Top 5 tactics tips for winning 5-a-side football teams

20th September 2021

We shared our thoughts on key components of a quality 5-a-side team a few months back, but we thought we could go even more granular and give you something deeper that was useful for every team - no matter how dry the players are. 

So, here are our top 5 tactics tips for 5-a-side teams!

1)      Goalkeeper distribution

It won’t come as any surprise to experienced players that we think the GK is the most important player in most small sided football teams, and especially in 5-a-side football teams where there are so many shooting opportunities from so close in. Positioning, shot stopping, communication and distribution are the keys here, and you want to make sure you can find someone willing to go in net, organise from the back, and use the ball carefully when they’ve got it - and this is a key tactical point!  

In our experience the #1 reason for teams conceding easy goals is deranged GK distribution – trying to thread through balls from back to front between 7 players, playing out too early, throwing the ball into the air unnecessarily, and just being plain inaccurate. Get your GK to keep it simple, play it out wide in front of your defenders (think full backs) and keep it on the floor.  It’ll cut out a ton of basic errors that cause you problems, we promise!

2)      Shoot!

Everyone knows the goals in 5-a-side football are low and wiiiiide, so everyone should be hitting shots often and early. Strikers are always up for shooting, but midfielders and defenders are often less trigger happy, especially those used to playing 11-a-side, but with the smaller pitches you can easily get close enough to fire off a reasonable effort, so maximise your opportunities and fire in as many efforts as you can once inside the opposition half.

3)      Formation

I mean, there’s not a load of options here, and whether you’re going with some variation of 2-2 or a 3-1 (surely no one’s playing 0-4) the key is to make sure you’ve got bodies in the middle of the pitch all the time to make your team hard to break down and to force the opposition out wide, narrowing the angles for shots and squeezing them into the corners. We’re personally big fans of a 1-2-1 system requiring huge work from the two ‘wide’ midfielders and ball playing composure from the CB. Whatever you choose to do, pack out the middle whenever you don’t have the ball and make it hard for the other team to get a clear sight at goal!

4)      Use the squad – rolling substitutions are your friend

Football is a team game, but more than that, it’s a squad game. Bring an extra player or two and make maximum use of your subs. You can make as many substitutions as you want (rolling subs) so players should be working flat out all game, coming off as soon as they can’t keep it up (the workrate that is). In so many even 5-a-side football matches it’s the team who’s fitter who will win, being able to press faster and longer, get back in position easier, and get forward more often to support and shoot.  Get the team fit, and bring the squad to share the work.

5)      Get your plan down before KO

It’s a no brainer to say bring the best players you can and if your squad is dry, well, there’s only so much you can do, but organisation makes a huge difference at every level of football – it’s a tactical sport like no other!  If a team is clear about what to do when, and every player understands their responsibilities you’ll see results improve, 100%. Make a game plan, tell people their jobs on the pitch, keep the information coming and hopefully your team will soon be harder to break down that the old skool Arsenal back four with Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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