PENALTY KICK TAKER
A soccer penalty taker is a player who takes a penalty kick. A penalty kick in soccer, also known simply as a “penalty,” a “PK,” or a “spot kick,” is a re-start where a player is allowed to take a shot at a goal which is only defended by the opposing team’s goalkeeper.
A penalty kick is awarded when a foul, otherwise punishable by a direct free kick, has been committed by a defender inside their own penalty area during the course of play. The most common fouls are tripping and handling. The full list may be found in Law 12, “Fouls and Misconduct.” The shot is taken from the penalty mark, 12 yards away from the goal.
To convert a penalty kick is not easy. It takes excellent technique, mental fortitude, and lots of practice for a penalty kick taker (the kicker) to get it right. The clear objective is to be able to score every time. To do so means that the ball must be accurately kicked, with appropriate pace, to a spot outside of the goalie’s reach and into the goal. Coaches have a lot to teach penalty kick takers.
LAW 14 – THE PENALTY KICK
An understanding of how to take a penalty kick begins with Law 14 of the IFAB Laws of the Game of soccer, “The Penalty Kick.” Before introducing penalty kicks to their team or individual players, coaches need to refresh their understanding of the rules and teach them accurately. In summary:
- Before the kick is taken, the ball must be stationary on the penalty mark.
- The goalposts, crossbar and goal net must not be moving.
- The player taking the penalty kick must be clearly identified.
- The defending goalkeeper must remain on the goal line, facing the kicker, between the goalposts, until the ball is kicked.
- The goalkeeper must not behave in a way that unfairly distracts the kicker, e.g., delay the taking of the kick or touch the goalposts, crossbar or goal net.
- All of the players, other than the kicker and the goalkeeper, must be:
- at least 10 yards from the penalty mark (outside the penalty arc, or “D”);
- behind the penalty mark;
- inside the field of play; and,
- outside the penalty area.
- After the players have taken positions in accordance with this Law, the referee signals for the penalty kick to be taken.
- The player taking the penalty kick must kick the ball forward (although “backheeling” is permitted provided the ball moves forward toward the goal).
- When the ball is kicked, the defending goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot touching, in line with, or behind, the goal line.
- The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves.
- If the ball rebounds off the crossbar or a goalpost, the kicker must not play the ball again until it has been touched by any other player first. If the ball is blocked into the field by the goalkeeper, the kicker may be the first to kick the ball again.
It is the responsibility of the coach not only to teach the rules, but also to teach the team the attacking aspects of a penalty kick re-start, and to ensure that penalty kick takers are appropriately identified and well trained. It is the responsibility of a penalty kick taker to be prepared, willing, and able to perform when called upon to do so. It is not the responsibility of a penalty kick taker to ensure that their teammates are in proper positions or know how to react. That is the responsibility of the coach. The kicker must set up and score on the kick.
STARTING OUT – DEMONSTRATION AND EXPERIMENTATION
The most important aspect of taking a penalty kick is to develop a routine and then to stick with it. Once the technique is established, it is critical to practice regularly and consistently. Practice develops accuracy and consistency develops confidence. Coaching a penalty kick starts with a proper environment to breed success.
Basically, a penalty kicker should start with a number of properly inflated balls, a full-size goal with a net, four cones, and two disks. It doesn’t hurt to have a couple of teammates help out, one to stand-in as an inactive goalkeeper and the other to retrieve balls. In addition, the location of the penalty mark needs to be confirmed without any doubt. This may require a 15-yard tape measure and some biodegradable marking “paint.” Never assume that that the penalty mark on any given field is in the right place. The mark may not even exist on many practice fields. (In the absence of a tape measure, develop an accurate one-yard pace.) [See Footnote.]
Place the first two cones arms-length apart to each side of the center of the goal, on the goal-line, to reflect the most basic reach of a goalkeeper. Place the other two cones, one each, at the base of each backstay as targets. If the goal does not have backstays, place the cones four-feet behind base of each goalpost. As an alternative to targets, use the “pass the ball through the goal” shooting technique. Place one disk on the goal-line, three-feet inside of each goal-post, to reflect a target area on both sides. Place a ball on the penalty mark, step back a comfortable distance and let the process begin.
Have the prospective kickers experiment with different kicks. Use the inside of the foot or the instep or some minor deviation from each. Kick the ball on the ground to either side, between the cone and the goal-post, but always inside the post. Begin making mental notes about what feels the most comfortable. One may add some power, but not at the expense of accuracy. One can further experiment by sending the ball up to six-inches above the surface, but not any higher at this time.
