Floorball – Practicing is my secret

10 000 Hours – 10 years

A number of studies have shown that it will take ten thousands of hours to become a master of what you are doing. This will apply for leadership, professional floorball players, football, work, hobbies etc. Each of us has the potential to master what we are doing, but it will require time, 10000 hours, or about ten years, you need to focus your energy, if you want to be the best in whatever you do. But too many of us don’t commit to the things we are doing well enough, but we still hope to be the best or recognized, sometimes we give up too early, wondering why we never become the best.  “I was a great talent, when I was young…” Ever heard that?

Floorball practice drill dribbling

Talent or a lot of practice?

Talent is a word we use to simplify the explanation of success and the difference between the best and the normal people or floorball players. We also assume that elite floorball, hockey or football is only for the people with right heritage and genes and unfortunately we were not one of those… that’s why we are leaders or waterboys ; )
What if it wasn’t like that, and it could be seen only as an opinion that hinders us from being the best? What if our success is only connected to the amount of hours we practice?

For example, many floorball and football coaches talk about that they are able to spot talents, is that true? Or are they good at spotting players that already have been practicing more than the others?

You can have gifted parents, but it’s probably more realistic that the parents have put more efforts already from the beginning in to the practicing?

Tiger Woods, a golf talent, or is it a result of practice?

Tiger Woods has been seen as the greatest talent in golf, ever. In that case you need to know that Tiger Woods got his first golf set before he was one years old. He had been through his first full golf round at the age of two years. When he was five he had already practiced more than an average golfer will practice during his or her whole “career”. The same goes for Messi, Beckham and the other football stars. David Beckham used to practice in a little park, and he practiced for hours and hours every day.

“With hard work everything is possible, everyone can dream, and what you dream of you can reach, if you are willing to work for it” /Lionel Messi

When José Mourinho arrived in Madrid he commented Christiano Ronaldo, “He works incredibly hard, it’s impressing to see a player of his caliber to practice harder than nobody else”

If you map the hours the star football players put on practicing, it would not be a surprise, why they are where they are.

“Practicing is my secret, I have always believed in, if you want to be successful you need to work for it, practice, practice and then practice more”. / David Beckham

I’m not sure how many hours of practice, I can give you by reading this blog, but at least some valuable time and leadership knowledge, I hope.

Floorball – Tell your players what you want from them

After you get to know your floorball players, and you’ve discovered what they want, it’ll be time to explain to them what you want from them. Go ahead, be honest, you’ll gain nothing by lying to your floorball players. Tell them what you want from them and what you will do for them. Make sure that your floorball players have the opportunity to ask you for help.

Floorball practices and drills for 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 year olds

Make sure that you take this process very seriously! You’ll refer back to this over and over again during your floorball season. When floorball players start to drag, remind them of what you are trying to do for them. Be prepared to ask them how you can help them.  Always remember, the floorball coach works for his players harder than they work for him.  He sets the tone. A floorball coach that is not working his tail off has no business asking his floorball players to do the same.

Floorball Motivation – Get to know your players

The first thing you have to do is pretty simple, to get motivated floorball players. You’ve got to get to know your floorball players and find out why they have signed up to play in your floorball team.

Floorball defense

Because, let’s face it, if all twenty something of your floorball players are just interested in having a bit of fun and not working very hard, you are NOT going to do anything, but make yourself frustrated trying to convince an entire floorball team to see things your way. Figure out what your players want, meet them there and start guiding them towards the future or your vision for the floorball team.

Floorball – Trust in your team

So, what happens to you if despite all of your planning and following of these rules, injury still strikes? Well, make sure your floorball player gets proper medical attention for sure, and never put an injured floorball player back in the game just because he says that he’s healthy… highly motivated floorball players want to play every floorball game.

Waiting time at floorball practice before a drill

Trust in the rest of your floorball team to fill the spot. After all, if you’ve followed the above plan all year long, your floorball team will be well conditioned, warmed-up, and will have had plenty of playing time to prepare for this moment. Slap them on the back and tell them to “go give it their all!”

