What to do When Facing a Better Team

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Squaring off against a team that has you completely outmatched happens to everybody sooner or later. If you’re new to the league (or even the sport), it will happen more often than not, but even a team of 6-a-side veterans can find themselves facing another side that’s clearly better than them in every way.

In this article, we’re going to give you some solid advice on how to best approach a match where you know going in that you’re not on the same level as the opposition.


Keep a positive attitude

Sure, it can be disheartening to look at your upcoming fixtures and see that you’re playing a team that has a 30-game winning streak or a reputation for never conceding a goal, but don’t let that put you off. Don’t treat the match as a foregone conclusion: look at it for what it is—a tough but interesting challenge that you can overcome if you’re at your best. Heading into a game “knowing” you’re going to lose is the best way for such a result to come true.


Keep the team together

If the opposing side is better than you, then you will spend most of the match on defence. They will be coming at you for the whole game, relentlessly putting pressure on you and your teammates. Your squad is only as good as its weakest link, which means you all need to dig in and do all you can not to give up any ground. Mark the other team as tightly as you can. If they really are better than you, then it’s up to them to prove it.
Marking man-to-man can limit your opportunities on goal, but it does the same for the other team too, allowing you to concentrate on blocking their offence.



The only way to get through a match like this is to keep talking and share information about what’s happening on the pitch. This is best achieved by trusting your goalie or one of your defenders, who will have a better view of the match from their vantage point. Let them tell you if there’s an unmarked player on the other team, a wide gap in your defence that needs to be filled, or a chance for a shot on goal. Keep your ears and eyes open, and listen to your team.


Take Some Chances

Going onto the pitch convinced that you’ll lose will often ensure that you do, but it doesn’t have to. If you’re expecting to get a good hammering from the other side either way, you can always make them work for it. Try a risky shot on goal. Take a chance on a long, solo dribble down the wing. Indulge yourself in some rapid-fire back-and-forth passing among your team. It lets you try out some new techniques, makes the game more interesting for you, and could even give you the occasional goal to celebrate. Who knows?


Don’t lose your cool

The other team are better than you; you know it, and they know it. In fact, they’re probably expecting their reputation alone to put you under undue pressure and cause your team to lose discipline. It’s not unusual for players, annoyed at their performance, to take their frustrations out on the ball, the referee, or each other. None of these outcomes is a good thing and will only lead to trouble for you and an advantage for the opposition team.
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