It takes plenty of hard work and practice to get really good at foosball, and people can find it challenging to know where to begin when they first invest in the best foosball table.
If you’re struggling to get better at this fun-filled activity, you should try focusing specifically on your shooting game. There are different types of foosball shots that you can practice, from standard strikes to stylish trick plays.
When you master several different types of foosball shots, you’ll be able to hit the ball into your opponent’s goal from any part of the pitch.
12 Types of Foosball Shots
There are 12 main types of foosball shots, from the standard pull and push options to the aerial play and the rollover strike.
1. The Pull Shot
This is one of the most popular foosball shots, and if you’re a beginner, this is a great shot to learn as you’re just getting into the sport. It’s an offensive stroke that allows you to make the most of the gaps in the opponent’s defense.
If you want to play this shot, you secure the ball at the feet of one of your figures; then, you pull the rod and ball toward you before rapidly flicking the ball through any hole you notice in the defensive rod. Your middle player on your offensive 3-bar rod should do everything here. This might seem like a simple play, but it takes some practice to control the ball as you pull it toward you without losing it to the opposition player.
2. The Push Shot
The push shot is the reverse of the pull shot: the middle figure on your offensive rod holds the ball at their feet, then you push the bar away from you, rolling the ball into position and using the figure to strike it through a hole in the defense.
As with the pull shot, this type of stroke is relatively easy to master, but you’ll need to practice your ball control to make sure you’re hitting this ball exactly where you want to when the time comes.
3. The Pull Kick Shot
This is a neat shot that you can disguise quite easily as a passing play between two different figures on your offensive 3-bar rod. Use the player furthest away from you to hold the ball on the inside of their feet, then pull the rod toward you. This player will pass the ball to your middleman, and then this figure can whip the ball through the defense and into the back of the goal.
4. The Push Kick Shot
The push kick shot follows the same pattern as the pull kick shot but in the opposite direction. Hold the ball at the feet of the figure that’s nearest to you, then push the rod away from you to perform a pass shot to the middleman, who can strike the ball at the right moment to shoot through a gap in the opponent’s defense.
5. The Dead Man Shot
You should only play this shot when your opponent is playing a dead bar defense: this means that they’ve pushed their 2-man rod so that their furthest figure is flush with the wall.
In this situation, you’ll want to use your middle figure to shoot to the inside of the defender that’s closest to your opponent because your rival can’t move that defender any closer to the wall to block your shot. Hold the ball on the inside of the figure closest to you, then pull the rod toward you until the middle player’s base is just beyond the center of the ball. This will allow you to strike the ball squarely so that it goes across the pitch on a diagonal line, hitting the back of the goal.
This is a specialized shot that you’ll only really play when your opponent is setting up in a specific defensive structure. For that reason, it’s best to focus on practicing some of the more commonplace strikes when you’re first picking up the game.
6. The Bank Shot
You can use your 2-bar defensive rod to play this attacking shot, which hits the wall at a certain angle and bounces back off the wall into your opponent’s goal. You’ll find angle shots tend to be more challenging to execute than straight ones: if your figure moves slightly to the left or right, you’ll need to adjust the shot angle accordingly, so it goes in the goal.
7. The Rollover Shot
This type of shot is one of the most challenging strokes to master. You should play it with the middle figure on your offensive 3-bar rod. Roll the ball forward, then use your middle player’s feet to trap the ball so it’s just in front of the opposing figure. Control the rod’s handle with your hand’s wrist, holding your palm out, so it’s open and facing down to the floor.
Move the rod away from or towards you: at the same time, spin the rod, so the figure flips around and strikes the ball at an angle into your opponent’s goal.
8. The Spray Shot
The Spray Shot is highly versatile because you can perform this type of strike with any of your figures, from the two defensive players to the top two strikers. When you spray a shot, this means that you’re shooting the ball at an angle across the pitch.
If you’re pulling the rod before spraying the shot, keep pulling this rod toward you, even after you’ve hit the ball. The same rule applies to pushing a rod: keep moving the rod in the same direction as you were moving it before you hit the ball. This helps you to angle the strike properly. Hit the ball with the sides of your figures’ feet, so it moves diagonally across the tabletop.
9. The Tic-Tac Shot
This play is another advanced type of shot, and it involves you constantly moving the ball back and forth between the figures in your offensive 3-man bar. The faster you can do this, the more challenging it is for your opponent to follow the ball and block your eventual shot. When you notice a gap in the defense, perform a standard and effective push or pull shot.
10. The Foos Shot
The Foos Shot is the ultimate goal poaching play. If your opponent is about to shoot with their 2-player rod, you can predict the angle of this strike and adjust your figure so that it’s blocking the shot. Quite often, you’ll find that the ball will bounce back off your player and roll into your rival’s goal.
11. The Trick Shots
There are many different trick shots that you can perform, but it’s best that you master the basic push, pull, bank, and spray shots before you go on to start employing these more complex collections of plays. Once you feel confident in the fundamentals, it’s pretty easy to make up your own trick shot: all you have to do is make it look like you’re about to perform a standard play, then shoot in a way that your opponent isn’t expecting.
12. The Aerial Shot
If you’re trying to impress your friends or family, you can learn how to perform the Aerial Shot. Use your two defensive rods to lift the ball, so it lies on the back of one of your 2-bar figures, then flick your wrist to lob the ball into the back of the opponent’s net.
Master 12 Types of Foosball Shots
When you’ve mastered the 12 types of foosball shots in this list, you’ll be able to beat any opponent with your powerful strikes and subtle sleight of hand. However, you must make sure you’re employing these shots at the right times and in the right areas of the pitch.