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stubbs7's blog
Top 10 most common mistakes in air hockey. (pt 2)
7/5/2013 1:08:30 PM
On average, there are about 30-35 goals scored against you in a losing set. You have to adjust rapidly! Adjusting to a cut shot after it has sunk on you 10 times is a surefire way to lose a match.

Players typically never adjust in a match or when they do it is too late. You need to be able to effectively adjust on defense in 1-6 shots.

To timely adapt your defense look for the following tells from offense: 1) Can you simply react in time to the speed of the puck? 2) Is the offense tipping their shots by shooting from different locations? Do they hit their cut from left-of-center at the line and their right-wall-under from right-of-center a foot back from the line? 3) Are you able to eliminate certain shots based on drifts? Do they ever shoot left-walls and crosses out of a diamond drift? 3) Patterns. Are they capable of hitting the same shot back-to-back even when you have correctly blocked it? Do they always shoot straights at 6-6? Are they more likely to follow a right-wall-under with a right-wall-over? How do they respond to being incorrectly charged? 4) Release. 5) Hand positioning. 6) Relation of mallet to puck. 7) Body positioning.

If you are playing an unknown top-level pro and you scored a cut to make it 6-6, what shot should you shoot at 6-6?

Most players hit shots that lack purpose. What has worked in the past is most likely to work in the future. Players of all skill levels are too reluctant to hit exact copies of a shot that is scoring. Exploit what is working by using it until it no longer works.

What shots are being scored on you, at what percentage, and in what order? You do not need to know the exact answers to these questions, but you should at least be able to give an approximation, even during matches. If you are unaware of what is scoring on you and your opponent, how can you effectively adjust?

And to answer the question at the beginning of this section, if you have no other information, you must shoot a cut. Do not give someone credit for adjusting until they do so.

Offenses typically hit their shots from where they are most comfortable: Left-wall-unders from left-of-center and crosses from center; right-wall-unders from right-of-center and cuts from center. It is as easy as reading a cheap novel when a player does this.

On offense you must be able to strike the under and complimentary straight from the exact same location. When I enter a match, on offense this is the first thing that I try to make the defense aware of. I want the defense to realize that I have the ability to hit the under and its complimentary straight from the exact same location, while using the same drift and release. Once I feel that I have "explained" this to the defense, I then may or may not start hitting the shots from different locations depending on how my opponent is reacting.


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