Geir Jordet


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New River Books Ltd
30 May 2024
ISBN: 9781915780218
288 pages

From the publisher

Why is it that a top footballer can so easily crumble when called upon to take a penalty? Jordet's gripping examination of the ultimate sporting stress test offers a forensic analysis of how the mind operates under pressure.


Includes exclusive interviews with Erling Haaland, Martin Ødegaard, Robert Lewandowski and other Premier League players

'A gripping, surprising and deeply humane look at one of the most intense pieces of drama on earth.' James Graham, author of Dear England

'I can score penalties in my sleep, so why not that one?' Marcus Rashford, Euros 2021

The penalty shootout is the most intense drama in sport. The anxious wait, the building dread, the lonely, heavy-legged walk towards the penalty spot. One kick while the world holds its breath. Even football's most casual observers cannot escape the nerve-wracking suspense.

What happens to a footballer's brain and body in these heart-pounding moments of pressure? Why do some thrive while others choke?

In this ground-breaking book, sport psychology Professor Geir Jordet dissects each agonising element of the shootout's duel and the universal human stress mechanisms that it triggers and illuminates. Drawing on two decades of studying the atomic nuances of performance under pressure, Jordet's vivid case studies take you behind the scenes of football's most nail-biting moments. He interviews superstars and shares stories from his work with top teams and some of the world's best players.

In the penalty shootout, as in life, it is often the tiny, seemingly invisible decisions that impact success and failure. After reading this book, you will have fresh insights and a newly acquired understanding of those dreaded moments when the pressure builds - how to handle them.