Football Language Podcast: Pick your spot

Pick your spotIn this short football language post we explain the expression ‘pick your spot‘ and how it is used in football. Check out our football glossary  and  football cliches pages for hundreds more explanations of the language of soccer. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at:

Football Language: Pick your spot

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team – we hope you are all well and staying safe. And in this short football-language podcast we are going to look at the phrase ‘pick your spot‘. Don’t forget that there is a transcript for this report which can be accessed from our site here at

Stinger: You are listening to (in Irish).

DF: OK< today’s football phrase is ‘pick your spot‘ which is often heard when someone is shooting on goal. The verb ‘to pick‘ here means to choose and the noun ‘spot‘ refers to the place in the goal where the player wishes to aim their shot, so to pick your spot means to decide where the player exactly wants to place the ball when shooting. The meaning suggests that there is some precision in the shot – the player has not just hit and hoped but instead is very deliberate in their decisions – maybe low into the corner or straight down the middle of the goal.

We often hear this expression when a player is taking a penalty – the player taking the penalty (or spot kick) decides where they want to hit the ball, they pick their spot and hope the keeper doesn’t save it. Another occasion we might hear this phrase is when a forward is in a good position to shoot so we can say that they pick their spot before slotting the ball home., for example. The player picked their spot to leave the keeper helpless would mean that the keeper had no chance as the player carefully placed the ball into the net. Here’s an example from the BBC website.

Example: ‘Winger Eliasson kept his composure to pick his spot in the 87th minute following Jay Dasilva’s superb surging run…’ (, 18 January 2020)

Stinger: You’re listening to (in Dutch).

DF: Thanks everyone for listening – we hope you enjoyed our look at the phrase ‘to pick their spot‘ and how this is used in football. Listen out for examples of this word when you are watching football and maybe you can let us know how it is said in other languages. Drop us a line at You can of course, also leave comments section below the post here at languagecaster.

And don’t forget you can access the transcript by coming along to our site at languagecaster. And we’ll be back soon with some more football language. Enjoy all the football this week – talk you soon. Bye bye.

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here. If you have any suggestions, contact us at
Image Attribution: Oleg Bkhambri (Voltmetro)
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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