Penalty kick situations will be avoided at most young ages, as putting the players in a win-or-lose individual situation can be too difficult. When your league begins implementing the penalty kick rules, it is time to teach the technique to your players.
Rules for taking a penalty kick
Generally, the player that is fouled in the penalty area will be the one to take the penalty kick. You can substitute a player to take the kick if needed. If it is a team foul, you will also select your strongest kicker to take the shot. The ball is placed on the penalty marker, and the kicker stands about three steps off the ball, approaches the ball, and takes the shot. The keeper cannot move in the goal until the shooter’s foot hits the ball.
Coaching the penalty kick
The best approach when teaching penalty shots is to have your players go for “far post,” i.e., send the ball into either of the low or high corners of the net, away from the keeper. The keeper will generally spring across the goal in either direction, taking a 50-50 chance that he picked the correct direction that the shooter is taking. Emphasize keeping the ball away from the keeper, and practice taking kicks over and over until your players feel comfortable.
A good drill for penalty kicks is to use a smaller goal from small-sided play and have your players shoot into that to hone their shot skills. Then, when they are faced with the regulation-sized goal, they will feel that they are shooting into a “bigger” area.