BY MARCELO ROFFÉ *
After this emotional definition to “give birth” to the finalist, I would like to provide six psychological keys to understand what happened with Emiliano Martínez in the Argentina game against Colombia. It is not normal for a goalkeeper to save three out of five penalties executed. Here are the possible causes.
1) Martinez’s right moment
Draw was chosen the best goalkeeper in the best tournament in the world (Premier League) and was bought for 40 million euros. Soccer is moments. This opportunity came at the right time.
2) Work with a sports psychologist
In a talk aimed at youth archers to which Esteban Pogany summoned me, he said that he had had Martinez in Juveniles de AFA, who asked him a question and the archer confessed that the Working with an English professional is essential for him and for his confidence and mental strength.
3) Distraction strategies
In my second book “Pressure football” there is a chapter dedicated to penalties. As an archer make the kicker who sees the goal too small and the goalkeeper too big lose focus, is one of the secrets. And that Martinez did perfectly. Under pressure, if they talk to you and move you, it is much more difficult.
4) The evolution and study of the archer
The goalkeeper increasingly studies potential kickers. The stakes are high. It is an instance that cannot and should not be underestimated. How does the archer decide? And Draw told in an interview that he was preparing for penalties. Goalkeeping coaches, at this time Martin Tocalli, help him in that important mission. There are no certainties of where the rival can run but there are trends. Their security is not arrogance, it is the arrogance of those who know.
5) Penalties are not a lottery
Although we always think that there is a slightly higher chance of chance in this instance, preparation corners chance, reduces it. Ortigoza is the best example. First the technique, then the physical and then the mental.
Even so, look if it will be difficult for Ortigoza before taking the penalty for the final of the Libertadores needed to catch the ball and repeat “I am the best” ten times. Who executes and in what order?Why statistically does the starter win more times? Here even that was reversed.
6) Group harmony
It is not easy to represent a country. I have had to work in two World Cups and very few perform in the National Team more than in their club. The pressure is enormous. Many players, since there is no sports psychologist in the team, have it in private. What helps a lot is what Scaloni achieved: building a team. That not all balls go to 10.
.That there is a structure that allows him to show the best of his exceptionality and that there are other figures. For example, Draw. Hopefully this Saturday “the trauma” of the lost finals does not affect and Messi can lift the well-deserved cup that we all want against Brazil. And if it’s for penalties, better …
* Marcelo Roffé is a psychologist specialized in sports, co-author of the book: “The ball is not always at 10 or 23”