In a penalty situation in Soccer (ok Football for those that are that way inclined), the ball takes about 0.28 seconds once kicked to reach the line of the goal. People with exceptional abilities have a reaction time of approximately 0.21 seconds. And this doesn’t take into account the time that goalkeeper needs to move to stop the ball. The odds are stacked heavily against the Goalie. So the keeper needs to have a strategy to prevent the opposing team from scoring. He/She needs to decide before the kick which way he will dive.
Statisically, penalties scored are roughly evenly distributed between 3 areas of the goal. Namely, left, centre or right. So technically a keeper would have as much chance of saving the ball if he/she just stood their ground in the middle of the goal.
So for what specific reason do goalkeepers go through the effort of demonstrating these beautifully acrobatic dives?
The equation: it’s more admirable and impressive to “try , and fail” than to be embarrassed by not moving and watching the ball race into the back of the net.
We tend to favour the approach ” look busy even if it doesn’t achieve anything.”
It’s not only goalkeepers that (consciously or unconsciously) use this approach.
Society heavily favours big, bold action to a logical and cautious approach.
Where in your life have you done something similar? You might not have even realised it.
Let’s hear your comments: