Penalties, systematic advantages, practice, always celebrate


Penalty competitions are not decided by random luck.  Teams from higher divisions win against lower division opponents more often than the reverse, by 8 percentage points.  That advantage pales into insignificance compared to the benefits of going first in a penalty competition.

A 2010 study published in the American Economic Review found a systemic first-mover advantage.  Teams going first in a penalty competition won on 60% of occasions.  The study found players had more success taking a kick that would put them into the lead, than when they were merely drawing level.

The difference was most pronounced comparing a kick to win a competition, which had a 92% conversion rate, with a kick to avoid defeat, which was successful on 62% of occasions.  This is a manifestation of Loss Aversion.  The fear of losing something hugely impacts our behaviour, far more than the prospect of winning does.  I could get distracted here and say the fear of losing 10-in-a-row took hold at Celtic Park, at the cost of where heads should have been.

Another 2010 study examined Emotional Contagion and penalty competitions.  Players who celebrated after their kick were more likely to be on the winning side than those who quietly returned to the centre circle.  Specifically, a player who immediately follows an opponent that celebrates extravagantly is more likely to miss than when this factor is controlled for.

This study’s conclusion is quite fascinating, “that emotional contagion is an important process in the context of elite sport performance.”  From all these years writing and reading CQN, I could suggest that emotional contagion works in all aspects of life.  It is a real thing that has an impact on those around us.

A 2012 article in Economic Inquiry promoted a tweak to penalty competitions.  Instead of Team A always kicking ahead of Team B, it suggested Team A – Team B, then Team B – Team A, or ABBA, not ABAB.  The ABBA system has been trialed and proven to eliminate the first-mover advantage, however, various authorities have thought it too confusing for fans!

Practice is a whole other area, one that was rejected on these shores for many years.  The challenge here is that the problem for an elite professional is not to kick a ball 12 yards, but to do so in acute circumstances that are impossible to replicated on the training field.

A 2010 study out of University of Plymouth found that practice through Functional Imagery Training was found to improve penalty kick outcomes (other types of practice, which were used as a control, did not).  So practice, but only if you know how to practice.

I also read a study that found if you are facing your own fans you are more likely to win a penalty competition, but I can’t find it……

We put a lot of work into finding advantages at Celtic.  Improving penalty outcomes is one of the clearest benefits we can achieve.  It is a bit too late for others.

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  1. A Player built like Count Bassey is what Celtic have been crying out for since Victor Wanyama left ,we’re is he now ?

  2. THE EXILED TIM on 21ST MAY 2022 8:47 PM



    I just had a wee look into it.The treatment I have used over the years ( various different inhalers) wouldn`t improve performance in non – asthmatics but there are other asthma drugs which would. I haven`t had those so I am still pretty slow on the bike :-)

  3. “JHB on 21ST MAY 2022 8:51 PM


    HOT SMOKED on 21ST MAY 2022 8:22 PM


    Might it be the fact that we thumped them 5-0, Baxter et al, in a friendly at Roker Park at the begining of ’65/’66, just months after Jock Stein took over?:”



    I think it might be something to do with a gradual lessening of my one time like for Newcastle ( the team, not the Brown Ale). Also, I went there ( Sunderland)many years ago and found the people really good. Apart from the real support for our real team, I think many fans have a soft spot for some team or other for a variety of weird and wonderful reasons !


    Cheerio for now.

  4. Didn’t watch the game today for two reasons, first, I knew they’d win and second, life is too short to watch their brand of football.



    Seen a few pics of Morelos on the sidelines, my goodness I don’t think that man is going anywhere this summer. I really can’t see anyone going in for him given his obvious lack of professionalism. The man is fat. I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t sign an extension.

  5. fairhill bhoy on

    JHB is most definitely a Celtic fan.So why he has decided to be a prick/troll is beyond me 🤦‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️🤔

  6. Hrvatski Jim on

    Congratulations to Josip juranovic on his engagement to his young lady Lana Mihojlevic which was announced today in Split



    I hope that Lana fancies life in Glasgow for a few years.

  7. fanadpatriot on

    In the middle of a great birthday party,it’s great to be a TIM,always remember when you wake up in the morning you are still a TIM HH

  8. The only slight annoyance about their consolation cup win is that the combined Govan Franchises playing out of Ibrox take their trophy haul up by 1 and will claim the associated primacy.



    4 ahead of the legitimate Celtic aggregate wins for the 3 domestics. A treble for us would have taken the gap to 2. A gap bridgeable next season.



    It also takes the current rangers franchise to 2 trophy wins in 11 seasons. That is now up there with St Johnstone but some way behind Celtic who won 21 in this period.





    That’s three times recently that I have watched him. He has most certainly matured and his all-round game is now complete.



    I know the consensus on here was “never go back” – but to me Paddy maybe could/should be an exception – he would fit in perfectly to Ange’s team. Paddy on the right, Jota on the left, Kyogo through the middle – now that would be exciting. I’m not discounting Abada – he is young and will emerge fully.



    Is PR coming to the end of his last loan period – is he now free from Man City?

  10. Burnley 78


    Unfortunately we’ve lost the battle with all the continuity crap – first cup since 2009 etc

  11. Apologies St Johnstone are still clear 2nd above Sevco as they have 3 wins in the past 11 years.



    Hearts Hibs Inverness Kilmarnock Aberdeen Ross Co St Mirren also winning solitary trophies in some instances due to abject mibery.

