How to score the perfect penalty
Occasionally, a game of football can come down to a single kick. When the ref blows that whistle, you need to be sure you’re prepared and ready to step up for your team. This is your moment. You have an advantage over the goalkeeper. But you need to make sure you’re calm and won’t bottle under the pressure! Here are some important points for scoring the perfect penalty.
1. Place the ball yourself
Don’t allow the ref or another player to place the ball. This is your moment so make sure you take control. Run your hand through the grass to clear any lumps or objects that might be in the way.
2. Take a few steps back
Scoring a penalty requires power, placement or both. Taking three or four steps back will allow you to gain enough of a run up for the required power and control.
3. Win the mind game
Scoring a penalty is just as much about outwitting the goalkeeper as it is taking aim. Avoid revealing your intentions to the goalkeeper through dodging his stare and keeping your eyes on the ball. Many keepers jump around and wave their arms to distract you. Stay attentive and calm and you will always have the upper hand.
4. Make a decision
Pick a spot and stick with it. There is no perfect area to aim for. Make a decision and aim with confidence. Changing your mind at the last minute could result in a loss of accuracy or power!
5. Strike with conviction
Striking the ball with your laces will generally result in more power. But make sure this doesn’t affect your accuracy. If you want height in your shot, lean over the ball and plant your foot just behind it. Drive through the ball hard if you want the ball to stay on the ground.
Scoring the perfect penalty does require practice. And the more you practice the more confident you’ll become. But there is no avoiding the pressure that comes with a penalty kick. Be decisive, stay calm and breathe. More often than not, you’ll come out on top!