The Art of Saving Penalty Kicks – Where Should a Goalkeeper Be Looking?

As a former international goalkeeper myself, my Bachelor of Science project in Psychology and Sport and Exercise Science focused on an issue that is highly relevant in the current sporting world: how a goalkeeper can improve their chances of saving penalty kicks. With the World Cup just a month away and with England’s terrible record in penalty shoot-outs, we thought that this article maybe of interest. The project used eye-tracking technology to assess differences in where trained football players and untrained football players looked and what gaze strategies they deployed, when facing a penalty kick from a goalkeepers perspective and attempting to guess direction. Prediction accuracy was also looked at before and after people were told which part of the body gave off the most information about which way the penalty taker was going to place the ball.

How to enhance the prediction accuracy of penalty kick direction is an ongoing issue for football goalkeepers with many penalty takers deploying strategies in order to gain an advantage over the goalkeeper. Previous eye-tracking experiments have suggested that expert and novice football players hold different gaze strategies when facing a penalty kick with expert players being more successful in predicting the direction of penalty kicks. The experiment used a series of videos recorded from a goalkeepers’ perspective in order to mimic the event of facing an oncoming penalty kick.

Expert participants were no more accurate in predicting penalty kick direction than their novice counterparts. They did however, seem to hold a more efficient search strategy conducting significantly less fixations. A fixation is a point looked upon by an individual. Therefore, expert footballers looked at fewer areas on the penalty taker and the football, when the penalty taker was approaching to shoot. Nevertheless, this search strategy as mentioned above, did not enhance prediction of penalty direction.

It is clear, from previous research, that the support foot of the penalty taker is the earliest (200-250 ms before foot-ball contact time) reliable predictor of penalty direction and that it สมัครเว็บ ufabetcoincides most accurately with ball projection making it the most valuable of cues for a goalkeeper. Moreover, the standing foot direction of the penalty taker is one of the final cues that the penalty taker displays before striking the penalty, making it of crucial importance, as using latter cues and consequently a later diving strategy may account for a 52% difference in saving ability. For a right footed penalty taker, this means that if the NON KICKING FOOT is pointing to your left as a goalkeeper, then the ball is more likely to go to your left. If however, it takes on a straighter angle it is more likely going to go to your right. For a left footed penalty taker, if the non kicking foot is pointing to your right, then the ball is going to your right and if taking a straighter angle it is more likely to go to your left. The penalty tak

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