Talent is just part of the equation when talking about having a winning five-a-side football team. The same applies for experience; a player’s skills and experience in five-a-side are both crucial, but can only take a team so far. It goes without saying that what makes a team’s overall talent level really shine through is that often overlooked element of team spirit.
The above statements can be applied to any kind of sport out there, and they hold very true in standard and five-a-side football alike. And as anyone who’s played team sports will attest to, it’s one thing to tolerate or respect someone you don’t like just for the sake of the team, and another thing to genuinely like that teammate of yours. And that’s where teams truly start to have teamwork and form relationships. If your team consists of players who enjoy each other’s company, teamwork will be a kid’s play to achieve and they’ll likely perform much better on the pitch.
So what’s the secret to putting together a winning five-a-side team and ensuring they bond with each other while enjoying success on the field? Well, the truth is there is no secret, and there will definitely be times when some players may simply end up having some not so friendly moments with each other. Follow the next few tips from the experts at www.5aside.org and you’ll ensure your players are on the right path towards teamwork success.
Hold a Bull Session
Ever experienced a time when a teammate would seem mildly annoyed at you on the pitch, but laugh it off after the game and join you for a beer at the pub? In many cases, that teammate would keep his feelings bottled in, only for them to build up, then explode at some point in a flurry of cuss words, or even a violent outburst. Those annoyances may relate to one’s performance on the pitch, or probably their attitude on- or off-field, but players are often asked to hold back their anger or annoyance instead of offending an erring teammate. Trouble is that might not be the best way to go if you’re the coach or the captain of a five-a-side football team, or any sports team for that matter. You may want to hold regular “bull sessions” during team meetings or post-game huddles, where players air their grievances in a moderated setting. It’s best to prevent potentially explosive situations before they happen.
Bonding Away from the Field
All too often, we see five-a-side football teams get along famously on the pitch, only for them to focus on their personal lives and not hang out with each other except in a game or training setting. That’s something of a pity, as it’s akin to you and your teammates existing in a “strictly business” setting, which can be quite stiff and awkward. Sure, they may high-five or compliment each other on good plays, but it wouldn’t be like they’re real friends in the truest sense. Organising team building activities off the field will for example allow everyone on the team to bond with each other in a deeper way and the results will be evident the next time they take to the pitch.
Enforce Honesty and Transparency
If you’re the type of team leader or coach with a penchant for lip service, you won’t be respected, and you won’t be encouraging honesty either if you aren’t honest to your team. It’s very important to foster trust in a sports environment, and it all begins with being honest and transparent yourself. Let everyone in the team speak their mind and not feel as if they are being judged, but also avoid being “too honest” to the point where your comments tend to offend.
Have Fun Out There!
Winning isn’t everything – it’s important, but it shouldn’t be the end of the world if you lose. And when you put too much of a premium on winning each and every game, you suck out the fun from a good five-a-side football game. There’s a reason why many professional athletes play until they’re in their 40s, and that’s because they still find their sport to be enormous fun. Don’t be a killjoy – it’s no fun losing, but pushing your team too hard takes all the fun away, period. Remember that there’s always the next game to turn things around.
Want to keep your players or teammates motivated to perform at their best? Try rewarding good players with incentives, but be careful not to make it appear as if you’re favouring someone and overlooking another. That’s only going to breed ill will and negative feelings within the team.