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penalty miss

Press Release - 07 December 2006

Science Café : the science of winning a penalty shoot-out

The secrets of winning a penalty shoot-out will be revealed at the next Bath Science Café taking place in The Raven pub in Queen’s Street next week (7.30pm, Monday 11 December 2006).

Dr Ken Bray from the Sport & Exercise Science group in the School for Health at the University of Bath will talk about research that shows exactly how the goalie should dive to make a save, and how the striker should place his shot to maximise his chances of scoring.

Ken will illustrate his talk with footage from international penalty shoot-outs that highlight the ‘heroes’ and ‘zeros’ of the penalty kick.

“Unfortunately there have been too many zeros in England’s recent penalty-taking history, and it is about time the national coach took on board the lessons that science can offer on winning a penalty shoot-out,” said Ken who is author of the popular science book How to score – science and the beautiful game.

“With the right kind of practice, discipline and psychology, teams can maximise their chances of winning this vital decider.

“We see this all the time with teams like the national German team, and in other sports such as rugby, where people like Jonny Wilkinson can repeatedly kick difficult goals under immense personal pressure.

“I hope that by the time England are next faced with a penalty shoot-out, they might have learned some of these lessons and will be more successful in the future.”

The Science Café is an ongoing series of monthly events where some of the country’s leading scientists will talk informally about their research over a pint.

The event will be held in The Raven pub in Queen Street in the centre of town. No tickets or reservations are required - just turn up at 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start.

Organisers will ask for a small voluntary donation to cover travel costs for the speakers.

Other Bath Science Café events already planned include a discussion on renewable energy and climate change on Monday 8 January 2007.

To register for e-mail alerts about forthcoming Science Café events, contact Melissa Spielman

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