Reply To: Preparing for penalties

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To prepare a player/team for taking penalties I would focus heavily on mental preparation. The professional players all know physically/technically how to take a penalty, its the environment and circumstances that cause them to fail, the pressure that they put on themselves and the expectation that they feel.
1. prepare a pre-shot routine – everything from deep breathing or centering (as discussed in concentration and anxiety module), through to physical movements and self talk cues.
2. practice imagery of the whole penalty shoot-out ie seeing other team mates and opponents taking the penalties, imagining the emotions that you want to feel, the words you’ll use to stay focused when others on your team miss. Re-create the emotional state you want to be in when you step forward ie calm and composed. Repeatedly visualise the process of taking a spot-kick – physically/technically and emotionally. Focus more on the process but obviously focus on seeing a successful outcome too.
3. Heavily emphasise a focus on the process rather the penalty shoot out outcome. Focusing on the process relieves the pressure.