Author Topic: Wondering about a defensive strategy  (Read 11872 times)

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Offline onelove4uk

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Wondering about a defensive strategy
« on: September 16, 2008, 12:52:34 AM »
Hello,

My school has a foosball table and all the upperclassmen are pretty good at the game (altho nothing compared to the videos I've seen of championships). Anyways they are pretty good at passing, shooting, and defending. While playing with them today, one of them gave me a defensive hint (we play doubles and I prefer to play defense). The table we play on has 2 defenders and 3 goalies. Anyways he told me to keep my eyes ALWAYS on these 5 players and use my peripherals to see where the ball is (he stressed never peeking). If the ball is on the left side of the table then move my players in a staggered formation to the left. Even if the opponent's 3 forwards have the ball, still keep my eyes on my 5 players and use peripherals to move my players to the best possible position. It seemed to work altho I am new to this strategy and it would take some time to get used to it. Assuming I am playing beginner to intermediate players at best, how is this strategy??? Thanks!

Offline Syronis

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2008, 05:14:03 AM »
If you're playing defense, and the opposing players defense has the ball..... it's a pretty standard zone defense. (in my opinion which counts for very little). It's a similar principle to real soccer. NEVER get beat near post. I don't understand why they would tell you to constantly look at your own men, to me you should know where your guys are by feel and should be watching the ball.

All in all, sounds like pretty sound advice to someone who is a beginner. I think Tuna said once on this thread, don't remember where, when you learn foosball, you ALWAYS learn defense first. This is probably because of all the beat downs everyone takes before they finally start man handling their own friends.

Offline foozkillah

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2008, 12:22:17 PM »
Hello,
........Anyways he told me to keep my eyes ALWAYS on these 5 players and use my peripherals to see where the ball is (he stressed never peeking). If the ball is on the left side of the table then move my players in a staggered formation to the left. Even if the opponent's 3 forwards have the ball, still keep my eyes on my 5 players and use peripherals to move my players to the best possible position. It seemed to work altho I am new to this strategy and it would take some time to get used to it. Assuming I am playing beginner to intermediate players at best, how is this strategy??? Thanks!

Basic defensive positional play.  And it still works in advanced play if you have no idea what offensive series the opposing forward will throw at you.  In fact, a good strategy for shooting on a beginner is to just put the ball in motion, and see where your defensive position breaks down, ie, you're caught with a big glaring hole for an easy tap in or slow "dink" to either corner.  If the defender is leaving easy holes to score in, then the forward doesn't even have to strain to execute set or moving series shots.

Forcing you to keep your eyes on your players is probably a good exercise until you've played enough to automatically keep the defensive position solid.  If you don't already have a good "read" of your opposing forward's shots and lanes, then you "zone" and force the forward to execute.  A good shot and a good offensive series will still score, and more effectively the better the forward, but at least you won't be "giving away the store" and you have at least one workable strategy - "stay in position".  That would be a good beginner philosophy.

The more you do this, the more your peripheral vision gets better, which should really help in those lightning strike moments of a loose ball blasting around the table.  The more you do this, your eye-hand coordination also improves and you can play more relaxed using this "system".  This in turn allows you to concentrate on keeping balls from leaving your area on the rebound, which is a science and an art, just as plain blocking is.


Offline bbtuna

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2008, 03:00:39 PM »
I didn't say that but I will take credit if you think it was a smart thing 8)

well, I don't know about the not looking thing...it would have some advantages because you aren't as likely to be sucked into a fake especially when the ball is on the opposing forwards 3 rod...

