5 Tips for Taking Better Penalty Kicks
Converting a penalty kick from 12 yards out should be simple, but it isn’t always that easy. Penalty taking is a skill that can be rehearsed and perfected.
Here are 5 tips that can elevate your spot-kick ability.
1. Avoid goalkeeper distractions
Do not let the goalkeeper distract you from scoring. Keepers will try perform wide variety of antics to throw off your concentration.
They will stall by getting a drink of water or arguing with the referee, I’ve even seen a goalkeeper do pull ups on the crossbar. Remain emotionless and do not get dragged into mind games.
2. Know where you’re going
Always know which direction you are going to shoot the ball before you step up to take the penalty. This way, you are not second guessing yourself when you step up to hit the ball.
Before you even step on the field for a game, if you get a penalty, decide whether you are going left, right, or down the middle. This will help you envision yourself putting the ball in the back of the net.
3. Good Technique
Focus on kicking with good form when taking a penalty, sometimes the pressure of the moment can cause you to have a lapse in technique.
Make sure you have a good run-up, a short run-up of one or two steps before striking the ball will often lead to a poor effort on goal.
Have a strong plant foot, keep your weight over the ball, look at the ball as you make contact and shift your hips in the direction you are shooting.
4. Power or placement
In an ideal world, a perfect penalty will be placed accurately in a corner with considerable pace. However, this is a lot harder said than done. Choose one or the other, not both.
Placement penalties should be directed toward the corners, almost like a crisp pass. Hitting a penalty with power is an aggressive technique that can have success, be sure to follow through and lean over the ball so you don’t sky it over the bar.
Stay calm and trust your ability. The hardest part about converting from the penalty spot is keeping relaxed. Think about the 3 C’s: be calm, cool, and collected. Don’t overthink it, at the end of the day, you are passing the ball into the net from 12 yards out.
Before your run up, close you eyes, take a few deep breaths and visualize yourself celebrating with your teammates.