Air hockey is an intense, high-speed sport. In a split second, the puck can fly from one end of the table to the other, bouncing off the walls in unexpected trajectories. So, you may be wondering, “How do professional air hockey players control the puck?”
Read through these tips to improve your grip and stance while playing air hockey.
The Risks of Playing Air Hockey
Air hockey isn’t as dangerous as football, martial arts, or NHL hockey. But when you play air hockey, there’s still a possibility of banging a finger or a hand. Or you could strain your wrist. If you hold the air hockey mallet properly, your chances of injury go down. Plus, your chances of scoring goals and having fun go up.
Gripping an Air Hockey Mallet without Getting Injured
You’re tired of getting your fingers hit by the puck, and you’re interested in safely playing air hockey. So, you find yourself wondering, “What is the right way to hold an air hockey mallet?” You can take a look at the techniques that the pros use and learn more about the sport of air hockey. Yes, there is a National Air Hockey Association, and their website includes official rules and national rankings.
The first time that you grabbed an air hockey mallet, you may have just grabbed onto the handle. You see a big handle and wrap your fingers around it. But if you watch a professional match, you can see there are other ways to hold the mallet.
Holding The Air Hockey Mallet Like A Pro
A lot of the professional players just push their three middle fingers down on the back of the mallet, behind the handle. When you keep your thumb and pinky off the mallet, you’re able to move the mallet easily. All it takes is a simple flick of the wrist! And your fingers won’t be resting on the front of the mallet, which will have the most contact with the puck.
You should also consider the amount of tension you’re putting on the mallet. If you push down too hard, it becomes more difficult to slide the mallet around the table. But you do need to keep a certain amount of tension on the sides of your fingers. If not, you could lose control of your shots or even have the mallet slip out of your hand.
Taking the Right Stance
Take notice of the stance when a basketball player takes a foul shot or a baseball player goes to bat. To get to the professional level, they probably practice their technique and take the same stance each time they play. You can take the same approach to air hockey.
If you are right-handed, your right foot should be placed slightly closer to the table than your left foot. You should stand on the balls of your feet without leaning way over the table. Leaning forward makes it harder to move backward and block a shot.
You may want to rest your empty hand on the rail. If you do this, make sure your fingers don’t get too close to the table surface!
When you’re on the offensive, you can lean forward more, compared to your defensive stance.
Practicing Air Hockey
Our last tip for improving your air hockey game is to practice. The more you play air hockey, the better you’ll get at holding the mallet properly, playing defense, and scoring goals. If you buy an air hockey table of your own, it makes it easier to play air hockey whenever you want. If you have any questions about our air hockey tables, please feel free to contact us at M&P Amusement.