Here’s an update from Will Stranks, the team captain:
Control, Set Up, Read, Decide, Execute. Those are the “5 Fundamentals of Foosball” as laid out by famous Canadian Pro Master Eric Dunn from his video series, originating in 2009. Those fundamentals have been a focus for me, and really for most of the Edmonton foosball scene from the day the videos came out. On the World Cup team this year we have four players from Edmonton (now a hot bed for Foosball in Canada): Christian Dunn, Darcy Scaife, Benjamin Wilkins and myself. The 5 Fundamentals have helped guide and mold us, to turn us into machines!
The opponent takes a shot from his end of the table, and while it is blazing past at a nearly invisible speed I quickly adjust my zone defense to make that ball hit my 5 row… and stick to it. The control part of the 5 fundamentals is essential, becuase it is easy enough to stop the ball from going in – but very difficult to catch it. Once the ball is under “control” it is time to “set up”. I quickly move the ball into position, by the near wall of the table. I work the ball around between the figures on my 5 row, watching and “reading” the defense. After a few seconds I see a pattern in the defense that my opponent is giving me, and I know what I am about to do will work. I “decide”, based on my read, to hammer a wall pass. I pull the ball as fast as possible towards the wall – and with crisp accuracy and tremendous speed I pass the ball towards my three row, and catch it. Because I did all 5 of the steps, I have the ball in scoring positon. Now I just restart the same thought process, but on my scoring rod now. Instead of passing, I’m shooting. Control the ball, set it up, read the defense, decide what to do… and execute. The ball is in the back of the net.
By practicing with that consistency in mind, and focusing on the mental aspect of the game, our team has become prepared for the World Cup. Barry from Saskatoon flew into Edmonton for a weekend of training, where we practiced on Bonzini and Fireball for hours on end. In Ontario Nhu and Mario have been practicing with the same determination. We are all practicing for one reason, and with one goal. To bring Gold back to Canada.
– Will Stranks