Every player loves taking penalties – even if they aren’t very good at it. Practising penalties gives you a chance to look at your players’ kicking techniques and also lets you see who might be good to take penalties in a match.
There is definitely an art to penalty taking, and training sessions are the best place for your players to find out which type of shot is best for them.
I call this game “Placer or Lacer?”
There are basically two types of penalty takers – “placers” and “lacers”.
Placers favour accuracy over power. They use the side of the foot but must still strike the ball firmly.
Lacers use the instep or laces for power, which sacrifices accuracy. They should follow through with the kicking foot after striking the ball.
Although we’d place an emphasis on accuracy over power, the lacer technique shouldn’t be overlooked because the speed of the ball alone may be enough to beat the goalkeeper.
You can have a penalty shoot-out game any time during your training sessions, but the fun, competitive element in it means I usually use it at the end of the session as something to look forward to.
Line your players up behind the penalty spot, and use your best goalkeeper because it’s a good practice for him too.
Rules of the game
- Wait for the ref to whistle.
- The penalty taker can score from a rebound off the keeper but not off the posts or crossbar.
- If you score you go through to the next round, miss and you’re out.
Have a competition for the best passing penalty, where you put your players in pairs and get them to pass the ball forwards from the penalty spot for a team mate to run in and shoot!
This article was published in Soccer Coach Weekly – the best place for advice on how to be a better coach.
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