Missing Well: Optimal Targeting of Soccer Shots
15 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2008 Last revised: 28 Sep 2008
Date Written: 2008
Soccer coaches give contradictory advice about where to aim the soccer ball when shooting on goal. This article proposes an answer to the question of where to aim by asking not how to score but rather how to miss. The answer is then put to the test by examining the performance of top goal scorers in Europe and nearly every player in Major League Soccer. Missing well turns out to be a pretty good predictor of scoring on a high percentage of shots. A postscript considers why David Beckham seems to follow a much different shooting strategy with a high degree of success.
Keywords: Soccer, Shooting, Targeting, Beckham
JEL Classification: C10, C20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation