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Petesimple's blog
The Defensive Read
2/9/2012 1:32:12 PM
Like any good face to face competitive sport or game one has to learn the "read". Some card players look for the "tell" of the player across the table. Be it an increase in heart beat or a twitch that a player may have when he or she has a good hand to play. The best card players in the world know what to look for in their opponents at the right moment and how to react when this happens.
The same can be said for Air Hockey players. Most masters will tell you to only look at the puck of the player across the table from you and to ignore the hand and mallet as they are decieving due to a cut shot. Take a closer look at your opponent next time at the table. What are their tendencies? How often is the shot within a certain time frame? And look for the "tell". Most players have a lean or a shoulder drop and/or square up to the wall they want to hit off of. However all players have different signs so get out your mental notebook and write down what you find.
If you take all of these concepts to heart, one can relax a bit more at the table against a tougher opponent and you'll have a little more time to defend. This is also with the side of the table mallet defense, or a square up defense. Now for all of this remember a player can catch on to your read and fake a shot with the body language, but only the players that practice the fake are any good at that and there are only a few. Most players worry more about whether or not the shot is "on" so give this concept a go and you'll see better defense in your play.
This concept takes time to learn and is different for everyone so results will vary. This is also one of those talents that is hard to teach, ask any good card player. Most just do it out of natural observation, but you can at least learn aspects of it to help your play if you don't already have the knack.

Blog History
2014 and ESPN 14 Aug 2014
My Hobby 31 Aug 2012
Happy 4th of July 04 Jul 2012
Practice Makes Permanent NOT Perfect 20 Jun 2012
Billy Goat? 15 May 2012
Getting a Tad bit anxious? 20 Apr 2012
The Fireman's still got it 27 Mar 2012
ipad air hockey 28 Feb 2012
Another Loss at Camp Simple 21 Feb 2012
The Defensive Read 09 Feb 2012
Smart Lab Air Hockey 30 Jan 2012
Miles Davis part 2 25 Jan 2012
Kind of Blue part 1 25 Jan 2012
The Way of the Puck part 2b 25 Jan 2012
The Way of the Puck part 2a 25 Jan 2012
For those of us willing to practice 24 Jan 2012
Syed nails me to the cross 18 Jan 2012
My goal this year 18 Jan 2012