Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport Academy
BBC Sport You are in: Football: Features  

Give It A Go
Jargon Guide

Latest Sports News
Academy Parent

Get the newsletter
How to take the perfect penalty!
Around the Academy:

The Academy tries to find out how to take the perfect penalty.

Blast or place it? Wait for the keeper to move? Or pick a spot and stick to it?

These are just some of the thoughts going through a penalty taker's mind as soon as the referee points to the spot.

In other words, if the thought of losing out in a one-on-one dual in front of 40,000 wasn't already making you go weak at the knees, there are still decisions to be made.

The keeper isn't bothered. He can't lose... nobody is expecting him to save it.

But he'll be an instant hero if he does, casting the kicker as the villain.

Blasting worked for Becks against Argentina
Blasting worked for Becks against Argentina
So whether it be on the Premiership stage, the school field or the local park, where should you strike the perfect penalty?

Research carried out by Liverpool John Moores University came up with at least one definitive solution as Professor Tom Riley revealed.

"A well-placed ball, high to the corners (A & B on graphic) will not be stopped by the goalkeeper even if he anticipates it.

"There is not enough time to react so a kick placed in this area would have a 100% strike rate.

"Some players blast the ball, assuming that the goalkeeper will move and while that was successful for David Beckham at the World Cup, it didn't help the Irish."

It's an interesting alternative to the best theory that you will often hear from professionals, managers and commentators.

Hitting the side netting, low down just inside either post (C & D on graphic) is often the target for many a penalty taker, but unless the ball is well struck the keeper can still reach it.

^^ Back to top
© BBC Contact us | Help | About us Disclaimer
Football  |  Cricket  |  Tennis  |  Golf  |  Rugby Union  |  Rugby League  |  Athletics  |  Basketball  |  Swimming
Other Sport  |  In the Gym  |  Healthy Eating  |  Treatment Room  |  Your Blueprint  |  Learning Centre