Floorball – Every role is an important role, even the Waterboy…

Role definitions

In general you can say a role is the behavior that is expected from an individual in a certain situation or position. You can divide roles in two categories, formal and informal roles. The formal roles are defined and accepted by the team, defensive player, midfielder, scorer, “waterboy” etc. The informal roles will be developed within the team when the players get to know each other. Some of the informal roles could be the “informal leader”, “the clown”, “the social specialist” etc.

Floorball practicing, training and coaching

A role is built up

A role in a team consists of four parts.
– Coaches and other trainers expectations on the player
– Other team member’s expectations on the player
– Other people’s expectations on the player
– The players own expectations, needs and resources

All these four parts will form the players role, how the player have interpreted the expectations and what he/she thinks he must live up to, and accepts.

Two role aspects will affect the performance of the floorball player

Clarity – How clear is the content of the role to the player? What are the responsibilities and authorities in this role.
Acceptance – Is the player willing to accept the role fully? Will this role give enough satisfaction to the player, so he/she will continue to be motivated? This can be about being able to use special skills and capacity to fully, but it can also be about how important the role is for the teams success or how much attention or feedback you will get. These two aspects clarity and acceptance, will form the player’s role performance.

If you ad one more dimension to it you could talk about individual roles in the collective team. Individual roles need clarity and acceptance among each player in order to have a good team performance.

Role conflicts

Role conflicts can occur when the expectations are not clear enough or a player don’t accept a role. Then you need to know that 90% of the conflicts within groups and teams are because of misunderstandings. Most of the misunderstandings occur when you don’t communicate clear enough or secure that both parts have the same picture. Check with questions that the individual players and the whole team has the same picture about different roles.

There are no dead end roles, positions or jobs, just dead end thinking. This message is an important one to get through to your players.

“If you have at home one Bentley and one Aston Martin, if you go all day everyday in the Bentley and leave the Aston Martin in the garage you are a bit stupid.” – /José Mourinho, defending his squad rotation policy

Floorball drills and practices for 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 years old

The choice is yours

You choose the way you want to see things, and also how you react on them! Each player choses their own thinking, reactions, how they see their roles and what decisions they will take, how they accept they role.
Visualize this thinking for you players. Use the basketball and sour lemon example, when you are formulating your message correctly and choose your words wisely.
Be the best in what you do, everyday in your role (a striker or a waterboy, doesn’t matter), nothing less than my very best in my role today, tomorrow my role can be different!

“You have to make each player feel equally useful, but not indispensable” /Marcello Lippi

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep the streets as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well” /Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Keep your players fit during the floorball season

Proper rest is vital to continued good health, we all know this. So how come so many floorball coaches put their star player into the game and then keep him or her there throughout the entire game, and then into any overtime that might be required? Pace your players, substitute them liberally and tactically, especially in early season floorball games.  Giving everyone a chance to play doesn’t just have to be a touchy-feely idea, smart floorball coaches preserve their forces for later battles!

Floorball youth practices and drills

Good off-season practices will keep your players fit during the floorball season

Floorball – Unbeatable at home stadium

Good team spirit creates a winning climate, good team moral and believe in the success of the floorball team, and the floorball players will make more sacrifices for the team and work harder for the success.

Floorball Team size

Research shows, that depending on sport, the size of ideal amount of team members vary between sports, a common rule is that you should be able to play on your practice (two teams) with limited amount or no substitutes. In all sports the participants felt that the team was too big or too small if the member amount was increased or decreased with 25%, compared to the first “rule”.

The size of the team will also affect your and your team ability to build up the team spirit. It’s easier to focus on the task in small teams but the social co-operation will be greater in bigger teams, but reducing the task focus and also allowing greater amount of social loafing (more of this later).

Your team size will also affect the communication, it’s harder to recognize and give feedback to everyone, which will also affect the team spirit. And as an effect of this, in bigger teams the leadership from the coach tends to be less democratic.

Floorball training drills practices and excercices

The larger the dream, the more important the team. A leader will never get greater results than the team will deliver.

