6 ways to step up your 5 a side game

It’s the one night of the week which is yours. The floodlights beat down, you have your MFC training kit on, and all your mates are around you – it’s the only time you get to unleash your inner Messi. It’s 5 a side night! 

But do you find that you don’t always play the best that you can? Here at MFC Official Direct, we’re going to give you all the tips you need to step up your 5 a side game. 

1. Be tactical

It’s supposed to be fun, but we all know that 5 a side is serious and the best way to improve your gameplay is by being tactical and organised. You may think that it is too much, but having a formation for a 5 a side game isn’t too bad of a tactic to adopt. It will probably go down the drain after the first five minutes but if you have four players who all decide they want to become strikers your defence will be shot. That means that your goalkeeper will be left wide open and let’s face it – do you really want that to happen? Having a specific role will not only mean you have full coverage, but it will also make your team more organised than your competitors which will give you the edge you need. 

2. Communicate

Making sure that all of your players are on the same page is important. You don’t want Gary daydreaming about what he’s going to be eating when he goes home when the notorious striker you’ve been dreading to play is the opposition. 

Giving each other steady encouragement and a heads up will be an important tip which will improve your gameplay. The Goalkeeper should constantly be assessing the pitch to try and scope out what is happening and communicate this with the rest of the players. 

3. Keep a player at the back at all times

The fast-paced nature of 5 a side means that gameplay can change rapidly and the pitch size is often limited. With this in mind, it is important always to keep a player towards the back at all times. 

It doesn’t have to be a designated player, but it is vital to have someone at the back when you are attacking just in case the tables are turned, and it becomes a counter-attack. This means you will have someone at hand to 

4. Sniff out the weakest player

You don’t have to be Anne Robinson to find the weakest link on the pitch – they’ll reveal themselves naturally. Use this to your advantage and actively play towards them (this depends on how bad they actually are) but by giving them lots of space so that their teammates will pass the ball to them allowing you to put the pressure on them. It may sound like a cruel tactic, but we know how badly you want to win. 

5. Get fit!

With fewer men on the pitch, you will have more possession of the ball. Studies of 5 a side games have shown that a 60-minute game will give a player 4 times the number of touches of the ball than a full 90 minute game of regular football with 11 players would. 

This means that you have to be fit as you will be working far more than you would usually. 5 a side also requires a lot of short bursts of energy including sprints and quick directional changes which require a player to be physically fit. So if you want to shine on the pitch, you may have to put the hours in the gym beforehand. 

6. Know the basic rules

You may think that you know all there is to know about 5 a side football, but there may be some surprising rules that you don’t know. 

How to play 5 a side football 

  • Team size – this one may seem obvious, but there are rules about how many players can be on the pitch. A game can be officially played with only 4 players, but no more than 5 should be in play including the goalkeeper. During mixed league games, there must be at least two girls on the pitch at any one time. 
  • Substitutions – During any point in the game, a substitution can be made, and there is no limit to the number of substitutions which can be made. Play will continue if a goalkeeper is being substituted and is putting on their gloves (harsh we know, but it could be used in your favour.)
  • Other Rules – Since there is no official board which regulates the rules of the game, it is expected that when the regular rules of football can be applied that they are. In other areas, you will find that this is not achievable which brings us to some of five a sides more specific rules. 
  • There are no offside rules. 
  • The goalkeeper may only kick the ball if he or she is making a save. 
  • Goalkeepers can only distribute the ball with their hands. 
  • If a player is given a yellow card, then this may result in them being placed in the “sin bin” for a period of time which has been predetermined before the start of the game. 
  • As much as you may want to try and show off your prowess slide, tackling and charge tackles are banned and will result in a yellow card. 

How long is a five a side football match? 

  • This usually depends on the venue and level of play in which the match is played. Many amateur players hire out a pitch for play and have an allocated time slot which is usually one hour. 
  • Some other gameplays are shorter due to the high intensity of the game and are 10-20 minutes per half with a rest in between. 

If you would like to show off your taste for a great football team, then you can always show up to your 5 a side game in the selection of MFC Training Clothing. Within the range, you will find comfortable clothing which has been designed for you to have full motion access, including shorts, joggers and training tops. 

Now that you have all of the tips to make your 5 a side game the best it can be we expect you to win – the most important tip of all is to remember to have fun during your game no matter how seriously you take it.

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