What's the best way to stop a penalty kick? ~ Brand Mix

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What's the best way to stop a penalty kick?

Photo: ratterrell (Flickr)

According to a team of Israeli scientists, the answer is "Do nothing: Just stand in the center of the goal and don't move." The chances of stopping the ball are highest if the goal keeper stays in the center.

As reported in the New York Times Magazine, these scientists found that goal keepers, in fact, dived to the left or right 94% of the time. Why? They theorize that the goalies are afraid of looking indecisive. "They want to show that they are doing something," says Michael Bar-Eli, one of the authors. "Otherwise they look helpless, like they don't know what to do."

Which is interesting because typically, when faced with a tough problem, people tend to prefer to do nothing. Better to do nothing and hope the problem goes away.

Bar Eli suspects that leaders trying to solve the financial crisis are like goal keepers. The spotlight is on them so they have to do something even if staying the course might be the right answer. As an example Bar Eli says: "I know an investment manager whose clients will be calling him on the phone saying: 'Do anything! Just do something! I cannot sit and look at how my shares decline!'"

Hopefully they're going to guess the right way.

1 comment:

Tobias Singer said...

Doing nothing is clearly the best tactic if you want to save a penalty kick against Franck Ribery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKbBeLywNyg

I like the analogy between football goalies and the economical crisis. It's not limited to the crisis, though. I think most marketers choose action over doing nothing, even if they don't know if it's the right choice.

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