How to Communicate in 6-a-Side Football
6-a-side football can get chaotic at times. With twelve men thundering around the pitch, each trying to do their bit for their respective teams, it can be difficult to make sure all your players are working in unison in the heat of a big game. That’s why on-pitch communication is so important; without it, you and your teammates will find yourselves constantly out of position and unable to capitalise on any mistakes made by the opposition.
In this article, we’re going to look at some simple ways to communicate more effectively as a team and play a better game in the long run.
Say anything important before the match
While you sometimes can’t help but have to devise match tactics on the fly, the bulk of your game plan should already be in place. Important details about your team, the opposition, the referee, or anything else that might impact how you play should be discussed calmly before the match, where you can all concentrate on the matter at hand. Trying to do so during the game is a near-impossible task.
The three S’s
If you need to speak to one of your teammates during the match, remember the three S’s – short, simple, and specific. Shouting at someone to block or defend (or whatever) rarely helps; they’re footballers, they know what they’re meant to be doing. Asking someone to pull back because you’ve got a second man marking you is much more to the point.
Keep it professional
Being overly aggressive or making personal attacks in your communication is not a good look and will likely lead to a booking at the very least. Against your own team, it results in poor morale and performance. Against the opposition, it could lead to a scrap on (or off) the pitch, and nobody wants that.
We all mess up from time to time, and it’s no different on the 6-a-side pitch. If you miss or concede a goal or let an opposing team member get control of the ball, don’t blame other people for the mistake. Just shake it off and get back into the game; nobody likes a whiner.
Some things are best left unsaid
As well as taking responsibility for your own mistakes, be tolerant of your teammates’. Sure, it can be frustrating if your attacker misses an open goal, but how does berating them over it help anybody? They know they messed up already and are probably feeling a bit down over it. That’s not the time to start having a go.
Celebrate the positive
A lot of these tips seem to be about avoiding the negative, but there’s always time to celebrate the positive, too. Again, we’re not just talking about a stunning goal or a heart-stopping save (though you should definitely comment on those). If your teammate misses a goal by the narrowest of margins or because the goalie deflects it at the last possible minute, take the time to congratulate them on a great attempt. If it takes three of the opposition to get past your defender, be sure to tell them how good they were, even if the other team scores as a result. Keep your team’s spirits up and see what you’re capable of.