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How To Improve Your Penalty Kicks

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By Author: SUFC India
Total Articles: 10
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A penalty kick (commonly known as a penalty or a spot kick) is a method of attempting a goal-scoring chance. It is awarded to any team if one's opponents handle the ball or commit a foul inside the 18-yard box. The penalty spot is 12 yards/11 meters from the goal line. In case of a draw/tie in a knockout game of football, we see a penalty shootout to decide the winner of the match. Remember the UEFA Euro 2020 final shootout between England and Italy or Liverpool vs Chelsea in the FA Cup Final 2022?

Since 2009 almost 1,00,000 penalty shots have been taken on football pitches around the globe. 75.49% of those resulted in goals, 17.57% were saved by goalkeepers, 4.07% went wide, and 2.87% hit posts or crossbars. (Stats powered by InStat, sourced from website)

With a relatively higher chance of scoring a goal from the penalty spot, today we will share some tips on how to get better at penalty kicks:

• Build a Routine: Set your run-up distance and angle and keep it the same every time you practice your penalty kicks. There is no need to keep changing the basics.

• Be Creative: You need to keep the ...
... goalkeeper guessing your move. Here is where you can add variety to your shots and make your moves unpredictable.

• Mental Enhancements: At the end of the day, converting penalty kicks and winning penalty shootouts are more about your mental preparedness. Be mentally strong and aware of your strengths and trust yourself to beat the goalkeeper standing between you and your goal!

Penalty-Taking Techniques:

• Short and simple run-ups. Don't complicate it. 5 to 6 steps are ideal.
• Don't look at the goalkeeper before your run-up but look at both the goalposts.
• Lock your ankle of the kicking foot before you take your shot.
• The non-kicking foot should be in the correct position (next to the ball, firm on the ground).
• Aim for the corners (top or bottom).
• Before taking your shot, observe the goalkeeper’s position (any sideways movement).
• Relax, breathe in slowly. Take a deep breath, compose yourself, and don’t rush. Take the penalty when you are ready and be confident.

You should kick the ball hard and low in the corner of the goal using the inside of your foot. Aim for inside of the post, but not too close to the post to give you some room to be a bit off-target wide and still have the ball go in the side netting. If the goalkeeper has committed to one side, then calmly slot your penalty on the other side.

Practise taking penalty kicks until you feel comfortable or get tired. Do this once a week or every other week. Ideally, if you are the chosen penalty taker for your team, you should practice 5-10 penalty kicks a week against your goalie after training to keep your spot-kicks skills sharp.

Pro Bonus Tips

• Practise, practise, and practise!
• Let the goalkeeper keep guessing your kick till the last moment.
• Create a routine and stick to it. Having a routine allows you to be comfortable with what you are about to do. If you are going to take a penalty kick in a competitive game, having practised this penalty-taking routine a hundred times in training, you will greatly increase your chances of scoring with confidence.
• Before you strike the ball, decide where you are going to put it. Make up your mind and stick to it. Have confidence in your decision. If you change your mind, especially during your run-up, you could miss it.

Don't miss your chance to practise and get better at penalty kicks. Take your game to the next level by joining the Club with the best Academy for football – South United Football Club! For more details about this Bengaluru Football Club, call +91 8296170556.

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