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.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. ...
  4. 6
  5. 7
  6. 8
  7. 9
  8. 10
  9. 11
  10. 12
  11. ...
  12. 20

  1. Sláinte Ange on

    Of course I wanted Frankfurt to win but had almost convinced myself that if it was not to be then I would not let it detract from our magnificent league victory.


    I say ‘almost’ but as the K.O. approached, I found myself unusually nervous, which only happens before a Celtic game.


    Did this mean that I truly wanted Frankfurt to win and could not thole any other result?


    Damn right it did!



    Mon the jam tarts!

  2. Scouts generally know the game and the league/team they are scouting for.



    This is why I believe sevco get less big sales to good leagues. Their players heavily rely fouling and diving and gets results in our game. And scouts will report that’s their style of play, the bad habits. Stats are good but reality much different.



    We simply, whomever the manager have a philosophy as a club, to play with a certain style moulding great players who often get ‘bigger’ (money but not stature moves) plus we couldn’t foul and dive as much as them as we’d finish bottom 6 with the way we’re ref’d.



    So, as long as they continue to play like cheats, they’ll never sell on big in my opinion.



    Ps hope they get beat today 😂🤣

  3. Turkeyboy



    PhilMac has just posted a link to the huns in Seville with their rendition of “I think were alone now” by Tiffany . Very, very classy behaviour as one would expect from a support with such a non-sectarian ethos. Obviously they temporarily misplaced their European song book outside that particular Spanish cafe, and reverted to type.

  4. quadrophenian on

    Couple of big results here in Oz tonight.


    In national elections looks like the Liberals (Tories) are struggling against a re-emergent Labor and independents [Teals]



    Even better, my local mob Western United [who wanted Broony as their inaugural marquee] cuffed the faves Melbourne Victory by 4-1, progressing to their first ever final, under former Socceroo John Aloisi:





    I’m delighted as a green and black member from the get-go !!

  5. The water stuff…………………….?


    Thought it was a wind-up………………………………!







  6. DAVID66 on 21ST MAY 2022 11:52 AM




    Yes, those Two Bad Bhoys…..BRRB and Leggy tried to get me drunk on Thursday….but I didnt join them until about 3.15pm, so I was the ” Fresh” Bhoy.


    I was ALREADY drunk on happiness from the Huns getting GUBBED anyway.





  7. UNCLE JIMMY on 21ST MAY 2022 10:36 AM


    Heavily conflcted, hoping for a Hearts win.



    Alas, I suspect they are pretty poor team…….




    Yes, alas they are – can spring the odd result vs us & them in the confines of Tynecastle – but today I fear it will be a ‘run of the mill’ win for the Ibrox club.



    Afterwards I would not be in the least surprised if the ‘stay at home bears’ made up for the lack of ‘action’ in Seville…..time will tell!

  8. !!Bada Bing!! on

    BB- Seville put a statement out,saying they closed the kiosks,as staff had been assaulted by the hun hordes.

  9. Slainte Ange – I felt exactly the same so didn’t watch them.



    Today, want hearts to do them but will not register with me if the orcs win. I’m busy thinking of journeymen football players who have won more Scottish cups than Taipei and his club since 2012. quite an extensive list so far.

  10. Very much enjoying the #SevcoDroutNames on twitter.



    Check it out if you haven’t already seen it.



    Sons of Drouth will not be topped but there are some absolute belters out there.

  11. From the leg-ends being wheeled out to ask them to behave all the way through to Watergate, Ryan Air trolling and of course Ramsey down peak Ramsey loan stuff this last week has been phenomenal fun. They could have really took the shine off our Seville. They appear to have added some additional lustre to it by being so unbelievably tin-pot in every single thing they do.



    The banter years really only took last year off. They are well and truly back.

  12. JHB on 21ST MAY 2022 1:19 PM


    Be careful. You posting a word beginning `Ra` and ending `rs` might be construed as having sinister undertones !



    Hope all is well in whatever part of the world you live.

  13. “ROBERTTRESSELL on 21ST MAY 2022 1:26 PM


    Sons of Drouth ”



    I like it ! :-)))

  14. One final (!) comment for now.


    I don`t care if Hearts win but I hope Sevco lose.

  15. Hi Bhoys



    See all this sh*** about (high foul count bassy) being pure dead brilliant if I’m not mistaken did the wee Frankfurt goal scorer not nip in front of him to put the baw in the net. Thus allowing the equaliser that led to the bestest penalty shootout ever ever ever.






    I hope you’re well.




  16. Sláinte Ange on

    Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda are called up to the Japan national team



    The Celtic duo have been included in the Samurai Blue squad for the friendly matches against Paraguay and Brazil.



    They are also part of the Kirin Cup semi-final appearance against Ghana next month.

  17. PHILCOOL on 21ST MAY 2022 2:22 PM



    Aren’t Sevco the most brilliant, world beating and bestist team ever to lose a cup final?






    No reporting of facts on bbc, just sevco pr.




    Facts are they are



    90 or 120 mins from winning sweet FA.

  18. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on




    It started with fat boy.



    Their media pals puffed him to death.



    Old Firm FC pimped him as best they could but no club was horny/desperate enough.



    No takers. Inevitable failure.



    So they moved on to Kent. Same result.



    Then Goldson. Same result.



    Then Kamara. Same result.



    Then Barasic. Same result.



    Then Aribo. Same result.



    Then back to fat boy. Same as before.



    Then Paterson. One success among the many failures.



    Now Bassey.



    Yawn. His pedigree is a media myth.



    Positives: (according to SMSM)



    Brilliant defender, strong, quick, brave, good passer, reads the game well, blah blah blah blah.






    Just one that you won’t read about.



    Static when the ball comes into the box while guy he is marking scores (!)




  19. garcia lorca on

    I see that BBC Scotland today sticking with the narrative of those 100,000 Rangers fans who travelled to Seville. That will now be baked in and unchallenged- bit like the club was relegated to the lower divisions.


    Like many others on here I have no interest in todays game unlike midweek when my brain was telling me and the world that I did not care about the result when all the time my heart was bursting with anxiety and apprehension.


    Really looking forward to next season.🍀

  20. Onil


    Can you imagine what it would’ve been like had they won on Wednesday 😨

  21. Hassan i Sabbah on

    STEPHBHOY67. OO err missus. Ye’ll have the Mary Whitehouse brigade on here out in force toute suite.



    Can’t disagree with the thrust of your argument.

  22. Just looking at Giofanni’s team selection.



    Either he is a brilliant manager who varies his selection to suit the occasion and the opposition






    He doesn’t know his best team







    He’s just a nice guy manager who likes to give everyone a game

  23. I would like it if this post was the last to refer in any way to today`s game.


    Cheerio for now.



    PS Come on the Jambos !!

  24. IniquitousIV on

    McShagger with a face like thunder on the bench. Does not look a happy camper. But then again, does he ever?

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. ...
  4. 6
  5. 7
  6. 8
  7. 9
  8. 10
  9. 11
  10. 12
  11. ...
  12. 20