Is it better to go first in penalties?
Before answering that question, note that a penalty is the most stressful thing in soccer.
During a penalty shootout, the coach picks the penalty takers based on various criteria. But who should be the first one during a penalty shootout and why?
This is what you are going to find out in this article.
This article is going to be divided into two parts: The first part will give you the criteria of the player who should go first in penalties. The second part will explain whether it’s better for your team to get the first kick in a penalty shootout.
Let’s get started.
1-Is It Better To Go First In Penalties?
Yes, it is better to go first if and only if you are the second-best penalty taker in your team. The second-best penalty taker of a team should always go first during a penalty shootout to lead the way and release the pressure from the team. If the first penalty is scored, the whole team gains a psychological advantage.
The first penalty has a huge impact during a penalty shootout. So, choosing one of your best penalty takers to start is always recommended.
Just like the 90 minutes of the game, a penalty shootout also has strategies. You can’t just designate any player to take penalties. You have to pick players based on their capacity and ability to take it and handle the pressure.
Related article: What is a penalty in soccer?
This is why it’s important to observe your teammates during the training.
All the players of a team should know who is the best penalty taker or at least, the best two.
But why should the second-best penalty taker be designated and not the best one?
Should The Best Penalty Taker Go First?
As the best penalty taker in a team, it’s important to take the 5th position during the penalty shootout.
Remember, a penalty shootout takes place with 5 penalty takers for each team.
The last penalty is always crucial as it often decides the winner. In this case, the best penalty taker should take it.
Keep in mind that being the best penalty taker doesn’t necessarily mean that they will score the last penalty.
Anything can happen during a penalty kick. But your best penalty taker has to be able to handle the pressure and focus if they want to score.
Something you should also take into consideration is that the best penalty takers out there also want to be considered heroes. That’s one of the reasons they are put in the 5th position.
This helps them gain a lot of confidence. If they have confidence, it’s good and useful for the team.
There is a reason why the biggest soccer players out there always take the last penalties.
For example C.Ronaldo, Neymar, Jorginho, etc.
Those players have three things in common: They always take the last penalties, they are the best penalty takers in their team, and they can handle the pressure better than their teammates.
Now you have a better idea of who should take the first penalty. However, is it better for your team to get the first kick in a penalty shootout?
2-Is It Better For Your Team To Get The First Kick In A Penalty Shootout?
History has shown that most penalties shootout have been won by the team that didn’t get the first kick.
Well, when the opposing team takes the first penalty and misses, this means that your team has the opportunity to score, lead, or win the shootout. Taking a penalty after the other team can give a boost and a great advantage, especially if your opponent missed.
For example, during the 2016 UCL final between Real Madrid and Atletico, C.Ronaldo took and scored the 5th(last) penalty during the shootout right after that an Atletico player missed.
However, you also have to take into consideration that when the opposing team takes the first penalty and scores, your team is under pressure and it will continue this way during the entire shootout.
So, knowing whether your team should take the first penalty in a shootout is not so important. What’s so important is to put your best penalty takers and ask them to focus, be confident, and release the pressure.
Plus, knowing who should take the first penalty in a shootout is, in most cases, decided by a coin toss.
Just be prepared to go first or last.
The second-best penalty taker should go first in penalties.
However, the best penalty taker should take the last one.
As the best two penalty takers in their team, they are more than likely to handle the pressure better than the others.
Plus, if the first and last penalty is missed, this can negatively impact the team more than the second, third or fourth’s.
Hope you have gained value from this article.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.