Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice


Don’t cheer when technique slips up on the penalty spot

dc1Missing penalties because the player slips always bring a huge cheer from the opposition. Whenever my teams play I always tell them we don’t cheer missed penalties when the player slips or misses the goal.

Yes, we cheer a good save from the penalty kick, but not the miss itself.

I’ve seen a lot of missed penalties this season – the pressure on the players taking the penalty is huge and is something that the player involved will think about for a long time afterwards.

If your player misses, have a quick chat with them and tell them it doesn’t matter. Don’t show your disappointment and don’t let the rest of the team see your disappointment. Hopefully your team’s spirit will help the player get over it.

You must get over it quickly too.

In the U21 European Championships last month the England U21 team beat Sweden on penalties – surely one of the biggest pressure points in a football match – James Milner took England’s first penalty and slipped kicking the ball high and wide of the goal.

He must have felt terrible listening to the jeering crowd, but by the end the English spirit shone through and even though Joe Hart the England goalkeeper would miss the final the team celebrated as one.

Consider also David Beckham’s slip for England against Portugal in the European Championships in 2004. His mistake led to the team losing in the quarter-finals of Europe’s biggest International tournament.

John Terry missed for Chelsea when he slipped against Manchester United in Europe’s biggest club tournament in the final of the Champions League in 2008. He only had to score the penalty for Chelsea to win, he missed. Chelsea went on to lose.

It happens to the best players in the world so expect it to happen to your players, and be there for them when it does.

Here are the clips of the two slip ups for England and John Terry’s miss for Chelsea.

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