Coaches must have their penalty kick takers practice on the surface(s) that the team plays on, natural or artificial. If you play on both, practice on both.
WHO TAKES A KICK
Based on a player’s demonstrated ability and confidence, the coach should have identified who will take a penalty kick before a game begins. The coach should have also previously identified at least a first-alternate kicker in case the original player is no longer in the game. These players are often called “penalty kick specialists.” Choosing who takes penalty kicks ultimately comes down to instruction, practice, and success rate.
Any player on the field, at the time the penalty kick is awarded, may take a penalty kick. It is usually a forward or an attacking midfielder. (It can even be the goalkeeper, but this is not usually a reasonable strategy for a penalty kick awarded during the normal course of play.)
As a general coaching technique, if the player who was fouled is the primary kicker, they should not take the penalty kick. This player may be injured or ticked-off, throwing off either their physical or mental abilities. Under any circumstance, no player should go into a penalty kick unprepared or lacking confidence.
As a player, a lot of pressure is on penalty kick takers to score. If, for any reason, a designated kicker is uncomfortable in taking a kick, they should tell the coach and recommend that an alternate take the kick. There should be no shame in doing so because it is clearly to benefit the team.
Continued coaching proceeds with the mental aspects of taking a penalty kick. It is quite normal for kickers to feel nervous before taking penalty kick, whether it’s out of concern for the team or the fans. In the moment, it is extremely important to remain calm and focused and to address that the mental aspects of taking a penalty kick are a part of the game. This must also become part of the routine and must also be practiced. There are a number of techniques that can be employed to shut out the distractions. Penalty kick takers must experiment and utilize those that work for them. Coaches may work with players to utilize one or more the following:
Clear focus – Block out everything else
Measured breathing – Deep breaths, simple breaths, or timed breaths
Visualization – See the ball placed into the back of the net
Confirmation – All the practice is going to pay off
Self-Confidence – Embrace the moment
Positivity – The game is fun and this is part of it
Coaches need to ensure that their players understand the first part of the process when a penalty kick is called. After a penalty kick is awarded, usually the penalty kick taker obtains and holds the ball while all the other players, except for the opposing goalkeeper, leave the penalty area (and the “D”), and the referee and assistant referees move to their respective locations. [Unless a fake kicker is involved, whereby the fake kicker may hold the ball back at the 18. See “Changing Kickers,” below.]
By holding the ball and taking it to the penalty mark, the player is self-identifying that they are the one taking the kick. The referee may actually ask. If so, the player should verbally say to the referee that they are taking the kick or at least make eye contact and nod yes.
The referee may speak to the goalkeeper to ensure that they understand the rules. The referee ensures that the assistant referees are in their proper positions. The referee ensures that all other players are outside the penalty area and the “D.” The referee may speak to the kicker to ensure that the kicker knows that they must not take the kick until the referee specifically indicates that they may do so.
The kicker places the ball on the penalty mark (the mark, penalty spot, the spot). The referee takes a proper position and then, if everything is satisfactory, blows the whistle (and may make an arm motion) to indicate that the kick may be taken. The ball must not be moving and it must be kicked forward. (All other players must know that they cannot enter the penalty area or the “D” until the ball is kicked. It is not the whistle.)
Penalty kick takers need to understand how important it is to develop a routine for the penalty kick process. Coaches need to overly emphasize how creating and following a routine is critical for a successful penalty kick. This covers the entire process, from setting the ball on the mark, through relaxation, to the run up and the kick. It is imperative to make the process feel like “second-nature.”
If the kicker has practiced two different kicks, it is essential that the kicker select one kick and then stick with it. This may be based on the research conducted for a particular goalkeeper. One should not change the location of a penalty kick at the last second. The kicker must kick the kick that they have practiced.
SETTING THE BALL
Coaches need to discuss with their prospective kickers that the penalty mark on a natural field is notorious for having a depression in the center. This can be from marking or from too many practice kicks. Either way, kickers should place the ball by hand, on a decent tuft of turf, slightly off-center on the mark. They should not use the foot to place the ball because they will not recognize a depression.
Oddly enough, the Laws of the Game do not specify exactly what constitutes the make-up of the penalty mark. However, it usually consists of a circle, 9-inches in diameter, that has been completely filled in with marking paint.
