Space Equals Goalkeeping Success In Penalty Situations
March 28, 2007
If you give a little, you might get a whole lot back when it comes to a penalty situation, at least that is what a study released by the Association of Psychological Science has found. Goalkeepers who stand either 6-10 centimeters on either side of the goal in a penalty situation have a solid chance of saving a penalty. Traditionally, the study has found that only approximately 18% of penalties are saved during a penalty situtation. Following are some further finding of the study.
After conducting experimental studies and carefully evaluating the results, Professor Masters and his team concluded that it is feasible for a goalkeeper to influence perceptions of space and consequently the direction of penalty kicks by standing marginally to one side or another of the goal centre. The goalkeeper can then strategically dive to the side with more space.
Extrapolation of their data indicates that the optimum displacement of the goalkeeper in real life is from 6 to 10 cm. Their results suggest that the penalty taker is unlikely to notice a displacement in this range, but is at least 10% more likely to direct the penalty kick to the side with more space than to the side with less space.
So a great way to see if the study is valid is to try giving yourself a little space in your penalty practice at either 6-10 centimetres to either side of goals, and see if the test works. This could be a great little strategy to utilize during the game, as penalty situations are really a game of Black Jack. Therefore, if you notice that the penalty taker shoots wide mostly, you can gauge the effectiveness of the study.