Home and away games

Other aspects that might affect the part, team spirit is “home and away” games. You can talk about three different levels of territories, primary, secondary and public.

In the primary area the team has full control and other people are not allowed (or only very limited access) in this zone, it can be the teams own locker room and other facilities. This zone is often designed, coloured and “decorated” with important symbols or pictures to strengthen the team and also club spirit. The greater control the team has in their primary territory the more they are willing to “protect” it.

In the secondary territory the team has some control, but the facilities can be used by others as well, training facilities can be shared with other teams within the club etc.

In the third territory or the public territory, you can count public training facilities and also away games, your team will be placed in a non-personal or non-team related locker room.

Internazionale vs AC Milan locker room

Internazionale locker roomAC Milan locker room

To the left you have the locker room of FC Internazionale and below it, the AC Milan locker room. It’s quite obvious who has spent more money on “decoration”. In AC Milan locker room each player has a Recaro skin seat and a LCD screen above their seat, in the middle you have two huge AC Milan logos. Inter has a long curved one piece wooden seat and one LCD and the team logo on the wall. Maybe it’s the strategy of Internazionale or José Mourinho to make the moving between the territories easier. In other words the step from a home game to an away game will not be that big for Inter, the locker room in an away game will look almost the same except for 18 missing championship plates and will therefore affect the team spirit either. While moving from luxury to a normal level could create some complaints among the players?

Unbeaten for nine years at home stadium

José Mourinhos teams have been unbeaten for eight consecutive years when playing at home and this season Real Madrid hasn’t been beaten at Santiago Bernabeu, so José Mourinho is heading for his 9th season without a loss in the home games. That makes at least a huge impression on me, what about you?

Hockey coaching training – transferred to Floorball Coaching

I attended the World Championship Hockey Coaching Symposium in Ericsson Globe Arena, during the IIHF World Championships in Ice Hockey. I will try to translate/transfer the latest knowledge from hockey to floorball in coming posts, so keep visiting this floorball blog 😉

Game Tickets, IIHF Hockey World ChampionshipsEricsson Globe Arena

 

Floorball – Off-season training and Injuries

“We were sailing into the floorball playoffs when our star player sprained his ankle, and then BOOM, we were eliminated in the first round”. Sound familiar? If you’ve been around the sports/floorball world for any length of time, you have seen it happen, probably more than once. What can you do to prevent this, and how can you overcome this when it does happen to your floorball team?

First off all, conditioning and well prepared players, that’s what it’s about. If you want to prevent most of your floorball player’s injuries, then make sure that they are well conditioned, good pre-season practicing. Devote most of your early season to get your floorball players in good physical shape. Figure out your players during the early part of the pre-season. Do not just assign the entire floorball team to run x-number of laps or km/miles and then attend to other things while they run. Make sure that out of condition floorball players, work gradually themselves up to game shape. Assign well conditioned players even more work to improve their fitness to an even greater level.

Floorball practices and drills 2 vs 2

Never ever scrimp on warm-up time (can and should be done before the floorball practice, in my eyes!) Make sure that late arriving players go through a full warm-up period before allowing them to join in the activities. Many floorball players are injured each year when they get to floorball practice late and then jump right into high stress movements.  Do not injure your players with over-enthusiasm.

Floorball – Assistant coach or coaches

It is important to find assistants that are skilled in areas that the floorball head coach has little experience in, or little joy in doing. If the head coach hates fund-raising, or dealing with the officials, or even going to floorball league meetings, then the head coach should look for assistants who enjoy these tasks around the floorball team. Do not find yourself in the situation where there are four floorball coaches on the team who all want to be in charge of the same area this is worse than having no help what so ever.

Floorball passing drills and practices

Divide your efforts and make sure to delegate responsibility for certain coaching tasks.  Make sure that each floorball assistant coach has a say in the decision making, yet still be willing to defer to the head coach in case of disputes. That said, don’t be afraid to allow your assistants to operate independently at times as well. Always remember that the old saying, two heads are better than one.  And in the world of floorball coaching, four or five heads are usually MUCH better than one!