Now all you have to do is stop someone from scoring from 12 yards away unchallenged.
Some of these tips will apply only to certain levels of the game but hopefully for everyone playing at every level there will be some tips you can use! When placing the ball you will find that the players standing foot will often point to where they are going to shoot the ball, this is usually done subconsciously and is the first indicator to look for in my opinion.
Make eye contact with the penalty taker, particularly at the lower ages of the game you can penalty put get a very good tell from the taker by watching their eyes — often they will try and show you the way they are penalty put and put it the other way. Watch the plant foot just before they strike the ball… most players standing foot will be pointing towards the corner they are going to strike the ball as they hit it to ensure a clean strike which will give you a chance to react slightly before the ball is struck, although a solid strike into the corner will still be too fast for this method!
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Similar to point three, as the taker is about to strike the ball the hips will often show you which way the ball is going to go just before it is struck — again if you can read this and the planted foot as it happens you will get a great indicator as to which way to go but if they hit it into the corner unfortunately you are unlikely to get there in time.
Do your homework!
One for the goalkeepers at the upper end of the football pyramid, make sure you know exactly where their usual penalty takers usually put their spot kicks — in particular the last 5 and their last 3 big decisive penalties i. Stand your ground until the last minute so that even once you have made your mind up and made your dive, if the penalty taker goes down the middle you have a chance of saving it penalty put your trailing legs.
How to Take the Perfect Penalty: Dr Ken Bray (University of Bath)
Watch lots and lots of penalties being taken, if you get the chance — whilst your team are doing penalty practice just sit behind the goal and watch their body shape, run up and overall demeanour until you get good at being able to read where they are going to put it with no pressure on having to actually make a save. Hopefully now you will be a penalty saving hero and we can look forward to you helping England or your own country win the World Cup in the future!
One point I would love to make however is that now and again the penalty taker is going to smash it into the top penalty put and you will unfortunately just have to take it as a great strike. Any questions feel free to drop me a comment and I will be sure to get back to you!