Huge "choke" effect reported in soccer
According to an academic quoted in this NYT article, there's a huge "choke" effect in soccer penalty kicks.
Gier Jordet, a professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, reports that, when the score is tied, penalty kick shooters succeed at a 90% rate. But when the shooter's team is behind by a goal, and presumably there's more pressure, he succeeds only 60% of the time.
Wow. That's some serious choking. The effect is so large I can barely believe it.
Another effect Jordet found is that, when the game is decided by penalty kicks in a "shootout" after a drawn match, shooting percentages drop with each successive attempt:
"... 86.6 percent for the first shooter, 81.7 for the second, 79.3 for the third and so on.
“It demonstrates so clearly the power of psychology,” [Jordet] said."
That's difficult to explain too, although I suppose it could be that the team puts the best shooter out first, then the next best shooter, and so on. That would neatly account for the decline.
Still, these are both very surprising results. As always, anyone with access to the studies the article is based on, if you wanted to send along a copy, I'd appreciate it.
(Hat tip: Elizabeth)
UPDATE: Part II is here.