Floorball – Correct Mental Pictures – Mental Training

Our brain is amazing

Eonverye taht can raed tihs rsaie yuor hnad… not all of us can, but most… and if you can’t, you’re still normal ; )

Icdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pclae.. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig? Yaeh, and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
Bring this along in your leadership, our brains are amazing and will create pictures of what we say, even if we don’t get the full, or fully complete picture.

No, no words in communication

Think about a moment where somebody is talking to you and you felt all the energy was gone at that moment, or afterwards. Think back of the words that person used, could these have affected the loss of energy?

I think there are worlds that you can avoid in your communication, do you have some own examples of negative words?
For me the words must, always, don’t and never, are some examples that can kill the message, or give the wrong kind of thinking. You can try to put those words in a sentence and think of the reaction from the receiver, by thinking how you would react on the message.

You can also use the “but – word”, to kill your message. But can easily be changed to and, in many of the cases, like for example, and you can… compared to, but you can…

Let me give some examples of these negative destroying words, creating the wrong mental picture.

Don’t think of…

Don’t think of a yellow sour lemon, but I said Don’t think of a yellow lemon! How many times do I need to repeat it, Don’t think of a yellow lemon!

What happened, what were you thinking of? A yellow lemon? Most of us will or would.

Don't think of a lemon
Somehow our brains are built to sort out the important thing in a message (like in the example above, with the letters), but the “don’t part” usually falls out, and we think of a yellow lemon.

Don’t hit the post, don’t hit the post… You know the result…

 Feelings vs. Facts

When you are up to take the penalty shot you need to control your stress level, feelings and thoughts (more of this in the feedback section later). You can also try to visualize the facts, in order to control the feelings and thoughts, did you know that to cover a football goal (soccer) you need 10 footballs above each other and 31 beside each other, meaning you need 310 footballs to cover the whole goal. You have 310 spots to shoot the ball into the goal.

Basketball example

If you ask somebody who is not that familiar with basketball, how much space there will be left outside the ball when it goes into the basket, by the way, what would you answer?

How many centimeters or inches round the ball do you think there is left?

Basketball basketBasketball in a basket

Of course there has been research done in this area. There were two teams of young people, the first team were looking up to the basketball basket and could start to throw their basketballs. The second team had a basketball basket on their level and they could feel the size, feel it, and also try to fit themselfes in to the basketball basket ring and they could see how much space there where left around the ball. After that they started to throw the basketball into the basket.

I think it’s already quite obvious which of the teams performed better. Team one with a self created or given negative mental picture? Or team two with realistic fact based positive image?

I will give you the right picture as well. The answer is that, you can nearly get two basketballs (at least in women’s size) in to the basket at the same time.

Basketball in basket from aboveBasketball basket

That was not the picture you had in your mind, right? Quite a difference between these two images? You can imagine how easy it will be for you the next time you play basketball, or imagine the effect on our players when they have the right picture and are not steered by negative thoughts and feelings when they start a new drill, practice or work towards a common goal. Everything is possible, use facts to beat your negative feelings and thoughts and work with changing negative to positive, what if, to why not?

Mental homework

This could also be a homework for your floorball players, that they try to change their own negative thoughts they are facing in other situations outside floorball to positive thoughts. They need to practice these skills as much as technichal skills with a ball. If you want to be a champion you need to thin like one. Take the full responsibility for your own thoughts, there aren’t room for negative thoughts. Your thinking drives your behaviour and actions and these will form the performance. What about you as the leader?

Positive or negative touch on your message?

Choose your words wisely. You can say things in a negative way or in creative positive way. Why tell your players how they should not do things or what they should avoid, when you can choose to talk about how they should do, and what opportunities they have. Words you say as a leader affect your floorball players, their mental pictures and the culture within the floorball team.

If you throw something in to the water, you can see the rings it will create on the water surface, so chose carefully what the things are, you “throw” in to your floorball team. Each action, word, behavior, attitude, relationship counts within the team, in order to be successful, each of these actions will be spread amongst the team one way or another.

Words coming from you mouth, will create the pictures in your players heads and also the words coming from their mouths, you strengthen what you talk about positive or negative, and you are the one making the choice between these two alternatives!

Focus should be on what to do, not on what you should avoid doing.

Floorball Warm Up Practice – Attack and Defense

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Floorball warm up practice up to the left (a)

This is a combined floorball practice drill, where P1 starts from the border and takes a shot, after that he/she works with defense, running backwards in middle and finally checks / steers the imagined breakout towards the other border. This pattern can be used if you are playing with 2-2-1 or for example 1-3-1 set up.

Floorball warm up practice up to the left (a), change it to a 1 vs 1 drill

Make the floorball drill to 1 on 1 practice by using P1 as passive defensive player against P2. P1 will only mark his/her presence and let P2 pass to make a shot.

Fun and Challenging Floorball Drills and Practices

Every floorball coach knows that successful floorball practices and drills involve a lot of teaching. Floorball players learn the proper techniques and skills through hours and hours of repeating the same movements, and yes, this can be boring, but should it be? Of course not, since drills and practices are the key to teaching and learning in any sport.

Good floorball coaches manage to minimize the boredom, and great floorball coaches make the most boring activity entertaining and engaging.

