In this blog, we are going to go over how to shoot penalties like the pros!
I remember watching a Champions League match, back in 2012, between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. It was a hard fought battle on both fronts, Munich and Madrid. After about 210 minutes of total play time, the referee blew the whistle to end the second half of the extras.
It all came down to the penalty shootout. I remember the commentator making remarks that drew a direct comparison between penalty shootouts and Russian roulette. Alluding that what was about to unfold, was a battle of luck. But are penalty shootouts really that? The idea that penalties are a matter of luck is pretty much common knowledge… Is the type of idea that most people don’t really think about the validity of it.
We could argue about the philosophical ideas, what does luck even mean? Does it exist? But that’s not something you do if you want to learn how to shoot penalties like a pro… That’s something that you do if you want to trick people into thinking that you have a personality. Luck is definitely a variable in penalty shootouts, but the main factor is skill. I am determined to prove it to you by showing you how to shoot penalties like a pro.
When I mentioned that match between Real Madrid and Bayern, if you’ve seen it, you probably remembered the awful miss by Sergio Ramos. He sent the ball flying high above the goal bar. It was so bad that it became a viral meme.
What you probably didn’t know is that Sergio Ramos is currently on a 22 goals scored from penalty streak. This is a rather interesting study case, and I believe that by studying the technique of Sergio Ramos we can definitely learn something on how to shoot penalties like a pro.
Sergio Ramos was one of the main penalty takers with Madrid. When Cristiano wasn’t available, he was the second man to do the job. With Cristiano now gone from Madrid Sergio Ramos has taken it upon himself to make sure that the football finds the net, every time there’s a penalty awarded.
Before we continue our analysis of Sergio Ramos, let’s look at the most widely available tips on how to take penalties like a pro:
Pick a corner and shoot at it with power and precision.
The more power the better, however it comes at a cost. The more power and velocity that you give the football, the higher your precision must be. Let’s go back to our Sergio Ramos example. The ball had such huge velocity, that if Ramos’ precision was on point, the keeper stood no chance of catching that ball.
You must always keep these two things balanced. More power means a higher chance of scoring, but it also requires much higher precision.
Don’t let the keeper know which corner you’ll send the ball in.
If it’s all about power, why do things like ‘the Panenka’ work? Ramos does this too. If you look at his streak, a lot of the penalties he scored are slow shots… The ball more falls onto the net than anything. It’s all about the unpredictability factor. If you trick the keeper to jump one side, the other is all yours.
To try and avoid detection by the keeper, use things like: keeping your eyes fixed at the keeper, stopping right before shooting to see what side the keeper will jump to, and things like that.
It generally consists of knowing how to fake your body language. However being flashy like that is something that I wouldn’t suggest. If the keeper can’t read which side you’ll take your shot in, he won’t be able to react quickly enough. This gives you the golden opportunity to use less power and still get the job perfectly done.
How to shoot penalties like a pro? But I’m a keeper…
There is little to be done in this position. You are at a huge disadvantage. Your best bet is to try and read the shooter. If you think you got the side right, jump with your arms stretched and hope for the best.
I’ve seen things like: “Pretend to jump on one side to get your opponent to react.”, or, “Play mind games with your opponent to wreck his nerves.” These are very much dependent on how your opponent will react to them. So there isn’t much you can do yourself.
We hope this article gave you more clear insight on how to shoot penalties like a pro!