Great tips for players and coaches who face a penalty kick shoot

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Here are some Great Tips for players and coaches who are facing a PK shoot-out - especially in view of Portugal's recent defeat vs Spain in the Euro 2012 championship semi-final, England's defeat vs Italy, and Bayern Munich's loss to Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League 2012. How to focus and stay calm under pressure. Practical advice that will give your team a huge edge.

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Great tips for players and coaches who face a penalty kick shoot

  1. 1. Great Tips for Players and Coaches Who Face a Penalty Kick Shoot-Out By Rich Wiegand of www.ProSoccerTactics.comHere are some Great Tips for Coaches and players who facing a PK shoot-out - especially inview of Portugals recent defeat vs Spain in the Euro 2012 championship semi-final, Englandsdefeat vs Italy, and Bayern Munichs loss to Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League 2012. Spain taking PKs vs Portugal at the Euro 2012PK shoot-outs are nerve-racking experiences. But keep in mind that both teams had a chanceto put the game away during regulation time - and failed to do that. If your team was not thebetter team during regulation and extra time - then look on bright side, your team really hasnothing to lose by taking PKs. This can take alot of pressure off the "weaker" team. If your teamwas the better team during the game, then the message you should be telling your players is thatit is time that we prove that we are the better team, and we will because we worked hard, wepracticed shooting PKs and we will win by taking a flawless series of PKs.If you win the coin toss for which end of the field - choose the side with the least divots,dryest, where the field is most even etc. You dont want to take penalties on an un-even,soggy, or chewed up part of the pitch.If you win the coin toss for which team shoots first - you should choose to shoot first -studies show that 60% of teams that shoot first end up winning the PK shoot-outChoosing your first 5 shooters - make sure your best shooters shoot first, and in that order (not first,like Portugals Christiano Ronaldo who was last of the 5 to shoot and didnt end up shooting asingle penalty). Imagine, one of Europes best footballers didnt even get to take a PK for hiscountry in the end because the coach placed him as Portugals 5th shooter! Thats a hugemistake on the part of the Portugals coach Paolo Bento. Click Here!Should you ask your players if they want to volunteer to shoot, or should the coach makethe selections? I dont believe a coach should let the players decide who shoots based on their playersfeelings at that given moment. This is because shooting ability and confidence levels are 2very different things.My advice is that the coach should make the selections and should have already created alist of his top 5-7 shooters, based on practice drills as well as actual game experience withhis players. There is no better data to base your decision than actual game experience (track
  2. 2. record). Also, a good idea is to have your captain shoot first - because that player is usuallyone of your most skilled players and has the most experience. Captains are also team leaders,and take it upon themselves to lead their squad during challenging times like PK shoot-outs.As a coach I typically want my strongest (i.e. hardest) shooters to take PKs - not necessarilythe most accurate shooters. I prefer pace and accuracy to just accuracy alone. The ultimatetraits I look for in PK shooters are: power, placement, confidence (low anxiety), and focus.Tips for PK Shooting/ExecutionEncourage your players to take at least 4-5 steps behind the ball. Short run-ups typically meansoft shots, which are much easier for GKs to save.Discourage your players from taking stutter steps, as Schweinsteiger did against Chelsea whenhe missed.I also personally dont care for cheeky PKs, like chipping the ball softly toward the center of thegoal (making the GK look like a fool). I encourage my players to go with a controlled(accurate) power shot. Up the middle is fine, if you have noticed by the 3rd shot or so that theGK is guessing directions (as opposed to waiting to react to the shooter). Since most great PKkilling GKs react to the shooter, against these types I would strongly discourage shooting up themiddle.While some shooters like shooting high, the priority should be first corner placement, thenheight, not the other way around. I tend to favor PK shooters who can shoot the ball hardand low.The coach should never change the order of his shooters mid-stream (as Portugal did in thecase of Alves and Nani) and make sure that his players clearly understand the shooting order - bylining them up in order at the center circle. My guess is that Alves may have missed his PK vsSpain because he was distracted by the change in the shooting order, when Nani stepped inbefore him after having already walked to PK spot from the center circle. Either he was not clearon who should shoot next for Portugal or the coach botched the shooting order and changed hismind at the last minute. Either way, this is a significant coaching error because your playersshould be clear about the shooting order from the start of the PK shoot-out. Portugals Alves Misses PK vs Spain Euro 2012
  3. 3. Pre-PK Coach’s RemindersFinally, when your players take a PK, tell them to:- be confident as you walk up to the penalty spot. Know that you worked hard to get to thispoint, and that youve practiced shooting these things many, many times. Its simply anotheropportunity to execute the plan to the best of your ability. No one can ask for more thanthat.- set the ball themselves (out of divots, preferably on flat or a tuft of grass)- take at least 4-5 steps of a run-up (for power and momentum), as we said earlier- pick your corner and never change this decision mid-kick- visualize yourself executing your PK flawlessly, striking an exact part of the ball, followingthrough, picturing the ball entering the net, and then celebrating- try to clear out as much external noise and distraction as possible - clear your mind andfocus only on the job at hand - this means actually looking at the ball (focusing on the exactpart of the ball that should be struck). This was Paul Breitners secret when he took the PKagainst Holland in 1974, to tie the game 1-1 in the first half. He once said that after deciding onwhere he wants to place the ball, he focuses on the part of the ball that he needs to strike andthat he simply follows through. Concentration is key. Paul Breitner PK vs Holland World Cup 1974

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