Multidimensional Floorball training

I try to start to build up a floorball drill from a very basic format, just to get the foundation in place, and when you see your floorball players manage the skills, you add a new part to the floorball drill, one extra player, forward or defensive player, an extra shot, or a pass. To keep the development and the challenge. Competition is also a good motivational factor for very many floorball players.

Floorball skill practice drills

Mental training in Floorball

You can also add mental training into your floorball drills and practices, each time a defensive player goes out into the floorball drill he/she could have a mantra in his/her head repeated “I’m strong and I feel confident”, or something else that is building up them mentally, so when they manage the technical part of the floorball drill, you can add a mental part to develop and challenge your floorball players.

Eliminate waiting in Floorball Practices

Another thing you can use to keep your floorball drills fun and challenging is to eliminate the waiting time, waiting and standing is waste and boring for your floorball players, keep your players activated and focused! While they are waiting to perform the floorball drill, they can work with stick/ball handling and ball controling drills.

Waiting time at floorball practice before a drill

Focus on development – avoid status quo

Make your floorball drills fun and challenging! Don’t be stuck in status quo. This cannot be emphasized enough. It is also important that your floorball coaching staff is in place, during the floorball drills, and you have clear defined responsibilities and roles in the coaching team, making sure that your players are using the proper techniques and get the teaching they need for their development.

Make your players enjoy and look forward for the next floorball practice! You have their bodies, now work on getting their brains.

Floorball – Flrball.com

What I really do part 2…

Floorball - Flrball.com Coaching drills and practices

…Floorball drills and practices

Floorball – Synchronized video and audio

Communication and your body language are important when you are talking or having a dialogue with your players, no matter the issue.

Another important thing is goal visualization. Visualize them in a good way that will help your floorball players to focus their forces and keep them motivated.

Visualize your goals

You don’t always need to have exact figures when you want to show or see the overall performance towards the goals. You can for example use faces or floorballs in different colors to visualize the goals and performance. Green happy face/floorball, you are on target. Yellow floorball/neutral face, you are on the right direction, but might need to take some actions. Red floorball/sad face, improvement actions are needed.

Take a photo when you score a goal

 You can have somebody taking photos of the crowd or your team when you are playing, take a picture when you make a goal during the game, this will be your, “on target image”. A good goal chance can visualize the “almost on target” picture and a neutral game situation, will symbolize that you have some “improvements to make”.
You can, and maybe should use this method for both the short and long term goals. If you have a neutral picture on the long term goal, you at least might have some, cheering pictures for the last win or performance in your game or floorball practice.
The small steps are important to visualize, keeping up the spirit and having the faith and motivation, to reach the long term goals. Use your imagination and don’t be limited by this example.

Floorball victory through best youth practices and drills

“I am very happy because the club is beating records with the sales of new shirts. I don’t sell shirts, but there is a relation between shirt sales and the performance of the team. If we perform well they sell more shirts.”  /José Mourinho

Verbal and body language

Good communicators are efficient in both verbal and body language. Their body language strengthens the message and matches the verbal message, you can look at Mourinho. Just look at the body language and you will almost hear what he is saying? Have you thought about your own body language when you are communicating, what about when you are happy or excited? This something you can try to ensure you can bring along (the same excited body language) when you are communicating with your players e.g. when talking about the teams goals or even when introducing a new drill. Many of them will connect your body language to a positive feeling unconsciously and therefore also be better listeners. Try to introduce something with arms crossed on your chest and end up with, ok let’s have fun and reach our goals, would you be reliable?

A coach face is a mirror of the health of the team, Floorball

Make sure your video and audio is synchronized! “The coaches face is a mirror of the health of the team” Arséne Wenger

Floorball Warm Up drill – Shot from the border and checking

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Floorball warm up practice down to the left (b)

The floorball drill is started by P1 running in from the border, he/she takes a shot, after the shot, there is an imagined break-out for the opponent, therefore P1 runs backwards in the middle. Then he/she forechecks (imagined players / break out) and wins the ball in the corner. P1 picks up a new ball in the corner. P2 runs down and receives a short pass by the border and takes a shot from the angle. P2 repeats the same patterna as P1 has done towards the other corner.

Floorball warm up practice down to the left (b) add a pass

The floorball practice can also be performed like above, but when P1 forechecks towards the corner, P1 receives a pass from P2 instead of picking up a new ball in the corner.

Floorball warm up practice down to the left (b), make it 1 vs 1

You could also run this floorball drill as a one on one drill. Remove the pass in the corner and make the P1 play defense against P2 in the second sequence. Then P1 can do the running also facing the opposite goal (up – down to the corner – up to meet the offensive player)

2-1 Floorball warm up practice down to the left (b)

To change and develop the floorball drill further into a 2-1 situation, you can start with two players where P1 starts, the player following P1 goes for the rebound and picks up the new ball, which he/she will lose after the forecheck from P1 after that he/she will play 1-2 against P1 and P2.

Floorball Coaching from different perspectives

Have you ever thought about how the floorball coaching role is seen from different perspectives… Not? Well I have, and these are just my personal thoughts… 🙂

Coach, Coaching, Friends, Floorball, I, Leadership, Parents, Perspective, Players, Society, You

Floorball Stickhandling / Ball Control Practice Drill

Hockey stickhandling drill example, but will of course work at floorball practices.

Floorball Stickhandling / Ball Control Practice Drill