Football Penalty Masterclass

I took quite a few penalties during my career and only missed a couple. I spent countless hours on the training ground practicing the execution of the penalty kick. A lot of this time was without the goalkeeper in the net. My theory was that if the ball was accurate enough the keeper would be unable to get the ball regardless of whether he dived the correct way. Therefore I struck 1,000s of Footballs into both corners of the net until I felt so comfortable doing this that the day of reckoning (a penalty on match day) would be relatively easy (that's the theory).

What I was not able to do, which Cantona does so well in this video is predict which way the keeper was going to dive and then decide a split second later to strike the ball into the opposite corner of the goal.

I would pick my corner before taking the kick and focus all my thoughts and energy into placing the ball in that place. Most athletes use this kind of technique (visualization) to enable themselves to focus and not to be distracted.

Visualization :

Visualization is the process of creating a mental image or intention, of what you want to happen or to feel. An athlete can use this technique to 'intend' an outcome of a race, training session or simply rest in a feeling of calm and well-being. Or in this instance a Penalty Kick in a game of Football. By imagining a scene, complete with images or movies, of a previous best performance or a new desired outcome, the athlete will simply 'step into' that feeling. It is a common technique and proven to be very successful for many top athletes.

Cantonas high level of prediction and split second timing is phenomenal. He is not even visualizing where he is going to strike the ball, although I am sure he is visualizing a positive outcome. I believe what he is doing is waiting for the keeper to move or show him a sign in which direction he is going to dive. Up until that point Cantona has no pre-conceived idea of where he will place the ball. Cantonas approach is very straight to the ball, allowing himself to open up his body and right foot at the last minute and place the ball to the right of the keeper, or continue the more natural strike of the ball to the left of the keeper.

It's a fantastic skill and if you don't believe me try it in the park. Get a friend to go in goal and wait for him/her to move and see if you are able to place the ball with ease in the other corner.....

No comments:

Last 10 Escribbler Posts


  • Powered by FeedBlitz