Similarly, the Laws of the Game do not specify exactly how the ball is to be placed on the mark. Consistent with the concept that the ball is considered to still be in a bounded area if part of the ball is overtopping the bounding line, the ball may be moved to one side or the other, or to the back. This allows players to avoid a possible hole. Of course, the ball may be placed in the exact center.
There is a caution regarding placement, however, that may avoid a potential problem with a referee. The inner edge of the ball should usually not be beyond the center of the mark, to the left, right, back, or especially toward the goal.
(Note – If the hole is so bad, it should have been discovered by the referee well before the start of the match and filled-in. As a possible penalty kick taker, there is no harm in checking the penalty marks at each end well in advance of kickoff and, if there is a problem, calling it to the attention of the referee.)
MOVING TO THE STARTING LOCATION
After setting the ball, a kicker will move back toward their starting position. This location is again based on experimentation and comfort level of the individual kicker. One can back up or turn their back to the goalkeeper and head for the location. It is initially suggested that this location be approximately five easy steps behind the ball, then slightly to the left for a right-footed kick or slightly to the right for a left-footed kick. This may change over time or at higher levels.
As an option, one may first face the goalkeeper straight-on and then step to one side or the other. This should only be done if it has been used as part of the practice routine.
At this time, kickers need to be warned not to get distracted by the presence and actions of the referee and the assistant referee.
WORRYING THE GOALKEEPER
It is generally not a good idea to try to play “tricks” or “mental games” with the goalkeeper before taking a penalty kick. At higher levels, goalkeepers may try to “read” a kicker’s eyes, however, to try to tell where the kick might go. To try to forestall this, generally kickers should be instructed not look directly at the location on goal to which the kick will go. One may simply take a quick look at both posts, or even all four corners of the goal, in order to try to influence the goalkeeper. A kicker must try not to have a “tell.” (This might include a body lean, the direction of the feet, or some motion with an arm.)
DON’T LET THE GOALKEEPER WORRY THE KICKER
The Laws of the Game specifically state a number of restrictions on what goalkeepers can do right before a penalty kick. They must remain on the goal-line, between the goalposts. They must face the kicker and they may not touch the goalposts, the crossbar, or the net. They may move but, at the moment of the kick, they must have at least part of one foot touching, in line with, or behind, the goal line.
Even with these restrictions, goalkeepers can engage in some shenanigans. They can wave their arms or move their legs. They can crouch or stand with their arms and legs extended. They can do nothing. They don’t have to stand in the center. They can stand off to one side. They can speak, but they cannot yell or scream or otherwise “taunt” the kicker.
All of this is designed to cause confusion, hesitation, or to make a kicker change their mind at the last second. This behavior should be ignored as part of the mental aspects of taking a penalty kick. Later in penalty kick instruction, coaches may direct goalkeepers to engage in actions of this type in order to expose kickers to these possibilities.
TYPES OF KICKS
There are essentially three types of kicks used for a penalty kick, the inside of the foot, the instep drive, and a hybrid of the two, using the “instep face.”
The inside-of-the-foot kick is usually the most accurate, but sometimes lacks in power. A player with a strong inside-of-the foot kick may wish to use this first. A curiosity of this kick is the ability to turn the foot far to the outside and send the ball in the opposite direction of what might be expected. (For example, this would involve a right footed kicker using the inside of the right foot to send the ball to the right post.)
The instep drive is the strongest kick, but sometimes lacks in accuracy. A strong, well-placed instep drive is extremely hard for a goalkeeper to stop, but the kicker must always be precise. The tendency of a poor instep drive is for the ball to go over the crossbar or just outside the post.
The instep-face kick is used for a slightly rising or slightly bending ball. This bends the kick away from the goalkeeper, right-footed to the left or left-footed to the right and into the side netting. This kick also carries the concern of lofting or bending the ball outside the post.
As in all shooting, accuracy is key and the kicker must be comfortable. Similar to all the other aspects of taking a penalty kick, experimentation at this point is required, but it is totally linked to the location on goal chosen as the target. Coaches usually allow the prospective kicker to choose the type of kick with which they are most comfortable.
LOCATIONS ON GOAL
Placement of the ball on goal is the most important part of a penalty kick. The basic locations for the shot are usually the four corners because they are the points farthest away from a goalkeeper, who is typically standing in the middle of the goal.
The two lower corners, the lower-left and the lower right, are most preferred by coaches because they remove the “third dimension” of the flight of the ball from going over the top of the goal when trying for an upper corner. However, the upper corners, the upper left and the upper right, are almost impossible for a goalkeeper to stop.
