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How to Hold Foosball Handles (Proper Grip Explained)

Most people casually playing Foosball will grasp the handles with little thought to how they are holding them and will use a grip that feels natural. Given the fact that you spin the rods, there’s not really an incorrect way to hold a Foosball handle (within reason of course). 

When you want to get better at foosball though, an optimal grip is going to be a huge benefit because it will allow you to play a greater variety of shots and switch between rods/players with more ease. 

Technique is important so in this article we’ll show you how to hold Foosball handles in order to significantly improve your gameplay and variety of shots. 

These adjustments are easy enough for anyone to use but just keep in mind that they won’t necessarily come naturally so will require some practice to master. 

How to Hold Foosball Handles

The best way to hold foosball handles will depend on the situation. There’s a closed hand grip, good for pull and push shots, and the open-handed shot.

In Foosball, the handles on the table are what provide your moves during the game. 

Your manipulation of them and skill at doing so is what makes or breaks a shot. If you hold the rod too firmly, you’ll inhibit fast and speedy hand movement to other rods in play. But, too loose of a grip will result in sloppiness and the end result being that the ball won’t go into the goal! 

“It takes the right touch”

In other words, you have to have the right touch that allows for the utmost agility in moving your hands between rods. 

At the same time you have to have a firm enough grip to move the handle to make the shot. Therefore, it requires quick reflexes and spur-of-the-moment strategy.

Types of Grips in Foosball

Each shot made in foosball is the result of the placement of your thumb along with how the wrist moves and grip technique used. The ease of speed is what gets the win. However, there are a variety of shots to try and it’s the ability to strategize those shots for greatest effect.

You want a light and nimble touch with the right balance of firmness. This is foundational to victory and what many people find to be difficult about the game. Getting this right takes patience and lots of practice.  

Closed-Hand Grip

Using a close-hand grip can apply to many shots like push shots, pull shots and tic-tac shots. The best way to understand the technique of a closed-grip shot is if the small space of flesh between your thumb and index finger wraps entirely around the handle, you are gripping it too hard.

You ideally want a small gap between the handle and your palm. This will give you effortless shooting, theoretically. There are a limited number of moves a player can make. This means you must make the best use of the muscles in the hand. It’s a balance between finesse, power and speed.

Open-Handed Grip

The snake shot, also called the open-handed grip, is a delicate and specific play. This is when a foosball man on the table secures the ball between the pitch and his foot before moving it to the side for the shot. In order for this shot to occur, a player employs the wrist rather than the hand.

This means the foosball man must be in a forward-tilting position while the toe pins the ball against the table. With the ball resting in this position, players switch from the traditional closed to open-handed grip. Switching to the wrist, the player rolls the rod with an open hand.

How the wrist goes onto the rod is entirely personal preference based on experience and past effective maneuvers. And different players will execute this in various ways. This allows rotation of the handle so that the little foosball man swings almost fully backwards before shooting the ball into the goal.

Legal vs. Illegal Shots

This can get tricky because it could be an illegal shot. However, the foosball man makes contact with the ball just before the 360° turn finishes. This makes it legal. The catch is that the player must master this shot with skill without making an illegal shot. There is a fine line between an illegal or legal shot with this.

Deciding which Grip Is Better

As you can see, deciding whether to use a closed grip or an open one will impinge on what you’re doing in the game. Oftentimes, players will switch between the two. 

This allows for maximum use of skill and technique while exhausting all possible shots a player can make on the table.

Another aspect to holding foosball handles is the classic wrist flick. The control of the handles and the force at which the rods rotate all come from the flick of the wrist. This allows for the most powerful kick of the ball toward the goal. Such a thing is especially true when you hit the ball from the center man.

Strengthening & Endurance

In order to develop skill in switching grips with accuracy, it takes a lot of practice and concerted effort toward building up endurance. This takes a little patience because of the delicate bones, muscles and tendons that make up the hands and wrists.

Also, the hand size will play a role in which method a player prefers. For instance, smaller hands may find it easier to use the closed grip. But if those small hands accompany narrow wrists, the open-handed grip might be better. It allows for quicker movement between the rods.

Final Thoughts 

How you hold the foosball handle will play a significant role in how effective your shots are during play. It’s often an overlooked part of the game but an incorrect grip will not only mean your shots are less effective (less accurate and will have less power) but it will also restrict the type of shots you can take. 

Fluctuating between an open-handed and close-handed grip is one of the strategies that the best players adopt to increase spin/snatch speed whilst also comfortably switching between players.