  12. prestonpans bhoys on




    Naw because we are retired😂 and in pursuit of a hobby. In caravan tonight, outside Aberfoyle , listening to the rain hit the van and I’m hitting the gin🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸

  13. Their win today was just a mild irritation to me.


    I said throughout the Season that they were not a bad team, they will now lose some & bring others in,



    We are also not a bad team and we will do likewise.


    Ange said it’s not the house that they build that counts , it’s the house that we build.



    We cannot influence who they sell or buy so just forget about them, enjoy the fact we are Champions and in the Group Stage of Champion’s League & let’s wait & see who we bring in.

  14. Gene



    That being so we should have really got closer in overall trophy haul this season. Today widens the gap to 4.



    Hopefully within 2 seasons, if Ange stays around we can overcome their combined efforts.



    We are already miles ahead in my lifetime and my wish for the past 20 years was to overcome them by the time my time is up.



    Only fear was any macro structural changes.



    My abject frustration is that we blew it in the Seville season plus 04/5 and WGS final year against financially doped outfits. That swing would have finished their claim to be the most successful team in the world…….not even the most successful in their city !



    Coming soon though. In Ange we trust.

  15. Corkcelt


    If we hold on to jota and ccv it will be a good start – think we need a bit of steel in midfield

  16. fanadpatriot on



    The sore head is worth it being a TIM ,but the party is beginning to heat up ,maybe am getting to old for this 😉only joking ,The night is young

  17. Timbhoy



    What is your point re Bassey ?



    No one would have signed the guy 6 months ago.



    There is something very strange about the guys recently found superhuman powers. He was a big physical heavyweight boxer type with limited mobility.



    He has developed significantly.

  18. Can we sign a coupla big lumps who can play a bit as well.



    A Bobo or two would be nice……

  19. On the day of the Europa League final Jim (Red,Blue &) White while broadcasting live for TalkSport from Seville stated that he had been informed by ‘the Authorities’ that over 100,000 ‘Rangers’ supporters were expected to arrive in the city. That despite the fact there were only hundreds, or a few thousand the previous evening. Some, working for BBC Scotland, Radio 4 and 5, but not all, had suggested something similar on Tues-Wed. Thursday morning still on air from Seville, White claimed that 150,000 had in fact been in situ in support. Only around 10,000 or so in the stadium fan zone though. BBC today still using the figure 100,000. Now the BBC is, amongst other things, a news gathering organisation, TalkSport too but less so, so why are they both continuing to peddle fake news? Never actually heard it Vox Pop wise. Now, if I was an investigative journalist, or even a lowly blogger, I might ask the question, just where are you getting your information, your facts? From the Barbers of Seville? From the wings of Pegasus? From which authority and on which basis are you repeating these numbers? And why?




  20. GENE on 21ST MAY 2022 9:43 PM





    He’ll stay with Sunderland now they’re in the Championship




    You’re probably right, however would a shot at the CL entice him? – can’t see Sunderland ever in that position. Of course Ange is the man…..but if he did fancy PR, maybe he would come back.



    Anyway delighted to see the wee guy fit & enjoying his football – seven years with Man City and yet never in their plans, strange really – why on earth did they buy him? He made good memories & left a good impression with the Celtic support. HH

  21. If I want to detest the Huns,and everything their vile,bigoted,sectarian,support,stand for,then that’s up to me,no one else.I do.


    If anyone wants to turn the other cheek to their vileness,and say we should not bother about them,then that’s up to them.


    Just dont come on preaching.

  22. Not so good news from France Re thems qualifying prospects.



    Monaco losing a 96 minute and ultimately worthless goal to Lens means Marseilles will no longer be possible opponents in the 3rd rnd and play off qualifiers for CL. Monaco is a less intimidating and to be honest weaker opponent on basis of recent form.



    The big match though is Milan tomorrow. As long as Milan match the inter result they win the title and take pot 1. This in turn means the Govan lot will be seeded pot 4 if they do qualify ( as we will be ).



    Ultimately we have to hope they get eliminated and don’t reach that level of course.



    The spl fixtures normally have us playing that lot week 4 of the season. This should mean a home game for us immediately after their European trophy qualifier tie and after we have no midweek game. It will be interesting to see if this normal situation does in fact happen next season.

  23. Its in the DNA of Sevco (formerly known as Rangers) to cheat.




    Bobby Madhuns blatant Cheating at Hampdump should have seen him never referee a game again. The Evidence of Bias in decision making was stark.



    I was shocked to see the smaller nation team get all the decisions in the Europa League final Sevco got to.



    Something disnae compute right.

  24. Burnley78 – This is bad news for sevco. Marseille would have been seeded in the 3rd qualifying round along with sevco, Monaco will be unseeded and therefore possible opponents, replacing Copenhagen or PSV who would take the last seeded place.

  25. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    For those who think the possibility of drug taking by Old Firm FC is fanciful ….



    … I’ll leave you with the words a fellow Celtic fan shared with me at the recent 4-1 league match against Hearts.



    If they can cheat taxes



    …. and cheat Covid






    Then they can cheat anything.



    Night all.

  26. I was right into the Harthouse label out of Germany back in the 90s…..



    The best on that stable, IMO, wiz Resistance D.



    Ztringz of Life is a Classic album, IMO (Tower Records cheers). If you like Dance/Trance music but not too fast, these guys were sublimebach in the Davie Hay.