6 Tips for Gaining the Mental Confidence to Convert Penalties
If you want to be the penalty-taker for your team, there are some very important areas of your game that you need to start focusing on, and the mental confidence aspect is one of the most important to consider as you go about the process.
Here are 6 ideas for gaining the confidence you need to stroke the ball into the back of the net during the high pressure moments of penalty taking.
1. Put in Time on Ball Striking
If you want to be mentally confident, and cool as cucumber when you step up to take your spot kick, then you will want to put in time focusing on your ball-striking.
Are you going to take pens with your instep for placement? Laces for power? These are the questions you want to ask yourself, and once you find the answer.
Dedicate time to perfecting your motion and contact with the ball, that way you'll be brimming with confidence when you step up.
2. Perfect Your Approach
Some players like a long run up, some only need a few well-intentioned steps before taking a penalty.
No matter what you decide, make sure you rehearse and perfect your approach to the ball, that way your mind won't be scattered for the big moment.
3. Stay Calm and Collected
If you want to be a clean penalty taker, it's important that you stay calm and collected, mentally at peace with your surroundings, and in touch with the mechanics and process you've developed in training.
Don't rush your spot kick, take your time, and then deliver a your precision-guided shot on target.
4. Keep Your Head on The Ball
Too many players take their penalties and lift their heads at the last moment, as they seek to run off in celebration prematurely before the job is done.
Don't lose your concentration, or get caught-up in the moment, keep your head on the ball all the way through your kick, and then you'll be able to walk a way a hero.
5. Block Out The Noise
If you're going to be taking penalties, the noise of the other team's fans and players will be in your ears, the goalkeeper might give you a look of intimidation, the list goes on and on, and you have to be mentally strong enough to shield yourself from the pollutants around you.
Go to your happy place, get in the zone and get centered by incorporating the suggestions above, and you'll be more likely to bury your shot when the time comes.
6. Strike with Confidence
The last thing you want to do is hit half-hearted penalty, stuck between two-minds, placement, power, whatever it might be, avoid this at all costs.
When you approach the ball strike it with clarity, intent, and confidence.