The Benefits of Joining a Five-a-Side Team

Even for the most unsporting people, five-a-side football offers one of the most painless, dare I say it, most enjoyable, avenues into exercise. It doesn’t demand Premier League level coordination and it can be a great way to reconnect with friends you haven’t seen for a while or see very often. Let us try and convince you a bit more with these five reasons:

By Jordon Osborne – MA in Creative Writing at The University of Portsmouth


Improves your mental and physical wellbeing

Committing yourself to a weekly exercise routine where other people are counting on your attendance as part of a team will immediately boost the chances of you sticking with your five-a-side team. This is an especially useful aspect if you’re prone to flaking on your gym routine. Routine is also useful for the mind; it gives our lives structure and things to look forward to during weeks where work and our personal lives are stressful. Exercise is of course proven to improve our bodily health when undertaken regularly but it can also help to reduce stress and improve our mental health too. Having that camaraderie with our teammates will also help reduce mental stressors.

It will improve aspects of your life outside of exercise

To come back to the idea of dependance, once you’ve gotten into the rhythm of playing weekly and committing to your team, you’ll find that your lifestyle choices can improve as a result. Knowing that you need to contribute to the team and play to the standards you know you’re capable of, you tend to choices that will benefit your health e.g. eating healthier, drinking less alcohol, etc. You may even find yourself exercising more to improve your performance and stamina during games. A healthier you can only be a good thing.

It’s fun and easy to arrange

Over time, we can become bored of exercise due to tedium and isolation. Playing a sport you enjoy rather than completing repetitive routines in the gym is far more mentally enriching. Plus it’s easy to arrange – there are plenty of leagues all across the country and it’s easy to find one near you. With the many commitments of modern adult life, five-a-side can become a simple reprieve. If you can find four other players (plus substitutes), you’re good to go. It’s really that easy. And with most games lasting 30-60 minutes, you don’t have to worry about having too much time taken up by it.

It’s not weather dependent and the seasons roll on and on and on!

Unlike the local field that will inevitably turn into a swamp once the winter rain rolls in, five-a-side takes place on weather resistant astro turf or indoors. As anyone who’s played for an 11-a-side team (myself included), you can often go months without a game due to waterlogged pitches. With five-a-side, unless there’s a tornado, earthquake, or some other natural disaster, you’ll be guaranteed a game every week. And if you do fall head over cleats in love with five-a-side you’ll be glad to know that the seasons roll in to the next one with no breaks. You could literally play five-a-side forever if you wanted to.

It doesn’t discriminate

The beauty of five-a-side is its inclusivity. It doesn’t discriminate over individual talent, fitness, or age. It is a form of football designed to include and encourage people to play, no matter how good or bad they are at the sport. Unlike 11-a-side, the substitutions are not final. If you can feel yourself tiring out, take a quick break and come back on once you’ve caught your breath. It’s also a far more casual style of play which encourages everyone to take it less seriously. It doesn’t come with the stigma of producing results and the need to win as many games as possible. So whether you’re Cristiano Ronaldo or Chris Ronald from Bristol, know that five-a-side will always accept you no matter how good you are at football.

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