3 Tips To Concentrate During A Penalty Shot

A penalty kick is a moment of maximum tension for the spectators of a football match. This also applies to the players, who bear the responsibility for the result on their shoulders. How to stay focused on these seconds?
3 tips to focus on a penalty shot

Football is a sport in which all of a person’s cognitive resources are required for optimal performance. In particular, there are times when you need to focus, such as during a penalty shot.

Penalties are one of the most tense moments in a match. So much so that the moment before the launch it seems that time has stopped and in that moment nothing else exists.

How to focus on a penalty shot

This tension that we are commenting on is something inherent to that instance of the match, but even so the player must know how to manage it to be successful. This includes not only the player who decides to throw it, but also the goalkeeper who has to try to stop it.

Given the importance they often have on the final result, here are some tips on how to focus during a penalty.

1. Establish a throwing routine

Routines are a basic technique that every athlete must apply to stay focused on the important moments. Many athletes in fact already put it into practice even without realizing that they are doing it.

Basically, a routine is a sequence of actions that is performed automatically and which allows the athlete to increase their attention and confidence in the face of a task. The routines are personal in nature, this means that there is no one universal routine that works for all athletes, but that everyone has to find the one that fits best.

Also, you have to distinguish between routine and superstition. The latter are based on the belief that an action will bring good luck. For their part, the routines are aimed at increasing concentration in the athlete, but are not related to mystical aspects or to chance.

2. Use positive self-instructions

It is normal for the player to feel nervous or anxious before a penalty is taken. However, stress negatively impacts athletic performance. Nerves can come from the situation of having to score the penalty or from the thoughts of pressure that the athlete tells himself.

As for the first case, little can be done; it is not possible to change the meaning of that moment. Therefore, to get rid of the nerves, it will be necessary to work on the second hypothesis, that is, negative thoughts and verbalizations.

One technique that works very well is positive self-instruction. These are verbalizations that the person says to himself to reassert himself and gain security. For example: “I can mark him”, “I’ll hit him hard” or “I’ve been training hard for this moment”.

3. Make your attention narrower

One of the problems a footballer faces before taking a penalty is the many distractions that surround him. From the audience to the referee, to the teammates, there are many irrelevant stimuli that can attract attention.

This is a focus of attention problem. When a player is distracted by irrelevant stimuli, it means their focus is too broad. For this reason, an effective solution is exactly the opposite: reduce the field of attention.

Applied to a penalty, this means that attention should only be paid to a small number of stimuli. This is: the goal and everything inside it.

Concentrating during a penalty kick increases your chances of success

Many times it is said that penalties are a lottery and that the luckiest team wins, but this is not the reality at all. The penalty is an extra action in the game and has a special technical, tactical and psychological preparation .

A very interesting field is that which studies the behavior of the players during the execution. In this sense, a journalistic publication of The Conversation reports several studies which state that goalkeepers rarely stay still : they prefer to jump even if they do not hit the right side.

Knowing this, you can stop pleading luck before taking a penalty and get to work on being a better footballer. It’s a question of training and concentration!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button