What could be more difficult than preventing a balloon fired at an 11m distance and that can easily exceed 120 Km / h to cross a frame 7.32 meters wide and 2.44 meters high?
To stop a penalty, the goalkeeper surely needs to have good reflexes. But in truth it’s mostly a matter of analysis and quick decision-making: is the shooter right-handed or left-handed? Am I anticipating? Am I pretending?
Here are 4 practical tips to analyze or distract the shooter and have a better chance of stopping a penalty:
1. Go on his line
Advancing about 1m to the ball allows to reduce somehow the angle of the shooter and put him an additional pressure. This will also give you a better chance of deflecting the ball outside the frame if you can touch it.
However, we must be careful not to move too much, to respect the rules of the game and not to be reprimanded by the referee.
2. Observe the shooter’s support foot
This technique allows having a clue on the direction where the penalty shooter will hit. The player shoots the ball with one foot and leans on the other.
At the moment the gunman hits his shot, the SLR will have to take a look, in extremis, on the direction indicated by the support foot. It’s often the one he’s going to hit.
3. Influencing the choice of the opponent
One of the most common tips for goalkeepers to stop a penalty. Feinter the shooter starting on one of the two sides, leaving him an opening on the other.
The shooter has a good chance of hitting the ball towards the most open side. Shift slightly to one side and get ready to leave on the opposite side.
You can also indicate with the finger the open side, a technique often used by professionals, to further destabilize the shooter.
4. Waiting for the balloon to leave
With all the distraction and analysis techniques you can use, the shooter can play the opposite foot. So? It is better to wait as late as possible before making the slightest gesture.
The fact of staying still at the moment of the shot destabilizes the shooter. You will have more chance to make him make a mistake and stop the penalty.
Remember that the most important thing in sports is to have fun and progress. So do not give up if you still can not stop a penalty!