is the part where speed helps.  The faster you get the ball out there, the better off you are.  The pitch goes from the point of setup, along a line towards the shooting point.  This shooting point is a little behind the setup point.  This will serve several purposes:  a.  If something goes wrong with the shot, the ball will stay in your control.  b.  Slightly back from the setup point is the ideal spot to take full effect of the curve of the front of the man.  c.  If you don�t bring it back too far, the ball will tend to lift a little which will make it easier to score and much harder for the goalie to keep control of a miss, so more rebound opportunities.  The pitch needs to be practiced millions of times until it is automatic, fast, perfect, effortless, thoughtless and best part of your game!


Rocking the ball

Most rollover shooters do a rhythmic rocking of the ball after they have the man on top of the ball and the rod on their wrist.  This rocking serves a couple of purposes, has a couple drawbacks and is pointless in a couple of ways.

The good reasons

a.       It may hide any tells you might have as to which side you are going to shoot. 

b.       It may give you a better �feel� for the ball. 

c.       It may deceive the defense and open up the middle more.


The drawbacks

a.       Many rollover shooters have tells in their rock, they speed up before they shoot, they hesitate when they shoot the straight, and many others.

b.       If you are rocking, you may not be concentrating on shooting the ball. 

c.       Most shooters rock left before they shoot right and vise versa, so if the defense rocks with them and moves sharply, they can be right where the ball goes.

d.       It�s pointless.  If you can shoot both corners, without rocking, without a tell and without moving your body or changing your grip, why rock?  Consider not learning a bad habit just because other people do it.  If after you learn to shoot the rollover you want to add the rock, go ahead, but don�t just do it because other people do. 


It is far more important to shoot a quick, accurate shot then it is to do tricky stuff.  Simplify and you can focus, focus, focus.

The Setup: Before you can even shoot a rollover, you have to get the ball under the man.  We want you to make a commitment; never, never, never take and place the ball under your man.  Always practice setting the ball up, you will never see a Pro Master player just stick the ball under the man,

 The bottom of the man: You need to know where the bottom of the man is so you can put it on the top of the ball.  Set the practice puck on the table, under the shooting man, and look at where the man touches the puck, amazing.  The bottom point of the man is a good � of an inch behind the tip of the man!  Now put a ball out there, crouch down and look where the ball and the man touch.  You need to get it just right, memorize that spot.  For the first couple of weeks you will need to do this from time to time to make sure you are not too far forward or too far back.

Setup the ball: We don�t care what method you do to get the ball out there under the man, we have seen dozens of ways.  Whatever way you want to do it, just do it steady and smooth.  We did not say slowly, but we don�t mean fast.  You should handle the ball with confidence but you want to control it.  If a ball is moving too slow, funny things can happen.  If a ball is moving too fast, you can lose it to the defense.

Shoot the spot, not the ball: This is the trick to the whole thing. You need to learn to shoot where you want to shoot.  After you have that down, learn to pitch the ball to that spot so you can hit it.  If you are tying to hit the ball at the 1 hole, you need to spin your man at the 1 hole, not the 2 hole, so focus on the spot, not the ball as it moves to the spot.  Trust your motion to get the ball there.


Setup the ball

First things first, practice getting the ball under the man at the correct spot.  Practice moving the ball around a bit with your hand.  See if you have good control with a bit of move and catch of the ball.

Roll your hand down

Where are you going to shoot the rollover?  Don�t spend a lot of time on this.  Pick a spot, if it works okay, if not move.  After a while you will find a spot.  Maybe the best way, at first, is to setup a ball, then move off the ball and basically do the shot slowly in reverse.  Once the man is back in the right location, put the man back over the ball.  Now look at your wrist, this is the place where you are going to have the handle every time, until you get a better plan. Don�t push down on the rod or lift the rod.  Don�t push too hard on the ball.  Don�t be too far up on your arm.  Gentle is how you get a good feel for the ball.

Rock the ball

Practices rocking the ball around, not because rocking the ball is an important part of the shot, but because you will need this feel for the ball to be able to do the pitch.


Pitch the ball

Practice pitching the ball.  You will be doing this pitch for a while.  You could practice this part indefinitely, and it still will be perfect.  You know you got the pitch right if you can practice it and never lose control of the ball and if it never goes behind the rod.  Keep control and keep it in front of your rod!


Puck time

Take the ball off the table, remove and save the backing from the puck (you can reuse the backing paper) and stick it on the table.  Line the middle of the puck up with the tip of your man.  Practice rocking on the puck, to get the feel for it, notice it is the same height as the ball.


Put the ball on the table between the closest two dots, this is the five hole.  Now we want you to do the next series slowly, mechanically and with a pause between them.


With the man on the puck, slide the man off the puck just like a pitch.  Stroke the man slowly towards you all the way over to the bumper, you will need to lift slightly to not touch the ball.  Now stop and pause, look at things, repeat this a couple times.  Without spinning the rod, practice the cut back by snapping back towards the center with your wrist, about an inch or two.


Now you have the man on the bumper, here it comes, lift with your hand, twist your wrist and snap the man around.  Remember the cut back is only an inch or two, you should not hit the puck.  Try to hit the ball with the outside 25%.  Did you get the ball into the goal?  (HINT:  Do you remember about the rebounds?  Where is your hand and your man?  Could you catch a rebound if the ball came out to you?)  Repeat, Repeat, Repeat


Switch the ball to the push side or the 1 hole.  Do the process again, the stroke, the snap back, then do the shot.


You must learn this now and never forget it, shoot the spot, not the ball!  If you put the ball on the 2 hole, will you even hit it when you shoot?  You better not hit it.


Can you move the ball farther and farther out?  Can you shoot a ball in from outside the goal?  We know you can!


The Rollover Shot (Finally)


Ready to try the shot?  Remove the puck, put the backing paper on it, pass a ball from the 5-bar to the 3-bar, and set the ball up.  Roll your hand down.  Take a few calming breaths and clear your mind.  Let your body do the parts that you have practiced.  Casually pitch the ball to the 5 hole, stroke the rod out to the bumper, snap it around, do the short cutback and BLAMMM-O.  Well, you may have missed, but you will get the motion with practice. 


Keep at it, you are on the road to a rollover.  Go back and practice the drills and then try the shot again.  Remember to shoot the spot not the ball!  Work on your pitch to get the ball to the spot.  Work on your timing to have the ball at the spot when you shoot the spot.


One more thing.  Some people accidentally cut the ball back at a sharp angle when they learn to shoot as far out as we are suggesting.  You may see this happen.  This is not a bad thing?  If you can learn to do this on demand you will be the best rollover shooter on earth! Remember to be in position for the rebound!  Your game will improve faster if you think rebound first!


TSTS - The Ultimate in Gaming Accessories

We would like to hear from you.  Tell us what practice routines you might develop using the TSTS foosball system.  Please feel free to contact or Table Sports Training  There are new things to learn every time you practice.   We believe foosball is a community.  If you like something, tell us, if you hate something, tell us that too.


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