Other locations include the middle section of each side of the goal, essentially aiming for the side netting just inside either goalpost, at about three-feet off the ground. Again, coaches usually allow the prospective kicker to choose the location with which they are most comfortable.
Then there are the “unexpected” locations. These include directly under the center of the crossbar, to either side of the goalkeeper at about waist height, and straight down the middle. These all depend on the movement of the goalkeeper, and the exact timing of the kick, both of which add another degree of complexity.
REFEREE BLOWS THE WHISTLE
Once the referee is satisfied that all players are in their proper places, the ball has been set correctly, and the assistant referees are in position and ready, the referee will blow their whistle for the kick to be taken. (The use of the whistle is required.)
Before this happens, the kicker must be relaxed and ready and wait for the whistle to be blown. At younger ages, the waiting can be extremely challenging because of the excitement involved. If the kick is taken before the whistle has been blown, or someone encroaches, the kick must be retaken. A retake should not be cause for the kicker to get frustrated and inadvertently change their routine.
At no age should a player change their technique right after the whistle has been blown or otherwise be affected by this step in the process. Coaches need to literally add blowing a whistle to their instruction.
THE RUN UP
Through experimentation, the penalty kick taker establishes their starting location and then proceeds with their “run-up” or “approach.” Their run up to the ball can be long, short, fast, slow, straight-on, angled, or include actions that are intended to distract or deceive the goalkeeper.
This is the time where movements to distract or deceive the goalkeeper, called “feints” or “feinting,” may be implemented. These movements may be made during the run up but may not be made if the run up has been completed. In simpler terms, the kicker may not run up to the ball and then fake kicking it, stop, and then kick. The last step of the run up, and then the kick itself, must be part of the same motion.
The Law states that if, before the ball is put into play with a penalty kick, a player taking the penalty kick feints to kick the ball during the run-up, the feinting is permitted; but, once the kicker has completed the run-up, feinting is not permitted. Coaches must instruct their penalty kickers accordingly.
Feinting is essentially an upper-level technique that is developed with age from youth instruction onward. First used in Brazil and termed a “paradinha” [Portuguese: pahr-ah-JEEN-yah], it is an action whereby a player taking a penalty kick starts their run up and then slows suddenly, in order to throw off the goalkeeper’s timing or make them move, and then proceeds to take a final step and kick the ball.
There are various forms of the feinting approach, including the “hop, skip, and shoot,” ”stutter-step,” and one named for a player, called the “Panenka.” Many of these may be found on-line.
(The use of the term “run-up” can be a bit of misnomer because it is not a sprint and may even resemble a walk, based on the desired approach of the kicker. It is often called a jog.)
PLANT-FOOT PLACEMENT and BODY POSITION
Plant foot placement and body position are just as important for a penalty kick as they are for any other shot. The same general guidance for all shooting applies. At the time of the strike, the non-kicking foot should generally point at the target location and the body should be over the ball to keep the ball from rising. See the “Instep Drive.”
As with each of the steps in the penalty kick process, experimentation resulting in an appropriate comfort level with both plant-foot placement and body position must be achieved by the kicker.
At this point, all of the various steps have been provided to take the penalty kick itself. In summary:
– The ball must be kicked forward.
– Use the bottom of the backstay as a target or use the “pass the ball through the goal” shooting technique.
– A lower corner, just inside the post remains recommended.
– Many players prefer an inside-of-the-foot kick, as opposed to an instep drive. Again, this is a personal decision, based on experimentation.
– Accuracy remains key, but enough power must be used to keep the goalkeeper from reaching the shot.
– Follow-through after the strike, just like any other shot or pass. No “stab” kicks.
After the kick, coaches must instruct players to not just stand and watch. Remember that a penalty kick taken during the middle of a game is a live re-start. If the ball is blocked by the goalkeeper and rebounds into the field of play, because the ball has been touched by another player, the kicker may run to the ball and shoot it again. If the ball rebounds off the crossbar or a goalpost, the kicker may follow the ball but a teammate or a defender (some other player) must be the first to contact it.
After starting with the EXPERIMENTATION phase above, and working through the rest of the steps in the penalty kick process, players must hone their penalty kick skills with consistent practice. Coaches should start by setting up the cones and disks as before, but begin to incrementally place the disks closer to the goalposts. Ultimately, the disks must be removed altogether. Similarly, the target cones near the backstays are to be removed. Players may use the bottom of the backstays themselves as targets. As an alternative, actual targets may be placed on the goal-line. This might include a cone, a small flag, or a hurdle. This may also involve goal-covering nets with cutouts for the target areas. Again, though, these will ultimately have to be removed.
