Reply To: Preparing for penalties

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Ong Chuan Leong

When planning for a penalty shootout session, the following information should preferably be available:

– Each player’s psychological profiles (strengths, weaknesses, tendencies)
– Each player’s penalty records (training and competition)
– Each player’s tendencies in taking penalties (e.g. placement of ball, technique)
– Each player’s level of imagery skills (if data on this is available)

Based on the above, we design individualised imagery routines for each player with the following aims in mind:

– Decrease anxiety and increase level of confidence
– Overcoming technical weaknesses in penalty taking via imagery of successful kicks that addresses/strengthens those weaknesses

Before each practice session, each player would perform their individual imagery routines, then proceed to practise. I would observe each player’s practice performance via videotaping followed by analyses. After the practice session, I would show each player the recordings of their kicks and together with the player, review the effectiveness of their imagery practice and discuss how can these practices be tweaked to increase their effectiveness.

The above process is then improvised and repeated as much as necessary/possible before the actual competition.