School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


29 Jun 2021

Did England's World Cup 2018 shoot-out win lift the penalty hoodoo? (VIDEO)

As England step up preparations for this evening’s Euro 2020 last-16 match against Germany, the eyes of the nation – and the world – will be on London's Wembley Stadium.

With the prospect of the dreaded penalty shoot-out at the back of many minds, Dr David Fletcher, Senior Lecturer in Performance Psychology and Management, discusses whether Gareth Southgate’s side have now overcome the apprehension of penalty kicks in major tournaments, following the victory over Colombia in the 2018 World Cup.

Speaking to Loughborough University, Dr Fletcher said: “The golden rule in sport psychology is to control the controllables. You can control when you walk up to the penalty spot…when you put the ball down, how you move back, where you look with your eyes…it’s blanking out the crowd and the goalkeeper.

“However, nothing quite beats being successful and winning shoot-outs…hopefully [if the time comes], we can shake off some of the heartbreak of previous competitions and be successful.”