Want to take your air hockey game to the next level? Then it might be time to go back to the basics. After all, some of the biggest mistakes air hockey players make stem from challenges with the fundamentals, not the fancy moves.

So here are some of the top, basic missteps every air hockey player needs to avoid to achieve total table dominance:

  • Forgetting to warm up. As with any sport, you can’t just jump into an air hockey match without some prep. The pros recommend about 15-20 minutes of practice time on the table as well as 10 minutes of stretching… you do work muscles in your legs, arms, back and more during the course of a game.
  • Holding the mallet incorrectly. The design of an air hockey mallet practically seems to beg you to grab the top of the center knob, but that actually slows down your game. Try holding the mallet behind the knob and you’ll gain better accuracy, speed and agility.
  • Neglecting your D. While scoring is critical, the best air hockey players focus on both their offense and defense. So don’t forget to spend an equal amount of time developing and practicing your defensive strategy.
  • Making things too complicated. Complex shots definitely add wow factor but your basics generally deliver better results. The top air hockey players suggest you work on six major shots (cut, cross, and under and overs to both banks); during a match, however, you should primarily be scoring with just two to four shots.

Which Air Hockey mistakes would you add to the list and why?