Improving the Snake

Improving a Snake

From: Tim Dudra Posted: 11/7/97 to wrote:
> Can anyone out there give me som hints on how to improve my snake?
> I started out with a dead push, and after about a month of that
> everyone started to block it. So I developed a almost dead pull,
> and almost completly lost the timing and ability to score the push.
> It seems as if I freeze up when I see an open push side hole.
> Are there any good practice drills to affectively combine the two?
> Do I need to develope a backup shot?

You seem to have encountered one of the huge flop-over
problems.  Basically, the mechanics of how your arm moves
really only allows you to shoot one side well.  Read
the previous as meaning the human arm; what I say is
true for any human being who shoots the shot - it's a
combination of physics and kinesiology for those of you
silly enough to try and argue with me.

A lot of roll-over shooters with huge egos will claim
I am wrong here because they don't want everyone knowing
they are weak to one side BUT THEY ARE!!!!!   I know it
and they know it, who are they lying to?

My guess in's case is that you have
started to hook your hand underneath the rod a little
bit more in order to improve your pull side.  Now that
the pull is better your push is weaker because your hand
is underneath the handle and difficult to get out of the
way while executing a push.  This is an exact problem I
had at one point.  I always had a screaming push and almost
no pull (heck, I got 2nd at the World's in Forward Slop Out
with no pull side whatsoever - this isn't ego in action,
I'm just illustrating what an ignorant event FSO is).

Rollover shooters whose push is good tend to hang their
hand downward while pinning the ball.  Those with better
pull sides tend to hook their hand under.  Sometimes that
shift is all it takes to change your best side.  I know I
can flip my best side that easily, just by hooking my hand
under the handle I end up with a good pull side and no push.
By hanging my hand I have a great push side and a poor pull.
I stick with the hanging hand thing.

There are things that will allow you to compensate.  I put
up a posting on blocking the snake.  Consider what I was
telling goalies to look for.  Those little telegraphs are
listed there because those are the things many roll-over
shooters do to compensate for weakness to one side on the
roll-over.  Of course, goalies will be looking for those

Another thing you can do is DON'T TRY TO KILL
the ball.  You don't have to move the ball super fast
laterally and then slam it into the goal with the intention
of killing it and sending its soul to hell.  Simply making
it bang into the metal sheet is sufficient.  What I am saying
is on your weak side, you might try shooting your shot a little
bit slower.  It may not score but if you can convince the
goalie you can hit the weak side at will (with reasonable
accuracy), they have to start to cover it and that opens up
other holes (which you can then milk).

I can't really teach how to shoot a flop-over using typed
words.  It is a bit hard to discuss because much of it
requires looking at your shot and seeing what you are doing

If you want to try and combine both pull side and push side
it is important to make sure you are rocking directly on top
of the ball.  Do not cheat to either side (i.e.: keep center
of man's foot, at the center of your rocking motion, directly
over the center of the ball - if that makes any sense).  You
might find your best side a little weaker but if you can gain
some weak side at the expense of your strong side then you
might make goalies cover the entire goal.

One other thing to consider.  My push USED to be so screamingly
fast and accurate that I used to pin the ball about 2/3 of the
way across the goal leaving myself a 4" push side and a 2"
pull side.  Now I didn't have to shoot particularly good pull
sides to hit just inside the post.  That worked for a while
but then, after trying to learn the pull side, I somehow forgot
how to hit that screamingly long 4" push.  Oooooppppssss!!!!

Best solution, ask a local player who shoots the shot well to
tutor you on it.  If they don't help, then wait until you draw
them at the next tournament and let the opponent score 100%.
People always help me after I do that - of course, if they
played with me more often they'd realize I do that even when
I'm trying to win.


p.s.  Back up shots are good.  I shoot a pull shot and my arm
releases something else.  The combination is often deadly.