I have heard top goalies say they will often try to not look at the 3 ball directly when defending against a pin shooter especially if they are getting you to bite on fakes...my shot lives on miss-direction (backpin) and the people I play with a lot have gotten to the point of trying very hard not to look at the ball/man directly and to keep their eyes on their own men and try not to move relative to my movement but to concentrate on what they want to do

now, I don't think this fits your situation



the question for you is, what are some first step defensive things to do

Here are a couple things

1.  When the opposing goalie has the ball. 
Ideally you will have a basic zone set up with your forward.  The most famous most used and simple zone is Goalie takes the corners and doesn't jump out of the way (otherwise why take the corners) and fwd takes middle and long.  Goalie covers the corner on the side nearest where the goalie has the ball set up (either push or pull side).  If the goalie doesn't really shoot anything and just blasts the ball as hard as he can with his two bar or goalie then you probably want to keep your men in a "Standard Defense" about a balls width apart and just float from the middle to the sides/corners as the ball is hit.  Using the "D" you were told about. [I assume you don't know what “Standard” is so look for a link at the bottom of the thread for some basic help]

2.  Stopping slop
First, whatever side of the table the ball is coming at you, stick our goalie all the way against the wall (assuming this is a Tornado table) and tilt your man back (toward the wall) to keep balls from getting in behind you.  Second, put your 2 bar man just in front of the goalie in case the angle of the ball is coming at you is more toward the middle of the goal and if it is, this will cut off that angle.

If the ball is wild but coming more or less down the middle of the table, keep your men in a "Standard Defense" in the middle of the goal about slightly more than a ball's width apart

Naming convention:
Goalie Rod with 3 men…starting with man nearest you on the table G1, man in the middle is G2 and of course far man is G3

2bar near man is 21 and far man 22

my crude drawings are below…the goal can basically be broken into 5 positions

“Standard Defense" is with your men in this position – the G2 is closest to the far side of the goal…doesn’t matter what holes either sits in to be a Standard, just that they are in this position relative to each other

----------
|5   
|4   G2
|3
|2          21 or 22
|1   
-----------
a “Reverse Defense" is the other way round

----------
|5   
|4          21 or 22
|3
|2   G2
|1   
-----------

So for slop balls coming off the far wall – obvious the other way for slop balls coming off the near wall

-------------------------------------Far Wall----------------------------



                    22
----------G2
|1   
|2
|3
|4            21
|5
-----------

YOU standing here
« Last Edit: September 16, 2008, 03:06:51 PM by bbtuna »

Offline foozkillah

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2008, 08:57:08 PM »
Quote
1.  When the opposing goalie has the ball. 
Ideally you will have a basic zone set up with your forward.  The most famous most used and simple zone is Goalie takes the corners and doesn't jump out of the way (otherwise why take the corners) and fwd takes middle and long.  Goalie covers the corner on the side nearest where the goalie has the ball set up (either push or pull side).  If the goalie doesn't really shoot anything and just blasts the ball as hard as he can with his two bar or goalie then you probably want to keep your men in a "Standard Defense" about a balls width apart and just float from the middle to the sides/corners as the ball is hit.  Using the "D" you were told about. [I assume you don't know what “Standard” is so look for a link at the bottom of the thread for some basic help]

Interesting, but not too practical on wide goal tables, like the Tornado.  Having a goalkeeper guard the corner and the forward take care of the middles, longs, lane and brushdown passes, as well as banks off the near wall, from a position near either wall, is a bad bad bad distribution of labor, IMO.  We teach a very very easy D down here.

It's almost impossible to hit that corner from a quickset, and most good goalkeeper shooters will take speed off the shot to hit that hole.  The easiest and most natural shot is through the 53-52 on a pull and through the 54-53 on a push.  In fact over 75% of goalkeeper shots will go through the center two openings of the opposing forward's 5bar.  And quicksets? Probably 99% if they aren't mish*t.

Best way to shut down slop AND stop passes from the opposing goalie is to block the lane and those brush or slap hits (away from goal), never letting it clear the 5bar if possible.  But a forward guarding the middle and the long has to give up guarding these lanes!  And the goalkeeper at the corner can't do anything about it!  Only the forward can concentrate on blocking all lane and brushdown passes (obviously not on goal and not pointed at the corner), not to mention near-wall bank shots.  So the old 70's 80's "goalkeeper has the short, forward has the long" zone is no longer practical.  Ok for the TS and Dynamo's narrow goals, but currently obsolete.

