Getting 11 unreliable blokes together on a Sunday morning is a thankless task. If they do turn up, they’re usually bleary eyed, stinking of booze and asking you for a spare pair of boots five minutes before kick-off.
Save yourself the hassle and switch to the small-sided version – your game will reap the benefits. Don’t just take our word for it, listen to Manchester United’s head of fitness and conditioning, Tony Strudwick.
For him there’s no better way to boost your performance than playing 5-a-side football.
"The benefits of small-sided games are multi-faceted. You're getting all the benefits you would from 11 v 11 in a tighter area that is more condensed, focused and a lot more quality controlled,” he told FFT.
To find out why small-sided football will optimise all aspects of your game, watch this video interview with the champions’ sports science expert.
For more football tips see:
Manchester United match fitness
Train like Manchester United
Wenger: 5 skills for 5-a-side
Wenger: How to improve your 5-a-side
Improve your five-a-side with futsal
Four steps to five-a-side fitness
"The benefits of small-sided games are multi-faceted. First of all you can achieve all the physiological components you need - the days of running players long distances around the field [are gone]. We can achieve that through small-sided games.
Obviously from a physical point of view we tick the boxes. From a technical point of view we are putting the players under pressure, we are forcing them to move the ball quicker and work in tight areas.
Then we also have the cognitive and psychological components - it develops quick minds and the ability to move the ball quickly.
You're getting all the benefits you would from 11 v 11 in a tighter area that is more condensed, focused and a lot more quality controlled."
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