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Foosball Clinic
Just throwing this out there. I think OFA should have a foosball clinic. Real coaching. If we truly believe in growing foos, let's share our best tips with each other. Ideally prior to the winter league start (October 8 (fixed that for you - CT)). Even if it doesn't work out should make some good forum posts.

Rules: Clinic presenters get a beer courtesy of OFA, and each person in audience must each buy 1 beer for whoever they think provided the best seminar of the night.
***Presenters also show their favorite practice drill + their secret on how to defend another OFA's players shot (emphasis on tier 1 players).

Jon: Walking snake, brush
Merv: Puppeteering (making them shoot what you want), 3-bar clinic, 5-bar tips
Jesse: Throwing off your opponent
Dan P: 2-bar pull shot, defense
Chris A: 3-bar clinic
Dan K: Brush, angles, off-speed
J.P: Unconventional win
Frank: Defense
Chris T: Push it real good (then run home)
Vern: Freestyle 5-bar
Carm: Open forum/bank shots
Gid: Squeeze me!
Taha: (sorry drawing a blank..any ideas?)
Omar: 5-bar no show
Casti: The out-of-town hollow heckle

Lets hear your version of OFA foos clinic.

I'll be hosting my clinic next week out of town. Be there.
- Casti
I've tried this a couple of times. Start 1/2 hour before league and put the tables on free play. Not too many people showed up. We could try that again.
"Man's way to God is with beer in hand." - some Belgium monk
It's interesting to see other people's perspective on what Ottawa's tier 1 players excel at.

My take:
Jon: Masking intent on 3 and 5, timing snakes, building a 5 series
Merv: Reading defenses, clearing D, reaction to loose balls
Jesse: Masking intent
Dan P: Pull technique, rod-to-rod movement
Chris A: 3 bar timing, brush technique
J.P: rod-to-rod movement
Frank: Defense
Chris T: I'm not a fan of teaching the push, but Thomas is good at teaching brush technique and general theory
Vern: Stick series with 4th man re-up.
Carm: Probably open hand technique... Carm has a hard game to teach
Gid: Gid ain't gonna teach people about the squeeze, because then blocking it becomes apparent
Taha: 5 bar defense, bait & switch, zoning
Omar: Building a defensive series, 5-bar technique
Casti: Snake execution, stick passing
Oh my god, this is a great initivative. I'm sure myself and many others would gain alot from this type of clinic. Please make this happen!
LOL. Could you imagine if one player had all those skills mentioned. I think his name would be Spreederman or Loffreddo.
Some of the stuff you guys are mentioning are great for Youtube videos (unrealfoos covers most of these just as good as any of us, probably better actually).

The things that aren't talked about nearly as much:

- Watch Taha or Merv when they're playing doubles (esp Merv in forward) he's not watching his goalie at all, he's watching the middle of the table so as the ball is shot his eyes are there to drop the 5 man down, recover the ball, etc. helps with loose ball skills immensely. I see almost everyone else not doing this.

- Theory behind establishing a passing series against a new opponent, how to adapt quickly (Taha?).

- Taha's theory on something about juggernauts / ponies and not always going to the watering hole because if you have an exploit on your opponent you don't want to let them know you have it (he'll have to explain this Tongue )
- Casti
It is interesting to see different perspectives on what our t1 players are good at.

While this sounds great in theory, Chris is right, in the past this kind of thing has been challenging to organize and execute. Lets be honest there would probably be more coaches than players to coach if we organized something like this, and likely you would only get to visit a small handful of coaches in the time period given.

Those who have a desire to improve, Steve and Kat come to mind, I encourage you to seek out any coach on that list whenever you are at foos with them, or exchange emails with them. Every coach on that list is a friendly, knowledgeable player, and would be more than happy to answer any of your questions and discuss various aspects of the game with you.

In my opinion if you want to improve your game at a rapid rate there are 4 key elements:

1) Your Mindset - You must strive to want to get better, be determined, be competitive.

2) Own a Table (and better yet also live with a fellow fooser) - Having your own table allows you to practice at any time, which is key, and for those of you with families, living with another fooser is out of the question, so instead try to invite foosers from around your part of the city over for shorter 1-2 hour sessions on off days.

3) Play in a Competitive League - Having a weekly competitive environment will keep your game at its best and expose you to others games while you refine your own.

4) Go to Tournaments - Every tournament you attend will raise your foosball bar, your foosball intelligence, as you are exposed to more peoples games, and participate in an environment that is a step up competition wise from your local league. By continually raising your bar your development will be less likely to stagnate, as you will learn alternative ways to overcome barriers in your game.

Those of you who I see wanting to improve generally satisfy most if not all of those elements, and you are showing great promise. From my personal experience over the past 3 years I have to stress the importance of the 4th element. Hitting 2 out of town tournaments a year, plus the Ottawa tournament is a great benchmark to work with. If you can attend more thats great, but try not to drop below 2 or 3 tournaments a year. I know attending tournaments can be a challenge, both logistically (work or family) and financially (money in da bank), and we all as foosers face these two challenges in varying degrees. But if you are able to overcome these barriers, and allocate 2-3 weekends out of 52 that are in a year to foosball, your game will improve rapidly (assuming you continue to satisfy the first 3 elements). Not only will going to tournaments raise your personal foos skills and intelligence, but it has an added benefit of raising the bar of your local league, and as you introduce things you have learned and people are forced to adapt and learn, the level of play rises, benefiting all in varying degrees.

Any of you who want to improve can approach me at any time and ask me what ever questions you have and I will try to answer them or direct you to a more knowledgeable fooser on the given subject.

Next time you see me at foos pull me aside and ask me what I mean by 'Finding Your Game', its an aspect of foos that I think will help all of you wishing to improve.

Very nice post by Jesse. Hits the nail on the head in all departments. Big like.
+1 good post from Jesse.

One of the other things we've talked about is in terms of value for your money, you should at a minimum do two things this year coming up:

- Go to NY state tournament. It's one of the best locations and attracts the biggest name in Foosball, it's a beautiful, short drive to get there and the hotel rates are cheap.
- A lot of us try to attend Albany 1 day tournaments where we drive up early in the morning and drive back. It's about $85 registration + your food & gas you're looking at a measily $110 to play against the best player in the Northeast (Kevin Walker) and a lot of other pros. Their scene is seriously competitive as hell, I would rank myself in the bottom 30-40% of that group of 50 or so players who always go to those tournaments. You won't find better validation on how your game is than there (if you can win that tournament you are doing ok for contending for Pro doubles at any state event). It's so much cheaper than flying to something like Worlds.
- Casti
I should really read the forum more..

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