Obviously the principles between the traditional 11 a side game and the small sided arena remain the same. Outscore the opposition and you win.
Every side which partakes to a competitive standard will have their own methods and approach which prove fruitful to them, but below are a few tips on how to maximise those attributes:
How To Defend As A Team
Most sides will set up with two players at the back, two, possibly three in the middle, then either a lone man, or two up top. This provides an even balance to the side, a core setup which should result in flowing football. Zonal marking is a prominent feature in the modern day 11 a side game but in 6 a side football, this can result in confusion. Man marking is key. What can be simpler than agreeing at kick off, “he is your man, stick with him”? The two dedicated defenders will know their men, as will the midfielders. What is pivotal however, is the importance that the forwards are also aware of their responsibilities, and that, unlike in the traditional game, they will be required to lend a helping hand in defending. Players at the back can quite easily burst forward, and if the top man isn’t sharp enough to spot the opposition’s movement it can leave the backline outnumbered and exposed. The key message to defending in 5 or 6 a side football, is that it is everyone’s responsibility – defend as one.
Playing Off A Target Man
One unique feature of 6 a side football is its pace. If two teams of reasonable ability play one another, it can be a very grueling and tiring affair. Something which can be very effective, especially for those teams consisting of the mature, for want of a better word, players, is by having a target man. Facing a bunch of youngsters with bags of energy can be a daunting prospect so it is key utilise any strengths available, and playing with a target man could well be one. Having a Jon Parkin in your setup, someone who the ball sticks to, even if it is just to take the sting out of a game and slow it down, which can be greatly advantageous. There is nothing wrong playing with a striker who spends large periods with his back to goal – feed him, let him knock the ball back and then spin off to create more space which the midfielders can subsequently exploit.
Much like wing backs on an 11 a side pitch, the defenders play an important part in attacking. Efficiency is key, it can catch opponents out, and moving the ball through the team is a great way of doing this. Perhaps surprisingly, an alert goalkeeper can create chances. Pulling off a fine save is obviously what is required, but one who can then bounce up and release the ball straight away is a massive asset. At 6asidesoccer.co.uk, the shot-stopper is only permitted to roll the ball out so it is useful if the defenders can also react quickly and make themselves available promptly. Having pacey players helps, but isn’t a must. Someone in the middle who can thread the ball and pick a pass to the forwards, similarly to Cesc Fabregas or Luke Modric can really expose teams. It is important in the 6 a side game not to become disheartened on conceding, the ability to break back instantly is an incredibly useful tool, and as the old cliché goes teams are at their most vulnerable when they have just scored.
Quick Free Kicks
Every free kick in 6 a side football is direct so to get the ball moving again quickly can catch teams off guard. On the other hand, on conceding a free kick, ensure that someone stands on the ball in an attempt to quash any impending threats.
Stay Switched On
As has been determined, due to the smaller pitch and less individuals on it, you are likely to see much more of the ball than in a full sized game, which means it’s vital to remain switched on for throughout. Good players will be able to read the play and stay focused. One key attribute in being on the frontfoot is fitness. Tired bodies can result in tired minds.
Goals Win Games
If you don’t like having a pop at goal, then 6 a side football may not be for you. As discussed, the small sided game requires defenders to attack and forwards to work back so it is a great advantage if the deeper players aren’t afraid to hit one from distance. Depending on the size of the pitch it can be more than plausible to have a dig from the half way line, test the keeper and see if he is up to scratch.
Not all 6 a side teams will train but it is of course, useful to do so. Getting use to playing alongside teammates can provide familiarity with each others styles and help to determine tactics and positioning. One thing which would be advisable is to get accustomed to the goals which are an entirely different kettle of fish to the 11 a side game. Practice shooting at a smaller target area. Other exercises such as playing two touch will only enhance a teams ability to knock the ball around.
These of course, are merely suggestions on how to tackle 6 a side football and every team will have their own ideals and methods on how to succeed. But one thing with which copious top class managers agree on is its ability to improve their player’s games in numerous ways. So what are you waiting for?