Penalty shootouts are a gaudy neon thread woven into the fabric of soccer worldwide. Loved and despised simultaneously, the PK shootout is a always full of emotion, stress, the agony of defeat, and high of victory.
No matter the level of soccer, World Cup knock-out rounds down to rec tournaments, penalty shootouts bring out a range of emotion Hollywood actors wish they could bottle up and keep in their pockets.
I stood among parents and family members during a recent penalty shootout at a Cal South National Cup championship game. The stakes and stress levels were high, as the winners would go on to compete in Hawaii at the US Youth Soccer Far West Regionals.
Here are anonymous quotes from parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings throughout the shootout…
“You gotta go right away. Don’t go high. Go right or left.”
“My kid is pretty decent at this. I hope she’s in the lineup.”
“I hate PKs.” (I feel ya, dad)
“You got this!”
“I don’t want her to take one! She hasn’t been at practice this week!”
“You got this!”
“Nobody better kid!”
“Two strike batter, nobody better!”
“Here we go kiddo!”
“Try to kick under her!”
“She’s making me nervous!”
“Read it! Read it!”
“Dance around honey! On your toes!”
“Aw. Good try.”
“Nothing you can do about that one.”
“Keep it up!”
“I’m at 180 BPM right now!” (checking pulse)
“I have no fingernails left.”
“She had a bead on that!”
“What a save!”
“Low and to the corner!”
“We know you got this!”
“Show her how big you are! Put your arms out!” (it worked…)
“That’s the most stressful thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, and I wasn’t even on the field!”
“Now I can put my Hawaii shirt on!”
“We won! Who cares how it ended?”
“That was intense.”
“Wow. What a day.”
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Every soccer player and soccer parent has one!