Being a strong and reliable penalty kick taker can make any youth soccer player an extremely valuable asset to their team. Whether a PK is needed to secure a key equalizer after your or one of your teammates gets taken down in the box, or if your tournament championship match comes down a PK shootout, there’s no better feeling than confidently knowing you’re prepared for the high-pressure situation.

Conversely, there’s no worse feeling than when your number is called to take a PK, and you feel woefully unprepared for that moment. Thus, it’s vitally important for youth soccer players to put in the physical and mental work that’s needed to be ready to come through for your team with the game on the line.

To become good at taking penalty kicks in soccer, you can try the following tips:

1. Practice your technique: The first step to becoming good at taking penalty kicks is to practice your technique. Focus on striking the ball cleanly with the right part of your foot and using the correct amount of power and accuracy. Practice shooting at different spots on the goal to improve your accuracy and versatility.

2. Visualize success: Before taking a penalty kick, take a few moments to visualize yourself scoring. Picture yourself making the perfect kick and the ball hitting the back of the net. This can help you stay focused and confident when it’s time to take the kick.

3. Stay calm: Penalty kicks are high-pressure situations, but it’s important to stay calm and focused. Take deep breaths to relax yourself and try to block out any distractions. Remember that you have prepared for this moment and you are capable of scoring.

4. Pick a spot and stick with it: When taking a penalty kick, it’s important to pick a spot on the goal and aim for it. Don’t try to outsmart the goalkeeper by changing your mind at the last moment, as this can throw off your timing and accuracy. Trust in your ability to hit the spot you have chosen.

5. Be confident: Confidence is key when taking a penalty kick. Believe in yourself and your ability to score. Approach the ball with a positive attitude and don’t let any doubts or negative thoughts creep into your mind.

By practicing your technique, visualizing success, staying calm, picking a spot and being confident, you can become good at taking penalty kicks in soccer.

For more advice on taking penalty kicks, watch the videos below: