Preparing for penalties

Home Forums Course Discussion Forum Imagery Discussion Preparing for penalties

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 42 total)
  • Author
  • #15655
    Chen HAO

    I think different images always used by individual players to improve the peak performance. Much of imagery is designed to relax or improve concentration even successful penalty shootouts .Personally I believe the most important thing is to have an image of how the Take a look at this video, therefore, you can use the visualiztion to help the athlete adaption.


    Each player has a chance to kick a penalty, through imagery training to make them more familiar with the penalty in the race is more sure.


    I think anything is possible to use imagery to make skills upgrading, the question is enough familiar with the technique, so that the whole image more realistic understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses goalkeeper before kicking the ball fly to score the box repeatedly images, and thus enhance their self-confidence and level

    Ana Delchevska

    I read a lot of comments I agree with, so I won’t just reproduce it.

    I would just point out that imagining the psychological state in that particular moment can be beneficial. Of course (imagery of) executing is the most important, but giving athletes the opportunity to explore the (psychological) outcome of their execution, the before state, and the relation between those two can elevate the confidence and ease the process of decision making.

    M N Viswanath

    I appreciate what Karla123 and others have shared on how to prepare a team to score penalty shoot-outs. There can be instances with precedence like the one -The English soccer team faced in the 2012 Euro cup with a past record of 7 shoot out Tournament misses to one. It is in these times the players mind goes back to the past and they decide to prove everyone wrong this time, desperation seeps in, leading to intense pressure and they are focused on what they should not do rather than what they should do. Result -another disaster.[Due to lapse of concentration].
    Whenever an International match goes in to extra time and then penalty shoot out there is bound to be enormous self-and other’s expectation’s and the player who takes the kick is focused on too broad external[distractions] and internal[ what if I miss the shot……]focus. WYSIWYG! Player’s have to be put under intense stimulation of pressure situations.The important thing is to be focused on the `right thing at the right time’- which is nothing but ideal concentration. My friends in the discussion forum have already discussed on the various methods in practice and I agree with each one of them.
    At times players tend to over analyse how a shot has to be scored and miss the opportunity-`paralysis by analysis.’ It is again important to visualize where and how you want the ball to go and leave the rest to your well trained unconscious/subconscious to do the rest.Do not take conscious control of things.
    Cristiano Ronaldo needs no introduction to the football fans. He is known for his talent in converting penalties. To understand and study his superior skills, scientists subjected him to several tests and I describe the two tests below:-
    1] The experiment involved Ronaldo taking a corner. There was no goal keeper or other defenders to obstruct the ball, except that when the ball was moving half way towards him, the lights in the stadium were switched off but Ronaldo scored.
    2] In the next experiment the lights were switched off just before he kicked but the ball ended up behind the net.GO to documentary – Ronaldo -tested to the limit.’ or Read The $447 million secrets of sport- Dr Stephen Simpson/.WWW.ICG testing,com
    Ronaldo’s ability was attributed to his visualization skills, where he could tap in to his unconscious memory banks and still play the shot even when the lights were off. Don’t analyse-trust yourself- `JUST DO IT-The NIKE’way.

    Julian Fernandez

    For obvious reasons, one might not be able to “fully reproduce the tension, the occasion, and the nervousness of a penalty shootout”, as Mr. Hodgson says (you can’t fill a whole stadium with rival team’s fans whenever you want to) but that doesn’t mean you can’t do some other things to become better (or at the very least improving the odds) when faced with such situation.

    I think there’s a betraying sense of self-defeat in both Hodgson’s (“There’s no amount of coaching or training that can reproduce that [Andrea Pirlo’s calculating way and confidence]”) and Rooney’s words (“It’s happened too many times now. Hopefully there’s going to come a time when we win one.”)

    Hopefully? That’s not exactly a word I would expect any professional athlete to use. I don’t think you just hope for the occasion to be favorable. You go out and train and practice and do everything that is in your hands to improve.

    Since penalty shootouts have already become England’s bête noire I would start by suggesting a mental reset, focusing on the moment, and reframing what penalty kicks are: a privileged position for the attacker to score, alone, face to face against the goalkeeper (who by the way has to stand right on the goal line).

    Also, technology to statistically analyze every single aspect of a match exists. We have read in the textbook how the Austalian rowing teams were organized based on individual performances, as well as how each of the rowers performed when matched with their team mates. Or how the performance of Korean archers changed depending on their order within the team. I think it would be feasible to do the same with penalty shooters in football

    (I assume something like that is alread intuitively being done in football, but the process could be better…)

    “Obviously some decisive players miss less because they have the right coolness and concentration and they’re used to this type of pressure,” Prandelli told reporters (emphasis mine).

    Every football team could start by focusing on that concentration and pressure management Prandelli talks about.

    Peter Terry

    Well done to Julian and mnvnath, for their incisive posts. I totally reject the view often espoused by England football leaders that “you cannot prepare for penalty shootouts”. Of course you cannot entirely replicate the actual tension of the moment, but that certainly does not mean that you cannot try to simulate the shootout scenario via activities that get the heart racing or the legs feeling like jelly or the extra crowd volume or any number of other things that increase the degree of difficulty during training activities. And how well planned and rehearsed is the order of penalty takers and their pre-shot routines? How much effort is put in to automatise the required motor programs via visualisation and how well are the skills practised under duress? The attitude seems to be that you can’t practice for it so we’ll just see who’s “up for it” at the time. This amateurish approach has resulted in, for example, David Batty stepping up and missing the crucial penalty in World Cup 1998 having apparently not previously taken a penalty in a competitive game since primary school. Ludicrous! The list of England football luminaries who have missed penalties in shootouts at major international competitions – Stuart Pearce, Chris Waddle, Gareth Southgate, Paul Ince, David Beckham, Darius Vassall, Frank Lampard, Steve Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Ashley Young, Ashley Cole – provides one of the most embarrassing role calls in English sporting history. It’s about time the England football hierarchy explored ways to prepare the team for penalty shootouts with a bit more attention to detail. OK, soapbox moment over!!


