Preparing for penalties

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    Neil Martin

    How would you prepare a team for a penalty shootout. Think about how imagery can be used, but there may be other techniques that could be used as well (clue: read the concentration section again).

    majdeddin mostaan

    A penalty should be your first woman to mature and technically penalty skills and fitness is not a problem. Then the mental exercises that were made. It must be said that these skills are highly sensitive intellectual elite athletes. Because their skills are in the process automation and interventions should be applied with caution and the penalty if the problem does not need to do it and more.In these conditions, the season before racing simulation imagery applied with skill and even possible considering the circumstances, an illustration in a short time to kick to be done.

    George Morrison

    I think different images may be used by individual players to improve performance. Some imagery is designed to relax or improve concentration while other images may be of successful penalty shootouts or particular techniques.Personally I believe the most important thing is to have an image of how the ball will be struck and where it will end up. problems begin when players change their mind at the last minute due to a tiny lapse in concentration. taking a penalty is like mountaineering in that any lapse in concentration can be fatal unless you get lucky

    Peter Terry

    George makes some great points in his recent post. How about looking at penalty shoot-outs from the perspective of the goalkeeper. Could they use imagery to advantage? Take a look at this video, which suggests that standing still might be the best option for stopping a penalty and explains why goalkeepers are reluctant to do so.

    Adam Szuster

    I think that practicing the skill is the proven method: look at how England won the Rugby World cup in 2001 against Australia. The penalty kicker Johnny Wilkinson spend hundreds of hours visualising kicking the ball over over the goal, and then kicking the ball over the goal. His routine was to visualise and then do. AFL players do the same thing when they get a free kick near the goals – visualise then do. Ice hockey players do it before a shoot out – they decide what they are going to do, visualise it, and then do it.

    I assume that penalty kicks would be the same. practice the action of visializing and then doing. During practice you can include recorded crowd sounds; get players to jump around behind the goals to distract the kicker; set up practice netting on the goals to focus accuracy (like ice hockey players do); go to other major sporting events and practice centering the players with large crowds around them.

    Lisa Rubin

    Peter, thanks for sharing this video – that is very interesting!

    To prepare for penalty kicks, I would think imaging a successful kick from a variety of angles would be helpful first. Then, the athlete should practice those kicks from different parts of the field. Then, add in a simulation of crowd noise and game conditions.


    Basically, there are two different types of penalty shootout that can be awarded:

    1. when a fault is committed in the penalty area (only one player could execute)
    2. when a match ends in a draw (several players execute)

    For Type 1, individual could use their own images to carry out the shootout visualising the ball passing the keeper and into the net.

    For Type 2, co-ordinated (strategized) individual’s effort coupled with individual own images to score.

    Both Types would still need to take into account the keeper’s habit, behaviour, weakness and strength.


    I would suggest there are two different penalty kick situation with two very difficult levels of stress/anxiety levels; taking a penalty kick following a fault and taking a penalty for to end the game after a tie.

    Learning players to take the penalty kick I would have them imagine kicking the penalty kick starting in just one area. Afterwards I would slowly progress to adding more areas to kick.
    And to enhance concentration I would properly suggest the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) by Gardner and Moore. This also should help the athletes not to evaluate their thoughts while passing by. That way they theoretically shouldn’t use mental capacity on that and only focussing on the skill at hand.

    As a final note, I would say you can try to replicate the different penalty situations but I think you’ll never be apple to produce the same level of noise the opposing fans are making, a long with what’s at stake at the penalty kick.


    Some techniques that could be used to prepare a team for a penalty shoot out include;

    Imagery: You can get the players to visualise the successful taking of the penalty kick. You can use audio recordings of the sounds of the crowd, the thumping of their heart & the referees whistle etc. to increase heart rate and the athletes level of anxiety.

    Routines: It may be useful to put routines in places for the footballers to go through prior to the taking of a penalty kick, it would help them feel in control of the environment and may help control their levels of anxiety.

    Finally, Pressure training would be a good tool. To try and replicate the exact environment is difficult obviously. Its impossible to replicate a penalty shoot out in the word cup final in training, and all the thoughts and feelings that go along with it. However you could use pressure training, by attempting to replicate the environment as closely as possible. I would suggest that maybe you could split the football team into two and the coach could give out punishments (extra training) for the losing team, or rewards (group dinner/ monetary) for the winning team, just to try and increase the pressure on the players.

    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.


    Having variety of images can be used by the players to improve their performance. Imagery can be designed to relax or improve concentration while other images can be of successful penalty shootouts or particular techniques. I believe the important thing is to have an image of how the ball will be striked and where it will end up. When players change their mind problems could happen. Taking penalty needs a lot of oncentration, if not it will be fatal to score.


    Better practice makes better success.
    End every training session with a/some penalty kick/goal. Make kicking a routine.
    Work on the form, the physical, the mental.
    Variation is key, different goalies, targets, surfaces, environments, distractions, balls,…
    Work on your fake. Hide your weapon.
    Get to know your opponents. Strong and weak points of the goalies.
    Get absorbed by the task, love kicking a penalty (autotelic experience)

    Put the ball in the net. No mercy.


    During training athletes must do imagery of a penalty shoot-out. Each athletes must imagine the goal keeper of the opponent blocking every part of the net.they must imagin themselves doing the perfect kick and then applying this into training. on the other hand, the goalkeeper of the team must imagine the kicker aiming at all sides and parts of the net. imagery will require proper breathing cycle for greater concentration nad better performance (hopefully)

    Vincent Yeo

    Ask each player to develop an image of what they will do to take the penalty. Then have them practice taking the penalty. Repeat these 2 steps. Secondly we can add background sounds to try to recreate the atmosphere and maybe introduce a competition between 2 teams.


    Ask each player to develop an image of what they will do to take the penalty.During training athletes must do imagery of a penalty shoot-out.

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