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. JHB on 20TH MAY 2022 5:24 PM





    I was singing and dancing in my local Pub when that Bitch THATCHER DIED…



    How did YOU Re -Act….now let me guess ?

  2. If you look at Tavernier and Ramsay penalties, Taverniers was actually worse. It’s just that the keeper dived the other way.


    If you are going to go down the middle, lift it up a bit and don’t go too hard. Give the keeper a chance to get out of the way.


    If Ramsay had trundled his gently along the ground he probably would have scored as the keeper had dived to the side.

  3. I have NO DOUBT that the streets of Glasgow will be TRASHED after the Huns play the Mini Huns in the


    Scottish Consolation Cup Today.


    I am not just talking about any VAST Amounts LITTER…


    Will the MEDIA produce PHOTOS of that carnage ?



  4. Philbhoy,



    I doubt that anyone on here though Ange could turn round a train wreck so quickly. Most of us had never really heard about Ange.



    We saw the board dither for months over Eddie Howe and it looked like Ange was a very much afterthought and a panic appointment.


    Let’s face it, 99% of the support were wrong.



    What an appointment it has turned out to be , and this is just the beginning.


    His signing of Joe Hart was inspirational. ( Possibly the most important position on the park )


    Joe Hart gets us and his wealth of experience brings more than a good goalkeeper to the table. I doubt if I have ever seen such affinity for the club from a player with no connection. ( No doubt there will have been others equally spellbound)



    Joe will have at least two good seasons with us and perhaps a follow up coaching role ?



    Was in a pub in Dyce on Thursday, the owner told us that joyous scenes on Wednesday night would mirror any Celtic minded pub. The huns are really dispised up there.



    As for today , couldn’t give a toss. Heading down to Leeds for a few days. Its a long held tradition that if Celtic is not in the final, I make sure I’m not about.



    I loved BR as manager, I will always be grateful for the professionalism and pride he brought us, however his achilies heel, ie Europe cost us dearly in the longer term.



    Ange has recognised the importance of European football to Celtic. Brilliant, at last.



    I truely feel that we have only just started on our magnificent journey.



    I just can’t get enough.



    Cheers and HH.

  5. Alan McGregor is long past his best. We have all witnessed it and many of us have commented on it.



    I would wager that he would have got to one of these penalties five years ago.



    That’s why Ange will never stop. Time waits for no man and football is a dynamic sport.




  6. What has Ange done ?



    He has restored our enthusiasm.. He is resetting the standards.


    It has been a long time since I have enjoyed a season so much and eagerly looking forward to the next.



    We have taken on and comprehensively beaten a good European finalist hun team.


    We are a good team and will only improve we should never negate our achievement by belittling the opposition.



    HH, the journey continues.




  7. Good morning all from a windy, grey skied but dry at the moment Garngad.



    Feckin woke up at 4.45am and could not get back to sleep. 😣😣😣



    I want the Huns pumped today by the mini’s and then watch them turn on wee Gio for a trophyless season.



    Cant stand them, never liked the DEED Klub or it supporters and I do not like the new Klub or its supporters and their pals in the meeja. 90% of their support are bigots that take part in unsavoury singing. Enough said not a minority, A MAJORITY. UEFA know it and have acted accordingly. SFA know it but shite their selfs to act. DISGUSTING.


    I am watching the unfolding narrative that they lost against Frankfurt as the Bears had no water to cheer the team on.😂😂😂 So did the 11 players on the park have no water as they were PISH.


    Make no mistake that’s the undercurrent here.



    Onto the magnificent Glasgow Celtic, I hope Ange can get our business done early.



    A word of caution for us all wanting us to do well in europe, we now have a manager that might make inroads there but he needs the backing of our corrupt board. Do not hold your breath.






    D :)

  8. My friends in Celtic,



    It is clear to see the huns had nowhere near 100k in Seville. Basic economics is probably the main reason, and I think their support suffered from predominantly having well heeled fans in attendance.



    As always we can learn. Let’s ensure that our European journey at Parkhead is priced to sell.



    Let Ange and Mark Lawwell find the bargains and use some of the CL riches to help our fans.



    Dynamic pricing to mitigate government mismanagement of the economy, highest tax burden for 70 years, rocketing inflation ( highest for 40 years ) etc, etc.



    Our supporters are not immune. Eye on the ball Celtic. Let’s ensure the fans are indeed no 1 and our fiscal planning reflects that.



    HH to all.

  9. Sláinte Ange on

    QUADROPHENIAN on 20TH MAY 2022 11:37 AM



    Ko Itakura is under 6ft and 76kgs soaking wet.




    According to Wikipedia, Ko is 6ft 1.3 inches, taller than about 90.2% of men and 100% of women in the USA.

  10. Good morning from a bright North Staffs



    Fanadpatriot happy birthday have a great day 🍀🎉

  11. I want the Huns pumped today by the mini’s and then watch them turn on wee Gio for a trophyless season.







    Cant stand them, never liked the DEED Klub or it supporters and I do not like the new Klub or its supporters and their pals in the meeja. 90% of their support are bigots that take part in unsavoury singing. Enough said not a minority




    ME Too……!


    HH DAVID66 Mate.

  12. bigrailroadblues on

    Good morning all from Govanhill. Choice of pubs narrowed down today because those manky racists are playing just near here. Don’t think the Queens Park Cafe will have seating outside today. 😡




    You are in top form this morning my friend (as usual!)!



    Re Ange. By the time we signed him we all knew of his track record at club and international level.



    I was delighted with the the signing and made no predictions of success or failure.



    But as always, hope was in my heart, and Ange delivered big time.



    My biggest fear was after dithering with Howe we might end up with a Celtic legend like Mark McGee or Paul Lambert.



    Anyway enjoy your holiday and take care!

  14. prestonpans bhoys on

    Anyone know what the distribution of tickets are for the final, 50/50?



    Apparently there are four 50 seaters plus two mini buses from Prestonpans 😱