    Preparing the team would involve developing a specific penalty shoot-out plan to help with anxiety, emotions, concentration and focus on the task at hand. These strategies should be incorporated as part of regular general training, so that when they are needed in a penalty shootout– “the training can take over”.

    To manage the pressure/anxiety of the situation.
    Engage slow deep breathing and centering to control the impact on (i) arousal levels: breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, sweating (ii) emotional reactions and intensity of them (iii) blocking of cognitive processing (concentration, attention and decision making). Imagery could involve slowly blowing out inflating a balloon and letting all your breath out which also brings attention to the center of the body around the stomach.

    To manage the emotional reactions.
    Get the team to increase their awareness of their negative emotions and related thoughts so they can take action to manage them. A way to help with this awareness could be a team discussion in training on how they felt (e.g. doubt, fear, embarrassment) and what they thought about losing the penalty shoot-out last time (e.g. thoughts of avoidance of losing VS the winning approach) and how they think it impacted on their performance.
    When they are aware of unhelpful emotions and thoughts they can refocus by using parking, no blame team support, imagery editing, thought stoppage, replacing unhelpful thoughts with self-talk or defusion by not engaging with the thoughts

    To manage cognitive processes (concentrate & refocus).
    Use of simulation training to practice their coping strategies and reduce the impact on concentration and ability to refocus. For example, competition noises during training to like the whistle, crowd, announcements, other athletes and wearing competition uniforms rather than training gear.
    Be aware and be able to engage the attentional focus (internal narrow – focus on their own technique) for the task at hand. Also an awareness and blocking ability for inappropriate attentional focuses like external-broad (getting distracted by noises like crowd chants) or broad-internal (indecision under pressure).
    Use of triggers to refocus such as tapping the ball with your kicking foot or signaling the width of the goal with your hands to give your peripheral vision a guide.

    To manage confidence for the skill required.
    Use imagery for the team or each player of kicking the ball and watching it go into the goal with ease and how they would react getting the penalty shot. This imagery is essential to go through just before taking the shot. In addition, video modelling maybe helpful. They could video themselves kicking the ball into the goal with ease and running around in celebration afterwards.
    When training and kicking the actual ball into the goal it can be helpful to do this at different speeds and focusing of different aspects of the movement (i.e. where to position the foot on the ball, the power behind the kick, the follow through with the leg) to help build clear neural pathways to get the automatic behavior you want (“let the training take over”).

    Aline Olivio

    I believe that imagination would help in this process. The player imagine kicking the ball, visualizing the location you would like to achieve, their motor actions. In addition, simulating a competition, with twisted and pressure noises with a number x of successes would also help in this process. I confess it difficult to prepare something else.

    Alexander Oshinsky

    As a goalie myself, I truly enjoy facing a shootout and believe that imagery is a key component too success in one. “freezing” on a penalty shot is the worst thing a goalie can do, but the pressure of having to make a decision as to which way to dive before the kicker has even struck the ball is something that not many athletes will ever have to face. The first step in stopping a penalty shot is knowing your opponent and what their preferences are, where they like to shoot. Once you know that, you can use imagery before the game to prepare yourself for the shoot out as to how to react and move to each shooter. the next part, in my opinion, is during the shoot out to imagine that it is only you and the shooter. a goalie must be able to zone out everyone else and all other distractions and focus only on the shooter and the ball. imagery in this sense is being used to help you focus and concentrate and create your own world where nothing outside of yourself, the shooter, and the ball exists. When all is said and done, even if a goalie has done everything right the kicker might still score. When this happens a goalie can use imagery after the game to help him/herself prepare for the next shootout they face by imagining what they could of done better.

    Peter Terry

    Hi All
    I’m pleased to see that Oshinsa has provided his views on the goalkeeper’s perspective on penalty shoot-outs. I’m reposting a discussion point made earlier for those who didn’t see it.

    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.

    Julian Fernandez

    I tried to access the “to dive or not to dive” video through the link Peter Terry provided, but it took me to the first program of Sluggish (which is definitely interesting, but not related to our topic).

    Then I found the video on Vimeo: To Dive or not to Dive

    Hope this helps.


    Yeo Chern Tat

    I will get each and every member to imagine taking the penalty with out the physical ball. Get them to imagine taking the kick and scoring. This can be done on the field itself or off site.

    Next, get them to imagine kicking it past the keeper. Again just imagination.

    After that, I’ll add in the imaginary disctractions. Imagine kicking it to goal.

    then, I will add in physical distraction, using actual sound. Maybe recorded or simply sounds of crowd, a car or bird flying by.

    Lastly, I’ll get them with their mentally imagined kick, get them to kick for real.

    Not sure if this is the best way but worth a go I suppose.


    For me, i will say firstly by using inspirational words, to make them look back on how hard they have worked and to remind the players of their pass success. And tell them to use the breathing techniques to see theirselves soring each of the penalty taken by them. That is every individual visualizing the scenario. Using imagery.


    For me, i will say firstly by using inspirational words, to make them look back on how hard they have worked and to remind the players of their pass success. And tell them to use the breathing techniques to see theirselves scoring each of the penalty taken by them. That is every individual visualizing the scenario. Using imagery.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 42 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.