Meeting Abstract

P1.1  Friday, Jan. 4  Power, accuracy & deception: using evolutionary theory to improve scoring success in soccer penalties HUNTER, A*; WILSON, R S; The University of Queensland; The University of Queensland r.wilson@uq.edu.au

A successful penalty can mean the difference between winning and losing in the world cup final and can potentially earn professional clubs millions of dollars with a single kick of the football. But what performance traits underlie a player’s ability to be a great penalty-taker? Is it their kicking accuracy or power, their nerves of steel or maybe their artful ability to deceive others? During my project I am investigating the underlying basis of penalty success in soccer players using both analyses of performance and deceptive strategy. The soccer penalty represents a simplified game between the penalty-shooter and the goalkeeper and offers a novel system for studying the evolution of human performance and deception. Using models of performance optimization and deception, I am exploring this idea in an attempt to both predict and improve scoring success during penalty-taking. My early PhD work has focused on the trade-offs between power and accuracy during the penalty kick but during this poster presentation I will be discussing my planned future experiments over the next year.