Regardless of which sport you are playing, facing an unknown opponent can be a very intimidating and a very interesting experience. Looking only at the age and size of a person challenging you to a game on an air hockey table can many times lead to inconsistencies as it is hard to judge the experience and skill level of a player without seeing them actually play the game. The following guide will help you read your opponent in a game of air hockey.

Holding the mallet and stance:
The first thing you need to notice about your opponent is how he or she handles himself or herself right before the puck is in play on the air hockey table. A player who has some experience in the game will hold not hold the mallet by wrapping the fingers around the handle. The stance also tells us how prepared he or she is to react quickly to your shots.

Basic style of play:
Regardless of how much experience a player has, the style of play is influenced more by the personality of a person than the time spent playing a game. Notice the preference your opponent gives to the speed, force and accuracy of his or her shots individually so that you can identify potential weak areas.

Once you have sized up your opponent, it is time to experiment. Build an offensive strategy that uses moves that progress from the easiest ones to the most difficult. Play on both sides of the table, attack from all angles and keep changing the pace of the game until you find out the weak areas of your opponent.

While you are trying to read your opponent, keep in mind that he or she is trying to read you too. Try not to overuse your favorite shots or establish a comfortable rhythm in the game as it can be used against you if you are facing an advanced player. With some practice, you should be able to read your opponent with much more ease and accuracy.

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