Air Hockey Tips
How To Play Air Hockey Like A Pro
Do you think you have what it takes to be a pro when playing Air Hockey? Well, what you should know is that the professionals in this game have dedicated much of their time training and playing to come up with tips for winning. You might not be interested to be a professional in Air Hockey but you want to win and have fun when playing with family or friends. So how do you become a pro and feel the thrill of playing this game? The following are Air Hockey tips and tricks that will make you shine when playing.
Holding the Mallet
There exist various approaches to holding the mallet. What you will notice is that when it comes to most of the first time players, they tend to grab the mallet right on top of the central knob. As much as this is considered to be fine, it becomes a problem when you consider the aspects of accuracy and speed of paying the game.
The question that therefore erupts is, what is the best way of holding the mallet? You are advised to hold the mallet right behind the knob as this will improve the speed of how you move around the table and also boost your wrist action as well as accuracy. Other professionals tend to hold the mallet by placing their middle finger in a bending manner on the back of the central knob then holding the sides of the mallet using the ring finger and forefinger. Doing this leaves the little finger and the thumb unused.
Before you can make shots and score against your opponent, you need to first understand some of the Air Hockey offense tips. First of all, when the puck has been struck to your side you will have only 7 seconds to react and get it to the opponent's side. Yes, the game is timed to ensure fair play.
Another point to note is that you should not touch or stop the puck using the bottom side of the mallet. This is an offense referred to as "topping" when playing this game. In addition, you should also not try to stop or touch the puck using your arm, hands, or any other body part. When you touch the puck using other parts of your body you will be penalized and the opponent will get a free shot.
The other rule to remember is that you can only hit the puck if it is on your side. If the puck happens to be in the middle line, then it is considered a fair game.
When it comes to defending, the approach that is often used is holding the mallet about one to two inches in front of the goal. The issue with this technique is that it is highly debatable. It is argued that though it can be used to block shots it leaves you with very limited time to react especially when it comes to blocks that are mistimed. This will, therefore, make you prone to the leaking of goals.
There is another defending approach that is considered more reasonable. You will have to hold the puck about 5 to 10 inches in front of you. The distance will depend on the size of your playing table. Using this technique will help you defend straight shots better as the angle is narrowed down and it also allows more time for reactions.
Striking the Puck
The effective striking of the puck is necessary to ensure optimum speed of the shots. The first step is to ensure that you have gained control of the movement of the puck before making any moves. Utilize the 7 seconds allocated to you in such a way that before you aim and fire that shot you know exactly where you want the shot to head.
Striking the puck from the sides reduces the impact and speed of the shot, for you to take an impactful shot strike the puck from behind as you direct it to where it is you want it to go.
The Cross Straight Shot
The primary purpose of this shot is to strike the puck directly into the edge of your opponent's goal. For you to effectively take this shot when the puck is centralized at the table, pull back your mallet to an angle of about 45 degrees then strike the puck as you directly aim at the corner of your opponent's goal. As you practice you will improve how to take an angle to avoid directing the puck on the sides of the table.
The Bank Shot
This is the kind of shot that will hit the sides of the table before it can get to the goal of the opponent. For your shot to have power, ensure you hit the bank only once and use the wrist power. The bank shots come in two types. The under bank shot and the over-bank shot.
The under bank shot is when the puck hits the side and directly heads behind the mallet of your opponent then into his/her goal. The over-bank shot happens when the opponent is defending right on the goal line then when the puck hits the side it travels in front of the opponent's mallet and into the goal.
This is the same kind of shot as a bank shot the only difference is that this time around the puck hits the bank twice before going into the opponent's goal. Most of the time the use of double banking is not recommended as it slows down the power of the shot but it works quite fine in some situations.
How to Handle Rebounds
Once you strike the puck you are never sure where it will end. Sometimes the puck might land right in front of your opponents mallet and h/she hits it back to your goal very fast before you can realize. It is therefore advisable that once you take a shot you get back as quickly as possible to your defensive position. This will help you deal with rebounds in a better way.
Track the Puck
To track the puck is considered as the key to proper defending. What this means is that you should try to match the movement of the puck. This will help you to easily navigate the path of the puck to protect it getting to your goal as well as it will give you ample time to plan for counter-attacking.
Loosen Your Grip
Loosening your grip is considered among the key Air Hockey tips. As you have realized, the game revolves around accuracy, speed, and ease of movement. Having a tight grip will limit your wrist action and in return, this will hinder effective movement around the table as well as slow you down.
Now that you have access to such great Air Hockey tips, practice enough to be able to win those friendly or professional games depending on your purpose.