How to Take a Penalty

So, you are stepping up to take a penalty (in football), whether it be in the park with jumpers for goalposts, or in the cup final at Wembley, penalties can always be nerve racking. So here is a quick introduction on how to take the perfect penalty.


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    Place the ball with accuracy on the spot. Avoid divots or holes near to the spot, as to ensure as clean a contact with the ball as possible.
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    Have a lengthy run up, between approximately 5 and 8 steps, back away from the ball. The longer the run up, generally the more power on the penalty.
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    Run up to the ball at pace and know where the ball is going to go before hitting it. If you are confident about where the ball will end up, you will be much better off than if not.
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    Try to aim for as low to the ground and as close the goalpost as possible. This is the hardest place for a goalkeeper to get to.
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    "Whack" the ball as hard as you can, because then, even if the goalie does guess the right way, it will be harder for him to stop it.


  • If you have a fast run up, then the goalie may commit himself to diving for the ball, before contact is made. If this happens then wait for the goalkeeper to dive, then more of a space is available to place the shot.
  • Look towards one side when running up, but then shoot in the other direction to confuse the goalkeeper. Frank Lampard does this very well.
  • Hit the ball with the side of your foot for heaps of accuracy and power


  • Make sure the ref has blown the whistle before taking it.
  • Make sure you are the last person to touch the ball before taking the penalty. This is psychologically putting you ahead of the goalkeeper.

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Categories: Football