The Men’s Health Guide To Winning Penalty Shootouts

by | Jun 27, 2014 | Fitness

Follow these tips to increase your chances of success if you’re ever faced with having to go through a penalty shootout.

Take The Pressure Off

When it comes to penalties you and your teammates have to feel less alone when you step up to the penalty spot in order to be successful. “You win together and you lose together”, according to former Everton and Manchester United manager, David Moyes, who penned his thoughts on the matter for the UK’s Sunday Times.

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Moyes may be on to something. A study, published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, found that countries with more of a collectivist culture have significantly better success rate at penalty shootouts than countries with a culture focused on individualism. 

Go First

If you have the choice, make sure your team takes the first penalty kick. The team that goes first wins 60% of shootouts on average.

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It’s also a good idea to let your best penalty kickers take your teams fourth and fifth penalty. A study has shown that 86% of first penalties are converted while only 72% of fourth penalty kicks are successfully.

Aim Low To And Left… But Don’t Miss

18 percent of successful penalties are scored in the bottom left corner (when looking at the goal from the kicker’s perspective), according to Telegraph. Unfortunately 22 percent of all misses come from players aiming for that golden bottom left corner.

Don’t aim for the bottom right though. 33 percent of all successful saves made by keepers come from them stopping shots in that area.

Related: These Soccer Science Tactics Will Up Your Game

Preparation Is Key

Moyes makes all of his players practice taking penalties, not just the five best kickers. He believes that when the player walks up, he shouldn’t still be thinking about what to do, but should already have drilled home his favourite penalty kick countless times during practice.

Don’t Be English

England has never won a penalty shootout at the World Cup.

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