Take a penalty like a pro with these top tips

Successfully converting a penalty substantially boosts a team’s chances of winning the game, so it is impossible to underestimate the importance of scoring from the spot.

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Here are some top tips to improve your penalty-taking:

Use the power

The instep or ‘laces’ kick is the most powerful kick and also the most common type of kick used for taking penalties. It takes a lot of practice to perfect this technique. Remember never to sacrifice accuracy for power.

Stay focused

Transfer your practice into a match situation by staying focused on your kick and on the outcome that you want to reach. It can be particularly hard to remain focused if the goalkeeper is moving sideways or waving their arms about to try to distract you.

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Who are the best penalty takers in Europe?

Interestingly, there are four players in the top European leagues with a 100 per cent penalty conversion rate – and you may not have heard of any of them! Leading the way is Celta Vigo’s Ryad Boudebouz, who has netted all 21 of his spot kicks. In joint second place are Max Kruse of Werder Bremen and Cristhian Stuani of Girona with 16/16. In fourth place with 14 successful spot kicks is Nabil Bentaleb of Schalke.

Angle your run-up

To maximise ball speed, professional footballers tend to approach the ball at an angle of about 45 degrees. Approaching at this angle also helps to improve the foot-to-ball contact.

Penalty taking can easily be incorporated into football training drills. This gives players the chance to hone their shooting skills and can bring a competitive element to practice sessions for goalkeepers and outfield players alike.

If you are the coach of a football team, any innovative and effective football training drills will be of interest. Why not take a look at the website of a leading expert in the area to see how football training drills can help performance?

Kick the ball as close to the centre as possible

The combination of the position and speed of the kicking foot at the point of contact determines the quality of the impact and subsequently the speed and accuracy of the kick. Kicking the football as close to the centre as possible optimises the ball speed in a penalty kick scenario.