The Psychology Behind Missing a Penalty in Soccer/Football - Craffic

The period leading up to a shoot-out is very tense and filled with tension. A research study found that the reason behind the missing penalties may be brain activity. Max Slutter from the University of Twente in the Netherland with his team made a study and analyzed the brain activity of soccer players who were choked when attempting to score a punishment were overthinking the results of lost a shot. 

Most soccer supporters are terrified of penalty shootouts. Talking of greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both have missed 22% and 26% (respectively) of all the penalty kicks they have ever taken. For another example, the English team has had some notorious misses over the years, and their record from the penalty spot is fairly grim. Remember Beckham’s penalty spot mistake against Portugal in the 2004 European Cup? He certainly does. He certainly does. Punishments can go in any case, which makes them energizing to watch, yet they bring up certain issues about suspense under tension.

Slutter asked, “How would football players with near-perfect ball control that can perfectly kick a ball over 50 meters but they unable to score an extra shot from just 11 meters?” 

We acknowledge that cerebral stress is a circumstance, so what is the reason for the missed penalty? We tried to resolve this by estimating football players’ cerebrum activity during the execution of an extra goal.

Slutter and colleagues recruited 22 participants to kick the penalty and measured their cerebrum activity using a technique known as effective near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Wearing a headset with fNIRS allows researchers to track the movement of the mind. The investigation is easy to look at the neuroscience underlying suffocation in real-world situations.

Penalty Shootout

The volunteers tried to score penalty under various pressing factor conditions: with an open objective, against an agreeable goalkeeper, and in a high-pressure circumstance where the goalkeeper endeavored to divert them and there was a prize in question.

Dr. Nattapong Thammasan of the University of Twente said in the press release, “We find that players who were able to work under pressure stimulated task-relevant areas of the brain.” He added “For example, prolonged activation of the motor cortex was associated with operating under pressure. That looks logical, as action is one of the most significant elements when practicing a penalty.”

The pre-frontal cortex was involved in players who had more agitation and a proclivity to miss. This part of the brain is associated with long-term thought, suggesting that players were more concerned with the implications of missing the penalty than with the goal at hand.

Surprisingly, the researchers suggest that fNIRS technologies may help players perform better under pressure by revealing how their brains are acting. They believe that in high-pressure environments, players should prepare themselves to stimulate advantageous brain regions.

By utilizing the fNIRS during preparing, the players might be retrained to support the engine cortex when in high-pressure circumstances, the creators recommend in their paper, distributed in Outskirts of Software engineering.

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