Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sports Scientists May Hold Key To Solving England`s World Cup Penalty Nightmares

06.06.2002


Research designed to enable a goalkeeper to significantly improve his chance of saving a penalty may help England to banish the penalty shootout nightmares that have dogged the team in major competitions over the past decade.



University of Greenwich sports scientists, working with West Ham United football academy, have completed a study proving that penalty takers subconsciously give readable physical clues to the direction of their penalty kicks. These clues could be used by goalkeepers to improve their chances of saving a penalty, as demonstrated by the study`s goalkeeper guinea
pigs.

"Various angles of a striker`s body were measured when taking a penalty, and two body parts were identified as giving an indication of the direction of shot: shoulder angle and angle of the standing leg," says the report`s authors, Al-Amin Kassam and Dr Mark Goss-Sampson. "Variations in these two body angles revealed which of three areas of the goal (left, right and centre) the ball was being struck towards."



"It is possible to train goalkeepers to read these visual clues in order to improve their penalty saving success rate," continued Al-Amin, "and indeed this is what we did in this study."

A West Ham youth team striker took 46 penalty kicks at a full size empty goal. A video camera was set up behind the goal at a height of six feet (about eye level for the average goalkeeper), which was zoomed in on the striker to mimic what a goalkeeper actually sees. Each penalty kick was recorded and the area of the goal that it entered was noted (left, right and centre).

The film clips for each penalty were relayed to a PC and evaluated by motion analysis software to enable the body angles of the striker to be measured, both during his run-up and as he was about to strike the ball.

Ten goalkeepers were shown the penalty kick video clips, freeze-framed just as the striker was about to kick the ball, and asked to predict which of the three areas of the goal the ball would be struck into. They were then instructed on the best visual cues to look for to try and accurately predict the direction of the penalty. When the goalkeepers were asked to view the penalty kicks once more, their prediction rate improved by around 9%.

"Many goalkeepers rely too much on their gut instinct and non-informative visual clues such as the direction a striker is looking when taking a penalty (strikers frequently disguise the way they are looking in order to confuse a goalkeeper)," said Al-Amin. "This leads to relevant visual clues being obscured, resulting in a misreading of the direction of a penalty taker`s shot."

"If a goalkeeper intensively practises recognising the relevant visual clues given by the striker`s shoulder and standing leg angles, then his reaction to these clues becomes automatic. The goalkeeper`s speed of sensory processing thus increases and the time available to react to the penalty strike is greater, increasing his chances of saving the penalty," said Al-Amin.

"A goalkeeper can further improve his chances by increasing the psychological pressure on a penalty taker, who will already be feeling under pressure from expectant team-mates and the crowd," says Al-Amin. "This can be done by a goalkeeper employing time-wasting tactics, making himself look as large as possible, and moving around sideways on his line in order to confuse the striker as to where he is going to dive."

"Although more research needs to be done in this area, I believe that the results of studies such as this one could help to significantly increase a goalkeeper`s chances of saving a penalty," says Al-Amin. "And a piece of advice to England penalty takers. Hit your penalties as hard as possible, as research indicates that a penalty struck at more than 20 metres per
second stands a greater chance of hitting the back of the net than a slower one, as a goalkeeper has less time to analyse visual clues and react."

Carl Smith | alfa
Further information:
http://www.gre.ac.uk/pr/pressreleases/673.htm

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Bergamotene - alluring and lethal for Manduca sexta
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How to color a lizard: From biology to mathematics
13.04.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>