Kickers should continue to practice on their own until they are consistent with their routine and have a high success rate. Coaches need to make it very clear that It’s okay to miss as long as players correct their errors. They need to establish and maintain a consistent routine, implementing the process from start to finish for each kick.
After prospective kickers have achieved a comfort level, coaches must involve teammates for instruction and suggestions. This is especially true for the goalkeeper(s). Kickers must practice with a teammate as a goalkeeper. They then must practice with the goalkeeper(s). Kickers must get feedback from the goalkeeper(s) and the coach. Kickers can also gain valuable insights by practicing penalty kicks as a goalkeeper.
Coaches need to implement time to practice penalty kicks regularly and consistently, at least once or twice a week. Everything must be routine. Repetition creates “muscle memory” and relaxes the brain.
During controlled scrimmages, coaches should arbitrarily call for a penalty kick so that penalty kick takers and the full team can respond appropriately. Coaches should also call for kicks at the end of practice when everyone is tired.
Similarly, it is often recommended that penalty kick takers themselves practice taking kicks after training sessions, when the kickers are at their most tired, in order to help recreate a stressful situation.
An excellent way to calm oneself in the moment and to improve confidence is to employ “visualization.” This is discussed in “Visualization for Soccer.”
SELECTION OF KICKERS
Ultimately, coaches must select the players that are to be their penalty kick takers. Although this may become clear during the instruction phases, coaches need to ensure that any selection is based on success rate. This may be determined by penalty kicks taken during scrimmages or as a result of an actual “kick-off.” No matter how the selections are made, the order of who takes penalty kicks must be clear and imparted to the team without ambiguity. Again, it is critical that who takes the kick is not seemingly announced arbitrarily seconds after a penalty kick is awarded.
As players get older, coaches should expose them to more advanced penalty-kick techniques.
SCOUTING and KEEPING BOOK
A penalty kick scenario really is the ultimate one-on-one in soccer, with the penalty kick taker and the goalkeeper facing off against each other. At the highest levels, the goalkeepers scout the kickers and the kickers scout the goalkeepers, keeping a record of anything that might give them an edge in their battle.
Goalkeepers may try to do things to distract a kicker, like moving from side-to-side or waving their hands. They may stand off center or move dramatically toward one side of the goal. All of this represents an attempt to influence the kicker to alter their routine.
Goalkeepers themselves may have routines that can be exploited. They may show a brief moment of hesitation before a kick or “guess” which side the kick is going to and dive that way. The kicker may take advantage of hesitation by shooting quickly. The kicker may take advantage of a goalkeeper’s guessing by simply placing the ball down the middle.
Goalkeepers are also known to try to “read” kickers’ eyes or to interpret the direction of the kick from the placement of the plant foot.
Under any circumstance, if the opportunity is available, coaches and penalty kick takers should scout opposing goalkeepers and maintain a written record, or “keep book,” on their routines and habits in order to take advantage of their behaviors or “tells.”
HAVE AT LEAST TWO KICKS
At the higher levels, especially based on the analysis of goalkeepers’ tendencies, penalty kick takers need to have the ability to have at least two different kicks in their arsenal. For example, if a goalkeeper consistently dives to their right, a kicker who prefers to go to their left needs to have a kick that goes to their right. Similarly, if a goalkeeper consistently guesses and dives either way, the kicker needs to be able to calmly place the ball down the middle.
Consistently practicing at least two penalty kicks not only develops confidence for the kicker, but may also help defeat anyone who is scouting the kickers.
As a tactic to try to fool goalkeepers into mentally preparing for a certain kicker, coaches may have one of their players – who is not going to take the kick – first pick up the ball. This is perfectly legal if this player basically stands back near the 18-yard line and gives no indication that they are going to take the kick. The actual kicker may then take the ball from their teammate and proceed to place it on the penalty mark shortly before the kick is to be taken. The act of placing the ball is recognized as self-identification.
MODIFYING THE APPROACH
After learning and consistently placing the ball for penalty kicks, kickers may take on the art of actively trying to fool the goalkeeper, getting them to go the wrong direction or simply having them not move at all.
This may involve a stutter-step during the run up or inserting a modification to body position or a change to the direction of the plant foot. It may also involve either self-analysis or professional analysis of one’s own technique to determine “tells” or changes that could be made to the kicking process.
