Are you searching for skills to elevate your air hockey game to the next level? Search no more because we have you covered with five essential air hockey skills every player should master.
Skill is the name of the game in air hockey. It is what separates the best player from the average player. When you master the skills of the game, only desire can determine if you win or lose.
This article goes through the fundamental air hockey skills for beginners and even pros. It explains the skill in detail and provides further helpful information on how best to execute it.
Five Air Hockey Skills Every Player Should Master
1. The Triangle Defense
You can only win a game of air hockey by scoring more goals than your opponent scores.
But how do you make it happen? Keeping your defense solid ensures your opponent does not stick the puck into your goal.
The triangle defense is a tactic that helps intercept shots coming in from an angle. To implement the tactic properly, you must position your hand where it can move in a triangle.
Because it is simpler to defend moving backward, position your lead hand two feet from the center, at the front of your goal.
Mastering this defense technique enables you to block shots from the middle and sides because you can quickly move diagonally downward on either side.
2. Controlling the Puck
Getting a hold of the puck is vital in teeing up most of your shots. Many amateurs strike the puck immediately after it comes to their side instead of controlling it first.
Take a position and brace yourself for a shot while moving your mallet around to secure all gaps that may allow the puck to find the goal.
The motion is something players have to feel out on their own. Always purpose to gain possession of the puck before striking it.
You should master controlling the puck to set yourself up for a well-calculated and powerful shot that gives your opponent a hard time defending.
3. The Straight Shot
Among the different shots you can take in air hockey, the straight shot is one of the simplest to master. It is a shot you aim straight at your opponent’s goal.
It would be best to shoot a straight shot whenever you see the opponent’s goal unguarded. Ensure the shot is fast and accurate so stopping is not easy.
It may seem to most people as a predictable shot, but you can use this assumption to your advantage. Since players don’t expect you to use this shot, use it as a deceptive counter-move.
4. The Over Bank and Under Bank Shot
Apart from the straight shot, the bank shot exists in two types; the over-bank shot and the under-bank shot.
The over-bank shot involves smashing the puck against the wall to change the angle it will arrive. You typically strike the side of the wall closer to your goal.
An over-bank shot is more predictable because it allows the opponent to watch the puck arrive. It is most suitable against opponents who emphasize offense.
On the other hand, we have an under-bank shot, which is the opposite of the over-bank shot. You aim at the side of the wall closer to your opponent.
If well executed, the under-bank shot could help you sneak attack the opponent and stick the puck behind the goal without them realizing it.
When hitting a bank shot, always strike the puck by the front of the mallet, not by the side, like most beginners. Striking using the front gives your shot maximum power.
5. The One-Two Shot
The one-two shot is meant to throw off your opponent by making the puck look like it’s bouncing all over the place, but in reality, it is a strategy to position it onto the bank and finally into the back of their goal.
First, strike the puck to the corner of the opponent’s side. Ensure the puck hits their top and bottom corner to perform the shot correctly.
When the puck returns from its second bounce, instantly hit it to the side of the rail, where it will bounce and enter the goal.
Air hockey is an exciting game to exercise the body and mind. After engaging in it, you will realize that it engages different skills.
The above guide encompasses five critical air hockey skills that every player should master to improve their game. We hope it makes your learning much more effortless.
Mastering the skills above involves constant practice with complete focus and determination to learn. You can develop an edge over your opponents within a short time.