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I'm so bad at 5 a side football!

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    I played last week for the first time almost 2 months and I have to say I didn't play very well. I wasn't terrible (it was good to find out I wasn't the weakest link in my team) however I wasn't the best. I kept getting mixed up with other players. My passes were - sometimes too hard, sometimes they wouldn't reach my team mate and my shooting was a bit off. Very weak and bit wild at times (could be nerves making me greedy).

    The two things I have problems with are beating players one-on-one and defending in a one-on-one situation. Lets talk about attacking first:

    When I am in a one-on-one situation, I never know what to do. As I get closer to them, I slow down and this makes me panic and not think about what to do next and then I get tackled. Either that or I try and knock it past them and get checked or the ball falls too far and I lose it. How can I improve this?

    Then, with defending, I again never know what to do. If I go in too quickly, I tend to get beaten with a quick tap of the ball and if I go in too slowly I get caught flat footed and they again beat me. Again, how do I improve this?

    What are some general tips to improve my individual game? What exercises can I do on my own?

    Normally I sit back centrally and defend and push up if needs be. However my team now has 2 very good defensive players so I get the chance to stay up more. I therefore need to improve my touch, turn, pass and find decent space.

    How can I improve my game?

    Thanks for your help


    Thanks for the help guys
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    I'm very interested to know this as well!
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    sums up much of what is wrong with English football in general ...
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    I'm terrible at shooting, however as for defending, I find running around like a headless chicken at who ever has the ball can be effective, forces them to do something and get rid of it. If I then can't get it, it's time for dirty SMK and some fouls.
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    I think you may just be bad at all forms of football?

    Try doing as many stepovers as possible, that works for me
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    uhh... the basics. Stand on the balls of your feet, ready to receive always. You don't want to be flat footed ever.
    Improving your first touch is imperative for all types of football, even more so 5 a side where there is very little space. You can only do this by playing more with the ball, maybe doing drills for warmup with one guy in the middle and passing one-touch style. When you are good at passing first time, you will be good at shooting first time.
    Always glance over your shoulders when you haven't got the ball-- seriously bad how unaware people are of players around them. I get passes off in one touch cos guess what, I know that big fat clumsy guy is behind me, he isn't gonna blind side me! This is key to getting in the mindset of the pros, they know before they get the ball what they're gonna do with it 9 times out of 10.

    The rest of what you say, like not know which way to go when it's one on one, is simply confidence. Even if the guy picks the right way, as long as you make the move first there's enough space to get a shot off in 5-a-side football.

    Defending: Allen Hansen will kill you. Never be face on with the opponent. Show them one side, close them down and shuffle shuffle! Most defending can actually be done with intelligent positioning whereby you can easily pick off the ball. Makes a big difference but this is one thing you can't teach. You either have a football brain or you dont...

    Having a good first touch and being able to bounce around the pitch quickly, are actually down to fitness more than anything.
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    For one on one defending, the thing I find that works best is once they get the ball, sort of backtrack at the same pace as the attacker once they have the ball. So say an attacker has just received the ball, and they turn and face you, but have yet to try and get past you. Keep a distance, and if they bring it slowly towards you (say before then running quickly to get past you), go slowly backwards with them whilst still facing them to maintain a similar sort of distance between the two of you. It helps because as well as keeping distance, you're travelling at a similar speed, so if they try and knock it past you you'll be able to accelerate at a similar level to them too. Full backs like Ashley cole who constantly get attacked by wingers do this, so they dont get run past (you could try watching some of his vids).
    Edit - basically what the guy above said with the show one side and shimmy bit.

    For attacking, what you need to use is what I call the 'force'. Basically, you get the ball, face the attacker, and run. When you get close enough for them to tackle you, shimmy your body like messi does away from them, run to it and continue like a hero. . Believe in yourself. Messi started out like you, and he did it. You can too. If that doesn't work, you can try the easier three stepovers before running method, it's easier and confuses defenders, but is not as glorious as the force. Finally, this para's not serious. It's hard to attack without good ball control and being able to make a good few touches in tandem when running, but the best thing I can give you is Antonio Valencia / Henry style knock and run. It's not just knock run though, you need to go fairly fast with the ball before knocking it, as you'll need to have enough pre speed to beat the defender, and you only knock it when the defender tries to tackle it, so that when you run he'll have slowed down. If he does the defending I mentioned above, this won't work, and you'll probs lose the ball and look a bit stupid.
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    if ur one of those guys who are afraid to take players on 1v1 then go over basic skills (step-overs/zidane roulette/ball rolls) and master them first cos it's all about footwork in those situations. i've always had quick feet and do love to toy with defenders (some of the **** me and my friends pull off against each other is mind-blowing). passing gets better with practice

    next stage is to watch zidane videos until ur sick of them (11 a side or 5 a side, he plays football the way it's supposed to be played). for example watch these:

    doesn't lose the ball at all and is always so composed. he plays with so much confidence that he never makes mistakes, thats what u need to do

