Playing Odds With A Penalty Kick

Playing Odds With A Penalty Kick Many a soccer (or do you say football) match has been decided by penalty kicks. The Human Kinetics Journal Motor Control recently published a study that attempts to determine if the goalie's defensive actions can be predicted for better scoring potential. Using both average and highly skilled athletes, researchers analyzed goalkeeper reactions before and during the penalty kicker's run up, and compared the data to the kicker's visual actions. The advice was to focus on your best goal shot and ignore the goalie entirely.

True Strength Moment: Getting an edge in any competition can make all the difference in your on-field performance. Because putting too much thought into a goal keeper's reactions can take something off the accuracy of your ball placement, scientists involved in this study suggest that attempting to outguess the goalie isn't worth the mental distraction. Especially since athletes who relied on predictive information did no better than the statistical average for guessing. Focus on accuracy and don't leave success to chance.
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