I tell the newbies to use the standard "claw" position (goalkeeper pointed away from the goal, near 2bar pointed inwards) and when the opposing goalkeeper has the ball at either side, for a push or pull shot, I just tell them to absolutely shut down the inside of the 53-52 or the inside of the 54-53 lane.  Against a tic tac'ing opposing goalkeeper, I also tell them to jump, NOT SLIDE, in covering the 53-52 and 54-53 lanes alternately.  Just about any pass down the lane or in a brushdown is at most 1/5 to 1/10th the speed of a shot, so yes, it is better for the forward to shut off anything up to the angle to the near corner, and also shut off anything that goes past the middle (past his 53player).

Once our newbies learn to shut down the middle, and not allowing any rebounds to the opposing forward, they realize that the majority of both quickset and set shots from the other goalkeeper are turned into punts, total loss of possession.  The opposing goalkeeper then soon realizes he/she has to pass or pick a hole to the extreme near corner or the extreme far corner - much harder.  The goalkeeper also loses the option of shooting a slight spray pull or push to the near corner and an natural wide spray to the far corner.   NO IDIOT shots (simple brush or cut shots) to an open goal are allowed.  Once a team learns this modern Central Zone D, they laugh at most goalkeeper shots, and they know they have a much better than Absolute Zero chance of blocking even a good passing goalkeeper - which is exactly what the old tired, short-long D has- no fr*gg*ng chance against.  This is why it is so obsolete it isn't even funny.

This is exactly the same as defending a direct or indirect free kick in soccer: the middle is ABSOLUTELY shut down.  Grown men holding hands.  This only allows overhead and sidewinder shots at the goal, which any team will live with, because the curved shots are much harder to execute, and usually much slower.  And yes they have players marked, for when the kicker tries a pass to either side of the "wall".  And if the goalkeeper in soccer sees any opening in the wall, he/she will scream to get it closed.

I've seen so many short-long D's where the opposing goalkeeper, sadly, only had a natural wide spray and never shot any semisquare or square shots.  So he had no choice except to annihilate the other team by hitting the split-3/4-0r-long spray every time.  He felt real bad.  Short-long probably can still work against goalkeepers with no spray shots, but it is almost idiotic against sprays, especially quickset sprays, and if the opposing forward is a good shooter, then adding the lane and brushdown passes will just annihilate any short-long D.  Any double pump or tic tac against a forward blocking the middle and long will open up the side lanes for passing.

Short-long requires the defending forward to concentrate on middles and longs, and still try to shut down lanes and brushdowns or brushups.  So whats the use of separating defensive responsibilities?  On the other hand, Central Zone D shuts down almost all quicksets and accepts the middle hit to regain possession, while releasing the forward to get to these near side passes at slower speeds.  And the forward definitely has time to jump over the other side, since he/she is then sure any middle shot will be covered.

Try it out... leave the goalkeeper and 2bar player down with the 3bar and 5bar up, as in goalie wars.  Then position the defenders near the middle. with the one player in front of the big dot, and the other player covering between the big dot and the near corner.  Now quickshoot a hundred shots, preferably straight sprays to either corner and see how useful that is. Now lower the 5bar and straddle the rear defenders with the 53-52 or the 54-53.  Shoot another hundred shots, set or quickset.  The option is not an option.  Haven't even added lowering the opposing 3bar!

You know what's funny?  All the oldtime players from Dynamo and Deutsch Meister and TS that used to sit on the corner find that the same rod position actually makes them sit in a Center Zone D!  And any self-respecting forward (we smack the wannabe heroes who jump for middle looking shots) can shut down any spray or square aimed at the near edge of the goal.  The trick is to develop the discipline to shut down everything on either side of the center lane, but NOT TO PLAY HERO and try to stuff middle shots.

That's how we catch the newbies before they develop bad bad bad habits.  Very simple to tell them to look at the nearest lane, and shut it off.  Jumping about an inch to either side is a lot easier, PLUS: no more backdoor shots that slop in off the wall or post and bounce in off the goalkeeper player at the corner.  Also much easier to kick the goalkeeper or 2bar players from the center to either side to shut off a slop or a bank.  Not to mention that the majority of bankshots also go through the center point of the goal, right behind the big dot.  Very few goalkeepers can pinpoint banks to the near or far corners, so it's a waste of time covering that.

