Playing "hard"

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Playing "hard"
« on: October 16, 2010, 10:53:04 PM »
Recently I have played a few games with a good and experienced player. All the way through the games, he rips me to play "harder, harder". It's particularly around grabbing and blocking on the 5 bar. Most of my foosball is played through practice on my table at home so I lack regular game experience. What I am now finding is that when I get possession, my 5 bar and 3 bar offense means I can score, but grabbing possession and blocking doesn't bring me the ball. On this "harder, harder" theme, my friend also rips me on my 5 bar passing which he reckons is a bit soft, he reckons I need to be more crisp, hard, aggressive in executing it.

- what does "playing hard" mean to you? how do you do it and when?
- how can I practice gaining possession from a loose ball? how from blocking the opponent's passes?
- how can I make 5 bar passes "harder" [I find if I hit the ball too hard, it recoils back to the 5 bar again]

It's all about the left hand I think...

Looking forward to hearing your comments, all.

Re: Playing "hard"
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2010, 02:25:36 PM »
It would totally suck to play with the guy you partnered with. The last thing I want to hear is my partner getting on me during a game. I need to have a clear head and be looking to establish my game, not trying to do a poor version of his. If I see that I'm lacking skill in a certain area then I will work on that later in my practice and might ask a more-skilled player for help. A good partner might offer suggestions in a time out but to just vocally get on your case is just wrong. You need to stay positive during a game and he is guaranteeing that that won't be happening. If you practice good practices and try to learn good technique, it will come, in time, but not all at once due to someones prodding. As far as catching loose balls I find I can't make it get any better by thinking about it during a match as conscious thought isn't fast enough. Rather I just tell myself to be on my toes and then hope my subconscious helps me catch some of them, in short, don't think, just be ready to do. Watch Tracy McMillan's matches. He's a calm player who plays real smooth and is deceptive in his speed because of it. Every person has his own flavor of play. So listen to everything, try what makes sense and use what works.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 02:36:10 PM by Old Meister »

Re: Playing "hard"
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2010, 12:25:49 PM »
1. what does "playing hard" mean to you? how do you do it and when?
To me, this is purely personal style, however I think playing hard should mean playing with intensity and focus.  You don't necessarily have to always hit the ball hard.  Not all shots need to be fast and hard, even though having the ability to shoot those definitely help.  Throwing in dinks, changing up timing, etc are equally effective.  But you really need to analyze your opponents game to know when to take out these tools.

2. how can I practice gaining possession from a loose ball? how from blocking the opponent's passes?

This is something I need to work on too.  I find pinshot shooters much more proficient in picking up loose balls, simply because they can catch and control balls easier.  As a pullshooter, I need to work on that more.

Blocking the opponent's passing is like blocking a 3-bar shot.  I see defense as a mix of basic concept and psychology.  You need to understand your opponent's abilities and likes.  And don't try to follow the ball too much, because pro players can execute wall or lane passes easily.  So, follow your game, try to fool their passing by opening and closing passing holes, and being unpredictable.

3. how can I make 5 bar passes "harder" [I find if I hit the ball too hard, it recoils back to the 5 bar again]

Perhaps some of the other experts can chime in here.  The first thing I would suggest is loosening your catching hand slightly, so that it isn't as hard - causing the ball to bounce back.  You can practice letting your catching foot go forward slightly when the ball comes in contact, dampening the ball and sucking it in.  You should be able to strike the ball really hard and still catch it.  Another thing I've heard people doing is following through with the passing "kick", putting a forward spin on the ball.  Finally, something I've seen with a Malaysian player is having the catching man's foot slightly higher, such that the passed ball is caught and pinned at the same time by the catching man.  So, try some of those and see what works!  Good luck.

Re: Playing "hard"
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2010, 04:42:15 PM »
I have found if you go at your game with hard fast movements you prime the competition so that they are ready to respond in kind. I would rather use that fast motion at my discretion and let them match a much more relaxed fluid motion in my work up to a shot. All you have to do is keep in mind the reaction time you are trying to overcome. Why put them on guard? Isn't it better to only show deceptive speed on the shot delivery and let them think they are pacing you well otherwise. Not only is the control easier but you also can deliver a shot that they don't quite know how you did it, and doubt is where you kill your opponent. If you totally want to totally destroy them with obscenely fast play and shots and defense, well good on you for trying. The best wins are really when they didn't understand how you did it and that isn't with "in your face" speed, it is with deception.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 06:21:40 PM by Old Meister »

Offline crazy8

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Re: Playing "hard"
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2011, 01:23:56 PM »
2. how can I practice gaining possession from a loose ball? how from blocking the opponent's passes?

Have you seen the players who have a ball magnet inside their men?  They can grab any ball as it tries to roll by.

A good practice for this is to toss the ball around the table from man-to-man and rod-to-rod.  Send the ball from any man/rod to any other rod/man.  Then - do it more and more.

Remember - you aren't doing this as a warm-up, though it is a great one.  Rather, this is an exercise in ball control.  That means you may have your right-hand on the 3-rod and your left moving from the 5-rod to the 2-rod, etc.

Also - pay attention to how your man contacts the ball.  With practice, your catches will be with increasingly softer hands. 

This type of practice really pays dividends in singles.

Let me know how it works for you.

You will find that you are able to grab the ball much easier.


