Penalty kicks in soccer are an easy goal, right? Much like the free throw in a basketball game it seems like there is no reason why any player should miss a chance to place the ball in the back of the net from a position that can be practiced over and over again. You know the distance, the goal size, and you can practice the placement repeatedly. But ahh the pressure of the game. All eyes on you, depending on you to place the ball in the back of the net. What could possibly go wrong?
Well the good news is that there is no right or wrong way to take a penalty kick. What you should do is watch the video below to get a sense of the many techniques. Generally it is best to pick a side before you approach the ball. You can also go for power straight up the middle of the goal. You can even get fancy and use different parts of the foot to strike the ball. Take care in not letting your eyes betray which side of the goal you are going to aim for. Remember the goalie is watching and he or she has a 50% chance of guessing which side you are aiming for. So practice going low or high to increase your success rate.