BTW, the last three or 4 beginner titlists from Kentucky States, IFP, include Danny Schnell, Mark Winker, Josh Manning, & Ronnie Kemp took second last Atlanta US Open, all with good central zones ... Duhhhhhhhhhh!  Guess where these beginners are from ????? Hmmmm?  And look at Rico playing singles with his left hand moving the goalkeeper and 2bar together, to cover either central lane whenever defending goalkeeper shots?  Or Tommy, or Billy.  What's with that?  NO CORNERS Please!!!

Offline bbtuna

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2008, 11:10:08 PM »
FK,

I know about your zone (I actually have it documented in my training material) and considered sharing that but it was my feeling it isn't easy to explain without seeing it and we are talking obvious beginner players....can you sum that up without all the rhetoric that explains how stupid and simple-minded everyone is who doesn't know this....it took me a number of readings and playing around on the table to understand what you meant and I know a thing or two

maybe this beginner and his friends will read this and see how obvious it is but i was trying to simplify things as much as possiple

Offline Syronis

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2008, 11:27:17 PM »
 Honestly, I would probably have to see it to really understand what you're talking about. From learning on a P4P/Lowen table in Germany we were always taught very basic zone defense as a starter. Obviously things would change up from time to time depending on ball position. Nobody was stating that the short corner was the BEST defensive set, but rather just expressing its simplicity and effectiveness when you're dealing with very very new beginners.

I'm 100% self taught at this point, I haven't played in any tournaments since a small bar tournament in Germany in 2003. For people like me who can't get out and play better, more experienced players it's about the only zone you need to know. Either everyone shoots to slow to be a bother long corner... or they're spraying bank balls all over the table.  From the way onelove was talking about his foosball experience he seemed to be in the caliber of player, where the short corner zone is still above or at their learning level.

But then again, as I've said before... I'm a foosball enthusiast, but also an absolute novice. I'm on these boards to keep my interest up in foos, and hopefully eventually see some of these people at some Tournaments. (MO State anyone?)

Offline rios820

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2008, 03:49:20 AM »
my head hurts reading all of that stuff... hahaha

To the guy that strated this thread.
Yes, if the guy is on the near side, then put your guys on the near side and vice versa for the far side. I dont really think you should only use your peripheral vision when someone is shooting out of the back on you. Keep your eye on the ball, and when you start playing more... you will start to learn where your guys are at when you are playing defense.

The peeps you are playing probably dont hit the ball hard enough to where you wont be able to follow it... I could be wrong though... just an assumption.
Big hint... against players like that... just leave your guys staggard in the middle of the goal. More than likely they arent going to be able to consistantly pick and hit holes from the back.

Now when you are guarding someone from the front... just keep your standard defense and DONT switch your guys. Keep it simple... make sure that you have 2 guys in front of the goal at ALL times, and keep moving.

oh and have fun playing! If you decide to get serious with foosball, that is cool. Just post again and we can give you the detailed tips on how to beat your buddies.

Rios

Offline foozkillah

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2008, 04:54:46 AM »
FK,  I know about your zone (I actually have it documented in my training material) and considered sharing that but it was my feeling it isn't easy to explain without seeing it and we are talking obvious beginner players....can you sum that up without all the rhetoric that explains how stupid and simple-minded everyone is who doesn't know this....it took me a number of readings and playing around on the table to understand what you meant and I know a thing or two
maybe this beginner and his friends will read this and see how obvious it is but i was trying to simplify things as much as possiple

Sorry about the outburst, BBT, but I really am passionate about beginners and rookies not developing horrible obsolete strategies and philosophies that will be so hard years later to undo.

Center Zone D in two nutshells is the goalkeeper being responsible for all opposing goalkeeper shots through the two center lanes, using the goalplayer and either 2bar player to shut off the highest percentage shots between the 54-53 and the 53-52.  Spacing is easy, just look from the opposing goalkeeper end through either center lane at the goal, and position the 2bar and Gbar to shut off any shot through there.  Slant or reverse position by the defending goalkeeper depends on whether the opposing goalkeeper favors square shots or sprays to the long.  The goalkeeper's defending players should always have the farther player in front of the big dot (center pt in front of the goal).

