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stubbs7's blog
Top 10 most common mistakes in air hockey. (pt 1)
7/5/2013 1:06:29 PM
Here is my list of the worst errors that I see crop up all of the time, and I am guilty some of them just like the rest of us. If you are a left-handed player, flip the info in this blog - it is written from a right-handers' perspective. In my next blog, I will start referring to left and right-wall banks as "strong-walls" and "weak-walls" in a way that will make sense equally to left and right-handed players.

Leaning your shoulders forward and your torso over the table on defense is by far the most common error in air hockey. I would estimate that 80% of players, across all skill levels, have incorrect stances on defense. Tim Weissman expertly covers the correct defensive stance in his instructional video:



Why is leaning over the table such a bad mistake? If you are leaning over the table you won't be able to stop under banks effectively because the forward lean makes moving backwards more difficult. Leaning out over the table also puts you in more of a charge and snag mentality. On defense blocking the shot must be the first priority, and even though snagging missed shots is important, it is secondary to blocking shots. Blocks are most easily achieved when you have proper defensive mechanics:

- Right leg forward and bent at the knee
- Right knee resting on or just off the table
- Left leg back
- Weight balanced on the balls of feat
- Torso positioned 90 degrees to the floor over the center of body
- Left hand rests on the railing's edge

In the history of air hockey, there have been 12 national champions. 10 of the 12 players used the defense that I am describing above. Bob Dubuisson and Jose Mora did not. They account for 7 of the 63 titles and they won their championships with great offense. They have the worst 2 defenses out of all of the national champions.

A forehand cross at 6-6? A fast reverse circle drift followed by a right-wall-over from left-of-center with an exaggerated time delay? Chase crosses? Offense has such an advantage that there is no need for such shots. Doing overly complicated shots and drifts is a tell-tale sign of a player that does not correctly understand offense.

In practice, you should work on the 6 major shots: The cut, cross, and under and overs to both banks. You should also be able to execute these shots from left and right-of-center, with multiple releases. However when you are within a match, you should primarily be scoring with 2-4 shots and only a handful of basic drifts and releases. Too much variety and complication is normally an indication that the offense does not have a plan of attack.


Blog History
Structuring offense vs. unknown opponents 21 Aug 2014
Extending Timeouts 15 Aug 2014
Releases 10 Jul 2014
Left-of-center vs. right-of-center 07 Oct 2013
A couple of new articles 29 Aug 2013
Charging 27 Aug 2013
Moving to WordPress 13 Aug 2013
Top 10 most common mistakes in air hockey. (pt 5) 05 Jul 2013
Top 10 most common mistakes in air hockey. (pt 4) 05 Jul 2013
Top 10 most common mistakes in air hockey. (pt 3) 05 Jul 2013
Top 10 most common mistakes in air hockey. (pt 2) 05 Jul 2013
Top 10 most common mistakes in air hockey. (pt 1) 05 Jul 2013
A blog about air hockey strategy and tactics. 01 Jul 2013