david hieatt – The Zen of the Penalty Taker.

The Zen of the penalty taker.


When a football games goes to penalties, something interesting happens.

There are those who step forward to take a penalty. And then there are those

who’d do anything on earth not to take one.

Are the most talented the most likely to take one? Not always. The pressure of taking a penalty often means all that talent suddenly evaporating to nothing in front of your eyes. And more importantly, in front of goal.

Are the bravest the best penalty takers? The problem here is ‘brave’ really means ‘passionate’. And passion can take a terrible penalty. Or a great one. It really is either hit or miss.

The best penalty taker is the one with nothing on his mind other than taking a penalty. They don’t think about the importance of the kick, about the crowd, about what it will mean to lose. Their heart maybe racing, but their mind is clear.

They block stuff out. They don’t/can’t/won’t imagine what missing could mean.They are the entrepreneurs of a football team. They accept the risk, but don’t dwell on it.

They just kick the darn ball.

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