The other half is the forward is responsible for all lane and off-goal clears and shots, everything from the near wall to the line through the 54 or 52 players, and same on the other side.  In other words, everything not covered in the Central Zone.  Forward is the ONLY player who can shut off both intentional and mish*t shots banking or going down the lanes - especially with inexperienced goalkeepers who might not even be able to consistently shoot through the high percentage lanes.

The goalkeeper is helpless - he/she will never in a thousand years be able to cut out those off-center shots or clears.  But if he/she is in the center, all he/she has to do is jump from covering the 54-53 against the opposing goalkeeper's nearside (push) or the 53-52 against the farside (pull)  No spacing change, just staying in position, ready to block any direct shots, grab any wayward passes and clears, and the jump in case the opposing goalkeeper switches to the other side.  Jump is very short and consistent (about 1.25 in/31 mm), vs the corner-to-corner of oldstyle.  Any beginner can learn that!  The goalkeeper's zone D is actually so easy, it's stupid.  Even if your teammate is moving his/her 5bar in a "shake" or end-to-end.

I will get my phone camera and try to show this... You're right... a diagram would make it so easy.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 05:06:06 AM by foozkillah »

Offline bbtuna

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2008, 06:05:24 PM »
fk,

that is better...I am going to sit at my table tonight and see if I can take some pictures that I can post that we can use as a base for conversation...I think we should start a new thread on zone defense so we don't clutter this one up any more...

I still wanted to leave "onelove4uk" some information on defending the 3 rod too...I collected up some good stuff mainly from ICEMAN which I will try and get time to post tomorrow.

I have an idea about pics and zones and maybe together we can get make a pictorial

i have a point of clarification though...when you talk about 54-53 do you mean the space between them when the 5 is on the big dot or the entire range if you put the FiveBar on the far wall and then near wall

Offline foozkillah

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2008, 08:54:22 PM »
  fk, 
that is better...I am going to sit at my table tonight and see if I can take some pictures that I can post that we can use as a base for conversation...I think we should start a new thread on zone defense so we don't clutter this one up any more...

I still wanted to leave "onelove4uk" some information on defending the 3 rod too...I collected up some good stuff mainly from ICEMAN which I will try and get time to post tomorrow.

I have an idea about pics and zones and maybe together we can get make a pictorial

i have a point of clarification though...when you talk about 54-53 do you mean the space between them when the 5 is on the big dot or the entire range if you put the FiveBar on the far wall and then near wall

The 54-53 is the area with a width from the outside edge of the 54 player's foot to the outside edge of the 53 players's foot.  Central Zone D allows for the forward to shake or even go end to end, but his/her partner must know where the lane actually ends, or "snaps to", when the opposing goalkeeper shoots or releases the ball.  Forwards who continue to laterally move their 5bar after the shot has cleared are recommended to be sent to an institution.

1. Not recommended for the forward to shake too wide with a beginner or inexperienced rookie playing the nets, at least at the beginning.  The longer they play together, the easier it is for the goalkeeper to "snap to" the center of the correct lane.

2. Because of the nature of the opposing goalkeeper's standard human wrist, its recommended to have the 5bar closer (if not actually on it) to the far wall against a shot coming from the opposing goalkeeper's far corner (push).  The goalkeeper spray, especially a hard one to hit either goal corner, even worse, a quickset, is much more common from the push side.  Playing triple or quadruple-jointed aliens is addressed in an upcoming UFO chapter.

3. For the same reason, its recommended that the defending forward keep the 5bar closer to center against an opposing goalkeeper's shot or release from the defenders' near corner (pull).  The straight spray pull from near wall to the short just turns out to be a lot harder than from the push, and most of these wall-to-near-corner shots are executed after a long set or multiple fakes.

4. Everyone adjusts, and the goalkeeper should adjust and communicate with his/her forward to customize the "wall" against either opposing goalkeeper's corner.  This will turn out to be very consistent, and the defending team will actually notice how many more 5bar and 3bar blocks happen once they adjust to the right lane.  Body memory and practice, of course, make the incoming shot or release go through very very similar lanes.  And especially with quicksets, that a lot of good counteroffensive goalkeepers will try, in order to score or clear before the defense is set up.

