Anxiety, Attention Control and Performance Impairment in Penalty Kicks
The effect of anxiety on sporting performance has been an interest in the world of sports psychology for a long time. Studies have shown that when shooting soccer penalty kicks anxiety is the reason for a subpar performance. Professional players who believe shoot outs to be more of a lottery are more likely to miss the goal than those who believed it was under their control.
Goalkeepers are also often considered a threat and, as a result, increase the shooter’s anxiety causing their attention to be shifted. In the past it has been said to concentrate on the goalie and try to anticipate their move. However, it is now said that it is best to ignore the goalkeeper completely because, if not, the shot is more likely to be placed within their reach.
Wilson, M. (2009). Anxiety, Attentional Control, and Performance Impairment in Penalty Kicks. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 31: 761-775.