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The implementation of penalty kicks in football is more a matter of science than chance, according to experts

The implementation of penalty kicks in football is more a matter of science than chance, according to experts

A sport with almost limitless economic resources should be able to incorporate scientific teams to advise coaches.
Christian Garavaglia

Christian Garavaglia Argentina meteorite 8 minutes

on Increasingly professional football around the worldWith millions invested in player recruitment, facilities, food, and advanced physical and mental recovery systems… it makes sense for us to continue to believe in this. Is deciding the winner of the decisive match on penalties just a matter of luck?

According to experts Javier Gálvez González and José Manuel Cenizo Benjomea, professors at the University's Faculty of Sports Sciences. Pablo de Olavide University, no! In an interesting column written for the site ConversationThe authors state that the final outcome is not always predictable and depends on multiple factors, however If we apply scientific evidence, the chances of victory increase dramatically.

Some numbers to clarify the importance of sanctions

In the last two European cupsEuropean Football Championship European Football Association23% of knockout round matches were decided by penalty shoot-outs, and this percentage rose to 28% in the last two World Cups. And in the last two American CupsOf the 16 knockout stage matches, six (37.5%) were decided by penalties. With such a high percentage probability of reaching this moment, preparation must be intense for those who aspire to victory, the authors say.

According to statistics, Football teams don't seem to be putting enough effort into their preparations, because in these European championships 23 penalty kicks out of 52 (44.2%) were missed. In the last two World Cups, out of 52 penalty kicks, 28 (53.8%) were missed. In the case of the last Copa America, the percentages were slightly lower (43 hits and 15 fouls, 34%).

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that it The percentage of hits and misses varies greatly in club matches. in Champions League From 2022 to 2023, there were 39 penalty kicks, of which only 11 (28.2%) were missed. What is the reason for this difference? Clubs have one or two specialists responsible for all team throws. Thus, efficiency increases.

Moreover, we must take into account that taking a penalty kick in an isolated match in a normal competition, in which many people win or lose, is not the same as taking a penalty kick in a penalty shoot-out in the final stage of a major tournament, where failure means elimination. cases, Emotional burden can completely affect performance.

A duel between the striker and the goalkeeper in a penalty kick

The penalty mark is located 11 meters from the goal line and the goal is 7.32 meters wide. The free kick taker must try to avoid the goalkeeper and the goalkeeper Strategic duel It was created.

If we look at the statistics of most matches, Nearly 70% of penalty kicks were scoredWhich indicates that the mixture has an advantage. This includes penalties for fouls committed inside the penalty area during playing time. But in the penalty shootout that decides the qualifiers, if extra time ends in a draw, the chances of both teams are equal.

Independent goalkeeper strategy

Here, the batter throws off-center and fast enough to miss the ball. Most saves occur in the goalkeeper's central areas and most goals are scored near the goalposts, although almost all penalty kicks also occur outside the goalkeeper. Is it worth the risk of shooting near the goal line? In analyzing the English championship, The risk of not being able to score a penalty kick in the top corners outweighs the number of stops in the bottom and middle cornersThe authors say.

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Penalty kicks, football
If we look at the statistics of most matches, we will find that approximately 70% of penalty kicks are successful.

In this strategy, Sanctions are a battle against time. Playing at 80 kilometers per hour (km/h) to the base of the post, it will be a goal in 520 milliseconds (ms). It takes a goalkeeper between 0.8 and 1 second to reach the ball located 70 cm from the goal post. If the shooter slows down, the goalie will have more time to move and stop. At 70 km/h, the ball takes 590 milliseconds, and at 60 km/h, it takes 690 milliseconds. With these values, a goalkeeper can never stop them. To achieve this balance between speed and accuracy, the free-kick taker must practice enough to automate the actions..

Goalkeeping strategy

However, the former strategy is not the strategy most chosen by batsmen, who choose it in 70% of attempts Goalkeeping strategy. any, Be able to trick him into throwing himself somewhere other than where the ball will be played.

How can we think that the goalkeeper will be fooled? It's very simple, because he already knows that if he waits to see where the ball goes, he won't be able to catch it. Therefore, they will try to anticipate and thus buy time to achieve their goal.

There are studies that indicate that goalkeepers move an average of 220 milliseconds before a shot, and some do so up to 600 milliseconds before that.

With this time gained, they can stop it 520 milliseconds before the ball flies. Slower shots, greater advantage for the goalkeeper.

In this goalkeeper-driven strategy, batsmen are quite successful if the goalkeeper moves 400 milliseconds early, but effectiveness is reduced when the goalkeeper waits up to 150 milliseconds before jumping.

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What are the psychological and emotional effects of penalty shootouts?

To understand, we have to start from the axiom: The goalkeeper is always the same and can use different strategies during the round. However, the batsman only gets one try, hence the emotional burden he bears. People always talk about batsmen's mistakes and goalkeeper's successes…

According to experts, these are just some summarized data from some strategies that have been analyzed by the scientific community. It all sounds very simple, even though it's not. Penalty kicks The final stages of tournaments are of great importance in the results, therefore, Must be Carefully prepared. Not strategizing among the different strategies in place, or not training them adequately, will reflect a lack of professionalism on the part of the technicians.The authors say.

Professional sports, which have almost unlimited economic resources, can “afford” to incorporate scientific teams that advise coaches on advances in sports science.

News reference:

Conversation. “There is more science to penalty kicks in football than the lottery“. 2024.