    "the key is first touch and ball control" - zinedine zidane

    the more of zizou u watch and the more football u play the better u get, trust me. defending wise i dunno, it's something that comes with experience i think. i've always been an attacking player and i was 12 the last time i played for a team, me and my friends just have friendly 4v4's and stuff in our local footy pitch. i play for one of my uni's 5 a side teams but my teammates are trash and i have the fitness of an obese granny (smoke too much weed), so i'll probably give up on that and stick to playing with local chavs

    get out of this english frame of mind where everything is so organised and where taking players on is frowned upon. it's 5-a side, u'll get better at it the more u try it. play with confidence and dont be afraid to skill guys up. if u lose the ball try ur best to win it back (it gets rid of the sting)

    pro tip: get high before playing matches, creativity/vision/concentration goes way up

    edit: another way of getting past players is to apprach them slowly then quickly kick the ball passed them when they're least expecting it (obviously run towards it straight after)
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    Only on TSR will you see a thread that basically says 'I'm not naturally gifted at football, how can I become gifted'.

    Newsflash, you either have it or you don't mate.
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    I'm playing tomorrow!

    Attacking- beauty of five a side is that you don't have to take on your man. A simple touch to your stronger foot and a hard, low hit always troubles the keeper. When you are one on one, take your time, you have more than you think, pick a corner and get it as close to that corner as possible.

    Stray passes- always look around even before you receive the ball. Sounds obvious, make sure your first touch is into space and make your second a pass. As long as you're constantly looking at the game and looking around you, noone will dispossess you.

    Defending- make sure your player doesn't shoot. 5 a side is about everyone picking up a man. As long as your man doesn't get a shot off, you've done your job. Send him onto his weaker foot, always helps, and be close enough to make a block.

    5 a side is a beautiful form of the game!

    This was posted from The Student Room's Android App on my HTC One S
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    One of the best defenders ever - Paolo Maldini only managed, on average, one tackle every two games. This is because he got in such good positions that he rarely needed to tackle so what you need to do is to play more intelligently and get in good positions when defending.

    As for attacking if you worry when you have too much time just hit a shot as soon as you can then you will not get dis-possesed and will still get a shot away.

    Hope this helps
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    if ur unsure what to do in a given situation then just pass and move, u cant go wrong with that. keeping possession for ur team is priority

    also, i've seen so many ppl freeze and panic in front of goal lol - just pick ur spot and bury any chance u get. in 5-aside the hardest shots for a keeper to save are the ones that are shot at shin-level
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    I guess you're better in 11 a side?

    Different ball game, much more exposure in 5 a side. Much more pressure than 11 a side.

    Move, recieve, distribute, repeat. If you're shooting, keep it low, place it.
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    (Original post by Alpharius)
    I guess you're better in 11 a side?

    Different ball game, much more exposure in 5 a side. Much more pressure than 11 a side.

    Move, recieve, distribute, repeat. If you're shooting, keep it low, place it.
    I love the space in 11 a side. Even like 7 a side is more fast paced but you still have a lot more room. Its how intense 5 a side is that makes me bad because you don't have a chance to correct a mistake and all mistakes are magnified because of this.
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    Well to be honest in 5 a side you shouldn't be left alone 1vs1 your team mates should be supporting you and playing quick one touch passes. Try some basic faints though.
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    It depends what type of player you are. I prefer to run onto passes and take players on with my pace. Throw me in a 5-aside and my first makes me almost redundant.

    Youngsters should be trained more on the smaller pitches. Smoother to play on rather than the bumpy muddy pitches, players will also get a better first touch, short passing etc.

    More versatility at youth level!
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    (Original post by claret_n_blue)
    I love the space in 11 a side. Even like 7 a side is more fast paced but you still have a lot more room. Its how intense 5 a side is that makes me bad because you don't have a chance to correct a mistake and all mistakes are magnified because of this.
    Yeah, if you aren't composed you'll be rubbish in 5 a side. You need a good short pass and first touch, both requiring composure.

    You have it or you don't.
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    omg this is so important. Everyone, help the OP!


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