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Have you ever wanted to play like Rob Mares? Sure you have. Well I can't help you there. However, I can show you how to look like him! Well, his wrist anyway. If you shoot a roller, this may be your ticket to a more deadly shot.

First off, you do not buy these in stores or online anywhere. Its all home-brew-style. You can modify these instructions to your taste, this is just a basic guide. Here is what you will need:

Wrist Brace
This is of course the essential part. You can find wrist braces at sporting goods stores, or even King Soopers or a drug store like Walgreens (where I got this one). The one I got is made by Futuro, but I am not saying this is the best, its just the one I found. It retails for somewhere around $10. I think the smaller the brace you can find, the better. Cause you are most likely gonna want it to be TIGHT on your wrist.

Theraband
Basically, this stuff is the blue rubber part that is nice and grippy on the inside of your wrist. As far as I know (unconfirmed), this is what Mares uses on his, basically I am just guessing because it looks the same, and I heard him talking at CO State about it, sounds like the same stuff.

I got mine from physical therapy after I messed up my knee pretty good last year (and consequently started playing foos a lot more, since legs don't matter a whole lot here). So if you are a fellow gimp, or have a friend/family member with severe injuries, maybe you can find this for free. Otherwise I have found it online at a couple places, including BIndependent and Best Priced Products. You may be able to find a better price somewhere, or also try local medical supply stores perhaps.

You probably want the blue (extra heavy) kind. There are different colors, with different thicknesses, I would stick with the blue. I have no good reason for saying this except that's what Mares uses, and I'm sure he's looked around.

Needle and Thread
Any needle and thread will do. Probably your mom has some. I'll ask her when I see her tonight, LOL. I used Nylon thread I got from Walgreens. If you are using kinda thin thread, you might want to double or triple it up for extra strength, its gonna be under some stress.

Scissors
To cut the Theraband. If you don't have scissors, a knife will probably do.

Surprise, there isn't a whole lot to it. Cut a piece of Theraband about 2-3 inches wide, and as tall as your wrist brace. Maybe a little bit taller, so you can overlap both sides of the wrap (it might hold up better this way). You now have a square of Theraband. Next, sew it on! I'm not going to teach you how to sew, but your mom can probably show you (insert another mom joke here). I sewed around all 4 sides, and you should really try to tie it off good so it doesnt unravel. In my opinion, the more stitches, the better. It will probably be more durable, and also the less the Theraband moves around, the better control you will have rolling the ball back and forth. Although it is not pictured, I will probably sew a big "X" on it as well, from corner to corner, just a simple design to hold the Theraband in place more. A tribute to FooserX perhaps? You decide.

Foosball players and being poor go hand in hand like Camaros and mullets. So what can the budget-conscious fooser do to try one of these out?

Athletic Tape.   I tried this for a few weeks, it worked pretty well. Just tape around your wrist, and you are done. Its not as grippy, but it will make your wrist a lot more stiff, which I think helps with consistency in your shot.

Wrap a handle wrap around your arm.    Its basically the same thing, but way less convenient and if you don't wrap it right, less consistent and comfortable. Might be a good way to see if you would even like to try it out though. Just wrap it around, tight, and then tuck in the end on the back of your wrist. Done and done.

Theraband and Velcro or Tape.    I bet this would work sweet, basically wrap a piece of Theraband around your whole wrist, make it tight, and then secure it with some tape or a Velcro strap, if you can find one. Would eliminate the 10 bones for a brace, and it would probably be cooler (as in, less heat) as well as being closer to the skin, which might make it seem more responsive.

Find a Theraband substitute.   If you can't find the stuff for free from someone you know, it can be expensive to buy that 6-yard roll to make a wrap. You might be able to find similar substances around the house. Bear wears one that is homemade, and uses neither Theraband (I don't think) nor a wrist brace. Use your imagination!

Go out and give it a try! Is it for sure the best way to shoot a roller? I don't know. But trying it out won't hurt. And, all I know is, Mares wears one, and what's good enough for the top player in the world is probably good enough for you and me.

Happy Foosin... and don't forget to coil. =)

Mark Madej, aka. 5 Bar of Doom, aka. That Kid Who Always Wears the Visor