Floorball – Feedback to all players, from striker to waterboy

Social loafing

In order to avoid social loafing (social loafing = I’m not important, nobody will recognize if I don’t do my best), it’s important that you give feedback to all of your players, so they know you see them, and they feel they are unique, important and meaningful for the team’s success. This is especially important for the players with less “glamorous” roles, left or right defensemen (compared to a striker), hardworking defensive players or the substitutes (Waterboy).

See each individual performance

So you need to ensure you see each and every individual performance, and are able to give feedback, so the players can’t fall in to the trap of social loafing, they feel that you see them all the time and therefore the value of their performance will increase, you are showing them every player is important for the teams success.

Floorball matches and practices

This is of course applicable for both floorball games and practices. Look at José Mourinho during the games, he is taking notes and writing in his small notebook through the whole game. It’s impossible to remember everything from the floorball game or practice… Your notes will help you when you want to give correct feedback after a floorball game or practice to each player, and the message will be stronger if you can refer to the the game situations correctly. Individual meetings with each floorball player will be a helpful method to avoid social loafing.

Feedback Guidelines

- Do it directly if it’s possible
- Be precise (use examples from the game and practice)
- React on one action or behavior (not person)
- Use I messaging, I feel… I can see…
- Keep it short
- Use silence (silence makes the player(s) reflect and think)
- Open up for a solution, (how do you feel? How could you do this differently?)
- Ending, (OK, like you said… …could that be the way you try to do it the next time?)

“Give feedback to your best players, otherwise they won’t be best in the long run, but give feedback also to the low performing players, so they know, that you know…” /Swedish hockey coach

“Guys you need to take more shots, they have also a bad goalie!” /Swedish hockey coach

After each game, Mourinho congratulates all his players on the pitch and bench, starting with his captain. And he does so by hugging them and/or touching their heads, not many managers has this kind of close rapport with their players.

Floorball, New behavior – New results – floorball training

In the new world of floorball, the riskiest thing you can do is to do the same things in the same way as you have always been doing, few things are as foolish as hoping old behaviors, will give you new results.

Committing yourself to be a master in what you do, is the new standard for success and great results. Be so good that people can not ignore to see you. Nothing less than my very best in every moment!

“I intend to give my best, to improve things and to create the football team in relation to my image and my football philosophy.” /José Mourinho

Aim for to be the best in world and ask your self, what the best in your discipline, leadership would do now? What is he/she doing right this moment? Probably reading this floorball blog ; )

Belief is nothing more than thoughts that have been repeated over and over again, until we have made them our own reality. Our believe and thoughts will be a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Floorball – Four steps building up stress or arousal

Connected to personality you can also talk about stress or arousal, how you are, perceive and react on things, will affect the level of stress or arousal.

Stress can be described as a process with four steps that will lead to a particular end.
Step 1 – Environmental demand, competition, new skill etc. (physical and psychological)
Step 2 – Individuals perception of the environmental demands. The perception of the demands will vary between your atheletes (Amount of psychological or physical “threat” perceived)
Step 3 – Response, if your player feel an imbalance between demands and capability, this will create arousal, anxiety, muscle tension, attention changes
Step 4 – Behavior (performance or outcome)

Stress occurs when there is a perceived imbalance between physical and psychological demands and the individuals capability to meet the perceived demands. Too high levels of stress will affect your floorball players performance, but there are also research done, showing an increased risk for injuries.

The more important the floorball event/match is, the more stress provoking it will be. Mental training and feedback can be used on each step (1-4) to adjust the level of stress and to help your player to perform at his/her best. Some players need help to lower the “stress level” (step 1-4), when others might need the opposite, meaning they need to be “stressed” up a little bit to perform at their best (step 1-4).

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.

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

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.

Floorball – Norms create team culture

If you look up the word, norm in Wikipedia, you will find the following explanation. Social norms are the behaviors within a society or group or, the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. So the norms will affect both the direction within the team and the co-operation within the team.

Three categories of norms

You can divide norms in different categories, here are some examples.
- Describing norms – steers the behavior in the floorball team.
- Valuing norms – helps the team prioritize among wanted behaviors.
- Discrete norms – not visible when they are followed, but if someone breaks against a norm, it will be visible.
- Internalizing norms – These will be adapted by the floorball team members and new comers, and often live for a long time, therefore norms are also stable.
In order to develop, visualize and strengthen wanted norms, you can use teambuilding activities and feedback as your tools.
Norms are usually connected to behavior during practice, game, before/after regular season and social situations. One of the common norms in all of the teams will be the expectation of how hard you are expected to work during a practice or game.

