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How Can I Take Better Penalty Kicks?
Penalty kicks are usually a make-or-break situation for you and your team. Many players struggle with nerves and doubt when called upon to take a penalty kick for their team. Penalty kicks should not be a stressful situation for players. If you let your fear, nerves, or doubt take over your mind, you are almost guaranteed to make a mistake with your technique.
So how can players become better penalty kickers?
The first step is eliminating any sense of fear, nerves, or doubt from your mindset. Speak to yourself confidently as you walk up to take your penalty kick. Remind yourself that you are confident with your ability to shoot the ball exactly where you want to place it. Imagine yourself doing so and hearing everyone cheer for you.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and picture exactly where you want to place the ball. Think about if you are more confident hitting the ball with your instep or your laces. Do you prefer power or placement? Are you going to perform a slow and short run-up to the ball or a long and fast run-up to the ball? Figure out what makes YOU most confident.
After you have built confidence mentally, you need to train your technique for striking the ball with power and/or placement. The best way to train penalty kicks is using constant repetition. But do not go out to the field and start blasting balls into the net at random.
Remember how important it is to practice the entire routine that you will go through in a real game. Work on walking up to the ball and taking some deep breaths as you do so. Place the ball down on the penalty spot and take as many steps back as you want. Imagine the sound of a whistle from the referee. Now it is time to execute.
When striking a penalty kick, remember that power and placement are equally important. Try both the left and right sides of the goal to see which side you feel more confident striking the ball towards. Once you decide on the side you prefer, work on the ability to strike the ball there over and over again while going through your routine on every attempt.
Never place your attention on what the goalie is doing. They will try to distract you and throw off your focus. If you have practiced your routine and you feel confident, goalies don’t stand a chance of saving your penalty kicks.
Develop your routine and your technique for penalty kicks and get out and start training to build more and more confidence. As soon as you can do this, penalty kicks will go from being stressful to fun!!
Have a question you want answered? Shoot us an email at [email protected].
Video of the week: ‘The Perfect Penalty’ with Matt Le Tissier
Matt Le Tissier is considered one of the best penalty kick takers of all time. He scored 47 in his career and he explains his approach to taking a penalty kick really well at about 1:07 in.
Do you have a video you think is worthy of being next week’s video of the week? Well, we want to see that! Reply to this email with a link to your video!
Article of the week: The USL W League is Ready to Build
A new era of American pre-professional women’s soccer is here, with the USL’s W League kicking off Friday night.
The league’s inaugural season will feature 44 teams across 20 states and a stated mission to build out the women’s soccer pipeline in the United States.