Whether you have just taken up the wonderful sport of 5-a-side football or are a veteran of hundreds of epic matches, everyone wants to improve their game. This article lists a host of useful tips to let you do just that!
For both teams and individuals, we have compiled some of our favourite hints and advice to get the most out of your pitch time.
While we can’t guarantee that these will turn you into the next Lionel Messi or Manchester City, these few simple guidelines can help give you an edge over the competition.
5-a-side is a sport that is suitable for all ages. As a youth, your playing style may have been more akin to a headless chicken chasing every ball and every lost cause. That’s fine, as that’s what being young is all about, it is how the game is learned.
However, as I know all too well, energy levels like these are not something that stays with us as we age. Learn to conserve your energy and put all that experience to good use and play smart and with purpose.
Let the headless chickens do the running!
Football is a team sport, and like all team sports great communication is essential. In the heat of battle, it is easy to forget this, and constant communication can stop a team from playing like it’s every man for himself.
Teams that don’t communicate struggle to put together and stick to effective strategies. It is important to talk! If cover is needed or someone needs a little encouragement, don’t be afraid to let them know.
One common mistake that newcomers make when first playing 5-a-side is that there is no organisation needed. This is especially true when they are used to the 11-a-side game where formations are more rigid, and organisation is the key to this.
But all good 5-a-sides understand that organisation is also important in the smaller game. Positional play isn’t as important in the 5-a-side game, but it still has a role to play, especially when the opposition is breaking or for quickly knowing where you should be when they sneak a quick-free kick in!
Organisation off the pitch is important too! Understanding your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses allows you to play on these. Knowing the dangermen and the weak link in opposing teams gives you a great head start.
Stay on your feet
Staying on your feet for as long as you can and not rashly diving in is applicable at any level and type of football. However, if someone takes themselves out of the play in the 11-a-side game, there are still another 9 outfield players to cover for them.
In the 5-a-side game, diving in will deprive your team of 25% of its outfield players! The moral is to stay on your feet as long as possible. Instead of lunging in with a killer tackle, try to guide the player away from the goal and concentrate on blocking the ball.
Defend as a team
You may have some top-notch defenders in your team, but 5-a-side teams need to defend as a team, with every outfield player getting behind the ball when required.
Another important fact in 5-a-side defending is to leave a man at the back at all times. Okay, if your team is chasing an equaliser in the last minute of a tournament final doesn’t matter, but otherwise, this is always best to do.
5-a-side games swing from defence to attack quickly, with counter attacks happening in the blink of an eye. Nominating a player or method to ensure there is always cover should be part of your pre-match “organisation.”
Most importantly – Have fun! At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good you are or how seriously you take the above tips – Having fun is what 5-a-side football is all about!
From the social aspect of the game to the health benefits, 5-a-side football is the perfect way to enjoy time with your mates and look after your well-being. And if these tips make it that wee bit more enjoyable, then all the better!
We hope you enjoyed our tips on how to improve your 5-a-side game! At Astropark, we want all our customers to get the very most out of their playing time, and we hope this article helps you dazzle your opponents.
If you want to know more about our astro outdoor facilities, please get in touch. We are Dublin’s premier all-weather football facility and much more besides.