If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you’re looking for quick-wins and long-term ways to step up your 5-a-side game.
Well the good news is, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Avec Sport, we know a thing or two about football. Our kits are worn on 5-a-side pitches, at Sunday league games and by professional teams too, so we’re pretty passionate about the sport. Over the years, we’ve worked alongside professional players, coaches, sports scientists and grass roots teams and have picked up a lot of tips and tricks along the way. In this post, we’ll share our top 5-a-side football tips for 2022, using the information we’ve picked up from professionals to share best-practice advice for your five-a-side team.
Value possession of the ball
5-a-side football is a quick game. Because of that, the value placed on keeping possession of the ball can go out of the window. This comes as no surprise, as playing from the back can be risky, as can playing the ball around the back during build-up play. Because of the risk element that can come with playing the ball backwards when on a small pitch, it becomes very tempting to simply go hell-for-leather to score a goal every time you get a sniff of the ball. However, this isn’t a strategy.
Statistically, the science points to teams which control possession win more games. To be more specific, according to a recent research paper “overall, teams with more ball possession won 49.2%, drew 22.0%, and lost 28.7% of the matches”. Although there are always exceptions, valuing possession of the ball will stand you in good stead for success.
We would recommend this approach for teams with the ability to control the game. If you feel less confident in possession than your opponent, then a counter-attacking strategy may be best.
As mentioned above, the ball moves quickly on a 5-a-side pitch. Because of this, it’s important to be communicating continuously throughout the game. With more information, players can make better decisions and will play with more fluidity when attacking and defending.
Many teams (particularly in five a side!), don’t place enough emphasis on not only communicating during a game, but including communication drills into their practice and even warm ups. Trust us - if you incorporate this into your practice sessions, warm ups and games - you’ll soon notice the difference on the pitch.
A good drill to use in football to practice communication, is to set up a small, square pitch (8-10mx8-10m), set up x4 goals and four teams of two or three. Two teams will play horizontally, with one defending each goal, while the other two teams play vertically. By having four goals and four teams on the pitch at once, players are forced to double their communication efforts to navigate through the traffic and score.
Get back quickly
Believe it or not, most five a side goals are scored on the counter attack. That’s because teams often outnumber and overload a team’s defence, leaving three or four vs two, or two vs just the goalkeeper. This makes it easy to score, as you can draw defenders in to make space or move the keeper for an easy tap in.
Because of that, it’s absolutely key in order to really take your five a side team to the next level to practice running back.
Particularly in a high-scoring football format like five-a-side, it can be easy to give up and double-up efforts to score the next goal, when the attitude should be to focus on defending as much as scoring - and that means lots of running back.
Plan counter-attacks like set pieces
As mentioned above, most goals are scored on the counter attack. That means the best teams will react quickly and mercilessly when they win the ball back and find themselves outnumbering defenders.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to practice sprint drills with the ball and 2v1, 3v2, 4v2 and 4v3 overload scenarios from the back. By practicing your counter attacks, this will ensure you take as many opportunities as possible to put the ball in the back of the net and will increase your conversion percentage every game.
Each overload scenario missed in five a side, costs you a goal and possibly the chance to win the game, so take our advice and practice your counter attacks as though they are 11-a-side set pieces.
Press as a team
Another common pitfall five-a-side teams make is not pressing as a team. If an individual decides on a whim to press high and aggressively, this actually leaves the team vulnerable to an overload scenario. Because of this, it’s critical that teams agree on a press strategy before the game and all stick to it.
We recommend incorporating your press strategy into your drills, and practicing multiple variations and refining the role and responsibilities of each player in the press as much as possible. By doing this, it will become second nature to the team to press at the right level and you’ll soon find your team winning back more ball possession higher up the pitch or forcing more mistakes from your opponents.
If you’re looking to elevate the performance of your 5-a-side team by using our top tips, then why not upgrade your kit too. There’s no doubt that having the right gear and looking like a professional team can elevate your game to another level.
Shop our full range of team football kits today - perfect for 5-a-side teams wanting to look smart on and off the field.