How do footballers cope with penalty shoot-out pressure?

The University of Wolverhampton has teamed up with an internet TV channel to examine how footballers cope with the pressure of penalty shoot-outs.

Penalty pressure

Copa90, an interactive football lifestyle and original content channel on YouTube, approached the University to help it get to the bottom of the physical and psychological strains shoot-outs have on players and how to cope with pressure

Presenter Daniel Cutting visited the University’s Walsall Campus where Andy Lane, Professor of Sports Psychology, put him through his paces and advised him on various coping strategies.

The film included a penalty shoot-out involving Sport and Exercise Science students, striker Joshua Humphreys and goalkeeper Ryan Stanton, at Walsall’s Bescot Stadium.

Professor Lane said: “It was interesting to look at the situation players find themselves under when involved in a penalty shoot-out, particularly as England have become famous for losing in shoot outs.

“We tried to recreate the pressure of a shoot-out by adding an element of competition. Although you can never replicate the pressure of taking a penalty in a World Cup, the film gives people the idea of the physical and emotional pressure players may face and what they can do to tackle that.

“A player should have a clear idea of what they’re going to do and where they are going to place the ball and how much power they are going to use. It’s then about practicing and putting that recipe together in pressure situations so you can try to learn how to cope with intense emotions.”