You may have been thinking about the idea for a while – should you join a five-a-side football league and play the sport on a regular basis. There’s never been a better time to get into this sport due to the sheer number of clubs and organisations started in recent years. And what’s really great about five-a-side is that newbies can have as much fun as any of the professionals –  you don’t need to be the next David Beckham just as long as you’re willing to play and/or willing to learn how to play.

Here are some reasons from the experts at  why you may want to stop sitting on the fence and enjoy a game of five-a-side:

A Fun Way to Exercise

Exercise doesn’t have to mean pumping iron at the gym or going on long, tiring runs around the neighbourhood. Let’s face it – not everyone finds either activity to be much fun, but playing sports? Now that’s a more widely accepted definition of something at least mildly enjoyable. Five-a-side football does involve a lot of running, but you won’t realise it for the most part – you’ll be having so much fun playing the game that you won’t think of it as exercise. Games typically last about 20 to 30 minutes tops, with each game divided into halves. This isn’t a 90-minute game and you don’t need superhuman endurance or the creative flair of a Premier League ace. Typically, you’ll be teaming with players who have the same level of fitness as you do and a similar level of athleticism or strength. Exercise may not sound like fun, but five-a-side football certainly does.

Why Should You Start Playing Five-a-Side Football?

A Chance to Make Friends

Believe it or not but the friends that you may make by playing five-a-side football, assuming you’re not on a team with your current friends, may be among the best bonds that you’ll create in your life. But why five-a-side friends and not your work friends, school chums from way back, or the blokes at the pub? Let’s put it this way – the typical five-a-side player is confident, a believer in teamwork rather than individual accomplishments and a fun-loving sort. Of course, there’s the possibility that you may meet some jerks while playing the game but that’s likely to be the exception, rather than the rule. Not only can you be friends on the pitch, you can also be friends off it, as it isn’t uncommon for five-a-side teams to hang out together before or after the game in team-building activities.

You Really Get to Learn Football

The football you know by watching the games on the telly is one thing but if you’re actually playing the sport, you really get to learn, even if you’re not exactly the world’s best player when it comes to “regular” football. It’s easy to master five-a-side football, especially if you’ve got a skilled coach and teammates. If you’re a beginner, you can learn the fundamentals, if you’re at an intermediate level, you can get to know the proverbial “pro tips” to step up your game, and if you’re a veteran, you can still be that “old dog” picking up new tricks. But since we’ve written this for you, the five-a-side beginner in mind, we’ll also add that playing this sport can also allow you to gain an understanding of some non-football bits such as the recommended diet, exercise regimen, or training schedule.

You Can Become a Coach

Just like many ex-musicians start managing bands because they realise they’re better at handling people and talking business than at singing or playing instruments, many five-a-side football players turn to coaching when they discover they’re more skilled in training others, fostering teamwork and formulating winning strategies. Does this sound like you? If it does, then go for it by all means – for some people, it’s much more fulfilling to build a winning team than it is to play for a winning team. Of course, if you’ve got what it takes to be a star player, then focus on playing but you can definitely be a five-a-side coach if your forte is strategy and people skills.

You Can Even Turn Pro

Yes, it is quite possible – there is always the option of becoming a professional five-a-side football player. If you’re unquestionably talented on the pitch, you can kiss goodbye to the amateurs to turn professional. That said, it’s always quite tough to break into the pros but if you’ve got the experience and you’ve got some pro-level skills and athleticism, why not embark on a career as a professional five-a-side player?