The UK Rules
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Penalty Kicks

Kicking & Netting Soccer Penalties

Spot kicking a penalty in a soccer game is one of the most intense and pressured moments for nervous footballers to conquer and win.

HOW TO MASTER SOCCER PENALTIES: The referee signals to the penalty spot.

Some penalty kickers relish the thought of scoring the match-winning goal and being labeled as the hero of the game by saving the day for your team.

Whereas others, especially fainthearted players, might fear missing the goal completely or have it saved by the keeper, having to return home from match day feeling like the villain.

To be successful at scoring football penalties you must decide whether it is best to pick a spot and gingerly place kick the ball or pray to the great soccer guru in the sky and blast it at the middle of the goal.

Hoping that the goalkeeper makes the wrong prediction is not the best method of taking penalties.

"Spot-kicking the Perfect Soccer Penalty"

A Liverpool University researched the scientific skills of striking perfect penalties. Shooting the ball high into the corner yields most success according to a Professor. A penalty shooter should also aim to strike the ball so it travels fast at speeds of at least 90 kilometers per hour (56 miles per hour).

The Professor at John Moores University in Liverpool UK gave an interesting angle for football managers and coaches to consider.

He suggested that even if the goalie anticipates or guesses the correct side of the goal to dive, he will not have enough time to react and therefore incapable of stopping a precisely targeted shot. Despite being a tricky shot, the striker should expect a 100% success rate if he kicks the ball accurately high and close to the top corner of the crossbar.

The Professor also added that when strikers fire the ball conventionally straight towards the middle of the goal and expect or wait for the keeper to move, this is not a reliable method to take penalties. He suggested that scoring football penalties is a mind game as well as a physical achievement, but you should avoid playing games of reverse psychology with the goalkeeper.

If you must choose between accuracy and a gamble, he commented that low down and into the side netting would be a safer target to hit for most penalty kickers. It pays not to be overconfident but knowing your strengths in advance is a good soccer tactic and at all costs, avoid giving the game away with your eyes and body movements.

"Not an Easy Goal to Score"

A top sports psychologist suggests that scoring a penalty requires more than a short run and a blast at goal. Using willpower to overcome physical problems – mind over matter – is more likely to produce success than relying on lady luck or hoping to fool the keeper into diving the wrong way.

The Psychological Guide to Penalty Kicks

His guide to taking penalties emphasizes the need for skills practice and physical automation. When thinking fails, the body relies more on memory and autonomy. At the precise moment of running up to the ball during a penalty shot, the nervousness of failure must be overruled by the mind to carry out the will of the body.

How to Kick a Soccer Penalty Kick

The first rule of how to kick a soccer penalty kick is understanding what a kick from the penalty mark really is in terms of goal scoring and how to employ strategies and tactics that help to improve the outcome.

A Penalty Kick Ruling

A penalty kick occurs while the game is in normal play. A penalty kick typically proceeds following FIFA Penalty Kick Law 14. The awarded kick must take place 12 yards out from the goal. The goalkeeper of the defending team is the only player allowed between the penalty taker and the goal.

Kicks from the Penalty Mark Ruling

Kicks from the penalty mark sometimes occur at the end of a game and most often during a professional competitive tournament. For the most part this is not considered a penalty kick. It is a method used to determine which team will proceed to the next stage of a particular event if the standard game finished in a draw.

The procedure is very similar for both types of penalty kicks, but kicks from the penalty mark do not follow the same guidelines as Penalty Kick Law 14. The penalty shootout is popularly referred to as 'penalties' which is different than a penalty kick.

Focus and Visualization Techniques

Penalty kickers should learning how to remain focused and using self-composure techniques as part of their regular training and sports practice. You can improve techniques for keeping yourself calm under pressure even before you are in the unenviable position of having to take a penalty goal.

Visualization practice should always be of positive results. You should avoid thinking about the things that could go wrong or what would be the consequences of failure. Try not to get emotionally upset and to stay attentively aware to the present moment.

Know your strengths as a penalty shooter and train often for the specific moments you expect to be under pressure. Knowing your best shooting strategies in advance will feel like second nature when you are doing it for real.

Penalty Kick Tactics

The goalkeeper is probably viewing your tactics by reading your movements. It is a key part of success in preventing penalty goals. The goalkeeper may already know what your playing style is and how you typically shoot penalty kicks. Therefore take care where you place your eyes and feet to avoid giving away all your signals.

The keeper might also try a trick to distract you by approaching and talking to you pre-shot. It is a deliberate tactic aimed at unsettling you. Keepers also check feet angles for any signs that give away the direction of your intended shot. Take your position and decide on your tactics while the referee places the ball on the spot.

The Speed Tactic

The surprise tactic of a speedy penalty shot has been researched comprehensively. It appears that a shot taken quickly with good strength and determination allows you to take advantage of the bombshell element. Get yourself together swiftly and make a good, fast shot within 3 seconds after the whistle is blown.

The Delay Tactic

Trying to psych out the keeper is another tactic used successfully by many spot kickers. Delaying the shot for more than 13 seconds can seriously unsettle the keeper.

The Move Tactic

Waiting for the keeper to move first is best performed as a tactic if you are ready to react swiftly once he has moved. A further delay by you results in a lost opportunity.

The Stutter Tactic

Approaching the ball with a stutter or a stumble is a 'feinting' technique whereby you aim to confuse the keeper. Nonetheless, feinting to kick the ball once the run-up has been completed will earn you a caution.

Kicking the Ball

The referee signals and whistles meaning you may now kick the ball. You must now decide whether you are kicking for accuracy or for power.

Stay Alert

Take your time but always stay alert after your kick because then you are ready for any rebound if it hits the woodwork or the keeper.

Penalty Kicking in Soccer; UK Rules Updated 2017