Offline PatRyan

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Re: Playing "hard"
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2011, 02:11:55 PM »
Let's see have 4 questions

How do I play "Harder,harder"

how to practice catching loose balls

how to block the opponents 5 bar passing

how to execute a harder pass (without dropping the pass)

Harder harder could refer to effort, or movement, or something that your partner has in only his mind :)

As for practice catching loose balls, not a whole lot to actually practice, experience and consistently being in the right place.  The more you play and the more experience you have, you get a better understanding of where the ball is going to go in certain situations.  With this knowledge, you try to consistently place your men in positions to better grab loose balls, block shots and passes, etc.  A good zone helps with this.

Blocking the opponents 5 bar passing
read this
Lots of good information in those posts

Executing harder passes.  you mentioned that the problem probably lies in your left hand.  I would say it starts with your right hand!  executing the pass harder is more about catching, than about hitting it harder.  Anyone can hit it harder, catching it is another animal all together.  Try loosening your grip in the 3 man when catching, or pointing the toes out a little farther (especially on a lane pass).
experiment with the angle of the catching man and the tightness or loosness of the grip whil passing HARD.  See what works best for your passing. 

You can also ask your partner after the match, what exactly he means by play harder.  Let him/her know that you want to learn, and put forth your best effort.  And that any advice he/she has to offer would be most welcomed.  Most experienced players would be more than willing to help you out by telling you what they saw, and some ways to help your game get better. 


Offline foozkillah

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Re: Playing "hard"
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2011, 03:17:06 PM »
- what does "playing hard" mean to you? how do you do it and when?
Playing hard to me is keeping that "sense of urgency," no matter if it's practice alone, practice or
pickup games, local bar/venue play, or play at a major.  Majority of players I've observed over the
decades is that they play "down" or play "up" not just to their opponents, but also according to
whether it's a pickup or a nice local friendly pub game, or in a DYP or at a major.
However, almost all the best players play for blood and grab and want that ball during each and
every opportunity, even if they're smiling, laughing and doing exhibition or trick shots.
No matter the game, the opponent, or event... and whether you're growling, drooling, laughing,
joking, even clowning around... in your "HEAD" you are pushing most everything out of your thoughts
and declaring to yourself... "That ball is MINE and I'm a-gettin' it!"  There is no time or thought to
developing bad "DUMBASS" habits or even small lapses of concentration at (is there ever a really
good time for these?) the worst times.  It's simple human training of your  eye-hand coordination
and muscle memory... just like all those super athletes & their coaches worldwide keep saying.
Quote from: willhawkes
- how can I practice gaining possession from a loose ball? how from
blocking the opponent's passes?
An easy way is to first leave your 3bar and the opposing G, 2bar and 5bars all up, then taking a
foosball & shooting it like a marble (agate.. tiddlywinks style) w/your right hand at the opposing (target)
goal area corners, creating a near random ricochet off either corner... thereby learning to stop and trap
the ball with your 5bar.
A harder way is to do this continuously.. firing the next ball asap as you trap or fail to trap the latest ball...
Until it burns.
Then you do the same thing with your G-area's back corners.. leave your own G, 2bar and the opposing 3bars up,
learning to stop n trap with the back of your 5bar.
Until it burns.
More advanced and even better training to force you to stop "snagging" that loose ball, but instead learn to make
a mini-wall with a shake on the 5bar ... is.. you shoot 2 balls in the same tew-marble style as above and do your
best to stop both. from the front corners and the back corners...
Until it burns.
Want to try 3 or more balls?
Only if it burns.
Quote from: willhawkes
- how can I make 5 bar passes "harder" [I find if I hit the ball too hard, it recoils back to the 5 bar again]
Usually, since I've seen easy catches with even the hardest 5bar passes... , slapstyle, hard-crushing style, accelerating
style.. So I don't believe its the actual smack on the ball that sets up a completed pass to reverse and come right back.
That should just be a matter of going "through" the foosball and staying on it as long as possible to the very last moment.
I believe this minimizes the "skip, skitter and actual flying" of the ball a bit too much off the surface. then going "BONK!"
Practicing hard slap stick passes for minutes and learning to stop, slow and catch these should be part of practice, too.
But of course, ONLY IF IT BURNS..
Quote from: willhawkes
It's all about the left hand I think...
Looking forward to hearing your comments, all. 
Now what makes ya say that? .......Only if you do it till it burns...  ;D ;D ;D

Re: Playing "hard"
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2011, 03:53:03 PM »
Personally I think the guy is telling you to move quicker when the ball is up for grabs. Maybe a few slow molasses passes got through your 5, or some random balls were rolling in and out of your zones, balls which should have been easily grabbed or at least deflected. Playing 'hard' to me can be as simple as making sure you shuffle your rod to catch a slight piece of those balls... It's a huge difference since it means less easy possessions for the opposition.

Honestly, when I think of the biggest improvements my game has seen over the years, this is a big factor, which then also leads to grabbing more loose balls. The other huge factor that experience has given me over practice is my defensive zoning and baiting. But yeah, playing hard to me means not letting the opponents get off easy by getting a piece of those loose balls as much of the time as possible.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 03:56:23 PM by SilentSam »

Re: Playing "hard"
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2011, 12:05:45 AM »
Grabbing loose ball?, no sub for matches or practice with opponents.  Whenever alone you can stuff resilient variously shaped sponges into the goal. Shoot hard & react by catching,stuffing, or controlling with the 5b or 3b. REPEAT- kind of like a tip drill.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 11:59:11 AM by jkhFoos »

Offline grandmaster

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Re: Playing "hard"
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2012, 04:35:59 PM »
It's a steal world, and livin' with the ball is the way to be. GM