Penalty kick takers may also review YouTube videos or other game video, particularly of penalty kick tiebreakers because they contain a lot of kicks in a short period of time, in order to glean options. As with all YouTube videos, however, it is absolutely necessary to watch with a very critical eye because anyone can make a video but not everyone gets it right.
One oddity of note is the success rate for balls kicked to the center of the goal or just under the center of the crossbar, due to the high rate of goalie departures from the middle.
THE “TAP” PENALTY KICK
There is an aspect of Law 14 that creates a situation for a very unique type of penalty kick “play.” This is often referred to as a “tap” penalty kick or a “two-man” penalty kick. Because a penalty kick is a re-start and the Law states that the ball must simply move forward to be in play, the initial kicker may just tap the ball and an onrushing teammate then shoots.
This is a very rare kick. It assumes that the goalkeeper expects a traditional shot, and will move to one side, and that the kicker’s teammate is not adequately defended. It may also be rare because, whether it is successful or not, one team will be embarrassed. Another rarity is that, if the onrushing teammate scores, the original kicker gets an “assist” on a penalty kick.
- Penalty kick takers should have the mind-set to want to do the job.
- Kickers should be well-prepared with a consistent shot.
- Kickers should be cool, calm, collected, and able to block out distractions.
- The top corners are the hardest for a goalkeeper to stop but are often missed high.
- The lower corners are usually the best target.
- As in all shooting, accuracy is key. Attempting full power usually reduces accuracy.
- Jogging to the ball on the run-up is generally the most efficient approach.
- Scout the goalkeeper.
- Add options.
- Visualize the result.
- Practice regularly.
Soccer Coaching Tips:
The focus of this article is on the penalty kick taker. The coach must ensure that the rest of the attacking team knows their duties and respond quickly when a penalty kick is awarded. The kicker must not have any responsibility to ensure that the rest of their teammates are in position. This is the responsibility of the coach.
Attacking teammates must be well aware of any decision by the coach or a player to ‘fake” using, or to actually switch, the penalty kick taker.
Attacking teammates must not be fooled by their own penalty kick taker using a “stutter-step,” “skipping,” or a “paradinha,” and enter the penalty area too soon. This is also true for a “tap kick,” where the penalty kick taker actually pushes the ball into play and an on-rushing teammate runs on to shoot.
When practicing penalty kicks as a team, coaches should include participants who represent and act as the referee and assistant referee.
Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken and completed at the end of each half of the match or extra time. When this takes place, the penalty kick is completed when, after the kick has been taken, the ball stops moving, goes out of play, is played by any player (including the kicker) other than the defending goalkeeper, or the referee stops play for an offense by the kicker or the kicker’s team. If a defending team player (including the goalkeeper) commits an offense and the penalty kick is missed or saved, the penalty kick is retaken.
Remember that feinting to kick the ball once the kicker has completed their run-up is not allowed, but feinting as part of the run-up is permitted. If the penalty kick taker fakes the kick, the referee is to caution the kicker.
A celebration of a goal scored by way of a penalty kick should be no different than that for a regular goal. (See “The Unwritten Rules of Soccer.”) The celebration should be off to one side and should never be made personal with the goalkeeper.
Anyone on the field at the time a penalty kick is awarded can take the kick, defenders included. However, their position must be covered. Even the goalkeeper could take the kick. The reason this is usually not done during the regular run of play is that, if the kick is saved, it is quite the sprint for the goalkeeper to get back in the net.
Be prepared! Although penalty kicks are relatively rare, they are game deciders. Get the right kicker. Who kicks cannot be a spur-of-the-moment decision. This may have to be the back-up kicker if the primary kicker was the player who was fouled.
Possible penalty kick takers must understand to tell their coach in advance if, for some reason, they are not confident, at that moment or ever, to take a kick. This is the right thing. There must never be any criticism or consequence on the part of the coach for a player having done so.
If a penalty kick has to be re-taken, the coach may replace the kicker.
No players should be allowed to trash a teammate for missing a penalty kick.
For the rest of the team on offense, see: “Penalty Kick – Attacking Team.”
For the team on defense, see: “Penalty Kick – Defending Team.”
See Law 10, “Determining the Outcome of a Match” for the penalty kick “shoot-out.”
Footnote: Ensure that the mark is properly centered. One way this can be done is by measuring essentially 12-yards-2-feet from each goalpost to meet at the 12-yard mark out into the field.
© Copyright, John C. Harves