5. For a shot or release from anywhere in front of the opposing goalkeeper's goal, the forward should keep his/her 5bar centered while the defending goalkeeper blocks the lane through whichever side of the big dot the release or shot comes through.

6. *Note* that the defending forward's 3bar must never be caught or frozen with the 32 at the big dot, but should remain in motion from end to end to completely guard from either wall to the outer dots.  That position, with the 32 and 53 at the big dot, we call "ice cream cone" with the apex at the goal.  The goalkeeper playing Center Zone D at the back will still be in correct position, but all the quickset release points for a shooting or passing goalkeeper will be open: 1 in off the near wall, between the 2 outer dots, and any spray from either side of the big dot.  It is recommended to slap the back of the forward's head when getting caught and frozen at the "ice cream cone" position at the 3bar.

7. Final note: Central Zone D is built to make it simple: Goalkeeper moves both defending players between two lanes.  Forward DOES NOT HAVE TO MOVE the 5bar, except against slower shots and releases.  Forward just has to keep the 3bar moving from end to end (hitting the wall is not necessary), so that the 33 & 32, or the 32 and 31 players are always coming from, or going to, cover the area around the two outer dots on both sides.  This shuts down quicksets, one of the most potent counteroffensive weapons and gamebrakers that a goalkeeper has.  Just like shutting down releases in basketball to a fast break.

Shut down quickset natural shots (these also tend to lead to more rebounds- free passes to the forward), force only well-executed shots and passes to go through the 5bar, and work to keep getting possession after all central incoming shots.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 09:02:20 PM by foozkillah »

Offline bbtuna

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2008, 01:00:33 PM »
you said,
"The 54-53 is the area with a width from the outside edge of the 54 player's foot to the outside edge of the 53 players's foot."

with the 54 in what position?  do you mean the entire length of motion on the 5 rod

Offline foozkillah

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2008, 08:05:52 PM »
you said,   "The 54-53 is the area with a width from the outside edge of the 54 player's foot to the outside edge of the 53 players's foot." 
with the 54 in what position?  do you mean the entire length of motion on the 5 rod

The 54-53 central zone lane is defined by wherever the forward sits at or "snaps to" when the opposing goalkeeper is shooting from his/her near side, typically a push.  To help his goalkeeper, it is recommended that the forward only do a shake but staying within a half-inch of the same area, to allow his/her goalkeeper to easily see where the goalplayer & 2bar player have to be placed to prevent any shot going through that lane.  The forward can still be in motion, ready to snap sideways in case of a pass on the side lanes.

More advanced teams can have the forward move back & forth, even from end to end, since his/her goalkeeper has played enough to know pretty closely where the lane will be, when the opposing goalkeeper shoots or releases.  The trick here is not to get into a formation where the Gplayer & 2bar player have wandered off center for too long.

Inability to concentrate on staying in that area by the defending goalkeeper for the average 3-12 seconds ( Hey!!! don't just do something!  Sit there!) usually means your goalkeeper has to take bathroom breaks much more often.  Maybe some calamine lotion, and there are many reputable A.D.D. drugs out there.  Either that, or a good V8 slap on the noggin from the forward, so the team doesn't end up rated in that sub-sub-sub Beginner Category: Stanley/Sears Craftman division.

Sounds cruel, but coddling beginners only leads to one thing: those "Mikey" type beginners whom you ask, "Why did you jump out of the way??" and answer "I knon'tknowww..".  The other corollary to Murphy's Laws also means you will always draw them in at least the next ten DYP's against your most reviled and hated opponents.

Offline Kaltem

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2010, 09:15:52 PM »
I SUCK AT GOALIE

Offline foozkillah

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Re: Wondering about a defensive strategy
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2010, 01:11:07 AM »
I SUCK AT GOALIE

Don't be so unhappy... that just means you can only get better, Kaltem!

How much worse would it be if you were a world class or pro-level goalkeeper and were on the way down?  Getting worse and slower and slower.... that would SUCK.  Like trying to run away from a shark, towards shore, in waistdeep water.