Monday, July 11, 2011

PK Shootout- The Ultimate Test

There's not a lot of things that I can imagine being more stressful than taking a penalty kick in a shootout after two overtimes... in a World Cup Quarter-Final. Ok fine, maybe taking a PK in a World Cup Final.

But wow, I watched the USA Women's Team really step up in their match against Brazil today in the Women's World Cup. I'm sad to say that I missed the match, but I heard it was sensational... some poor officiating and a baloney call to allow Brazil to retake a PK that Hope Solo brilliantly saved. And talk about dramatic... taking it into the dreaded penalty kick shootout. I commend each and every player that stepped up to the line to take a penalty kick for their respective countries. With so much at stake and all those fans watching, not to mention teammates and coaches and family and friends, it's a wonder how they keep their cool.

I gotta hand it to the US though for beating Brazil 5-3 in the shootout. 5/5 is impressive. I went back to watch footage of the shootout and all of them were well placed. Kudos to Solo again for a great save on a decent PK. The fact that the USA triumphed without missing a single penalty kick, after being emotionally shaken up during the game for the bad officiating and being behind, really goes to show the extent of their training.

It's like anything else in life that deals with pressure. Musical performances and auditions, for example. You just have to practice enough so that you can calmly perform even under pressure. The hardest thing to do is t to not psych yourself out. You have to drown out any doubts that you have and have confidence. After all, trusting yourself in such dramatic moments is the test between victors and losers.

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