Norms within a group of monkeys

Here is an experimental example with monkeys and how they create, and handle norms within the group.
- There is a group of monkeys living in a big cage, the monkeys get bananas that are hanged up in the tree that’s located in their living area, after the bananas are hang up in the tree, one of the monkeys head up for the bananas, monkeys do that it’s natural : ), but when he does that all the monkeys are flushed down with water, they get really wet and that’s something monkeys don’t like. After a while a new monkey’s heads up for the bananas, with the same result, wet monkeys. After repeating this several times, the monkeys understand the message, they continue with theirs, without trying to get the bananas in the tree. A new monkey is placed in the cage and he immediately heads after the bananas, but before reaching there, he is stopped and beaten up by the other monkeys, because they know the consequences! Step by step all the “original” monkeys are changed to new team members. For every new monkey the same procedure is repeated, he heads after the bananas and get stopped and beaten up. Even if all the monkeys are changed to new “team members” they are still stuck to the norm, don’t touch the bananas in the tree, without knowing why, it’s just the way it is, and has always been. Do you recognize this in real life situations?

Norms tend to live for a long time

We are many times following rules, norms and guidelines because we think they make sense, but logic can sometimes be “old fashioned” and not relevant anymore, but the norms can create a culture within the team or club, positive or negative.
How does it look like in your floorball team or club? Is it clear why you do, or not do things or why people act in certain ways?
What kind of old norms does Jose Mourinho find in his new team, Real Madrid and what has he left behind in Inter for Rafael Benitez and now Leonardo?

Outspoken rules

If norms are more invisible, rules are more outspoken and visible. Rules can like the norms be divided into some categories, here are some examples.

- How or frame rules – framing in what’s okay and what’s not, in general.
- Priority rules – when you need to choose or make own decisions, you know the team priorities
- Time rules – eliminating co-operational losses

Mourinho’s rules in Real Madrid

When José Mourinho started his voyage with Real Madrid, you could read about some of his rules in the news papers.
- Don’t come late, I will not wait for anyone.
- Training begins 9:30. Those who come late are locked out from the rest of the team and get to practice alone.
- The bus leaves always on time. If a player is late, his left at home, even if it’s a minute’s delay.

“I’m not waiting for someone, even if it would mean, that we get to play the match with a man less” /José Mourinho

Injured players should arrive at the training ground an hour before training starts. After examination, the physician should then report to Mourinho about the situation.
The practice is always 90 minutes long. And the Real Madrid players should be prepared for a tough season. Hard workouts, but with a lot of ball involved.
And finally, mobile phones may be used also on the bus. But the signal must be on silent, so the rest of the squad is not disturbed by incoming calls.

Feedback to Benzema about following the teams rules

Spanish Marca writes that Mourinho repeatedly held talks with Benzema about discipline and the team rules. Last time Mourinho needed to upbraid him in front of the rest of the squad.
“If it was just for you, I would have the practice in the middle of the day, because you come here at ten, half asleep and at eleven, you have already fallen asleep again” / Mourinho

Did you know that a space shuttle uses more energy the first three minutes after a start, than during its entire voyage round the world? So make sure you have the right amount of energy and the right direction, when you start of, because you are fighting the forces of gravity like old behaviors, norms, thinking and habits. (See the category A. About Mourinho Leadership “The Model”, how each piece in the leadership model is connected to each other)

Floorball – What makes up personality?

personality, psycholgical core, dynamic, consistent, role related behavior

Psychological core – The deepest component in making up our personality includes our values, attitudes, interests and motives. This is “the real you”, this part also include our beliefs about our selves and self confidence.

Typical Responses – The ways we adjust to the environment, or how we most likely will respond in different situations, happy, shy, open, want to be in the center of attention etc. Sometimes people can be wrongly judged on their typical responses, if you only see a person once or the first time in a team and that person is “shy”, he/she is easily put in to the “shy” box, but it might just be the current situation that created the typical response, it’s not the way this person usually acts.

Role related behavior – This behavior is the most changeable aspect of our personality. Different situations require different roles, during the day you might switch between some of these roles, football coach, dad/mum, husband/wife, employee, friend etc.

Knowing your floorball players will help you in your coach role and in coaching the team and the individuals. You know the basics how your players are and probably will act in certain situations. Knowing your players well, will also help you to understand their “driving force”. Motives may though change over time, so you need to continue to follow up and understand why your players are there, to be able to motivate them in a right way.

Close realtionships

There is a statement that goes, the deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership. True? I don’t have the right answer, but if you look at José Mourinho it can be true.

Materazzi might not be a “Firts Teamer”, but this video shows how valued he was for Mourinho and the team, even on the bench.

If you study José Mourinhos leadership and relation to the players, it’s sometimes described as father – son relation, or that he is the big brother the players are looking up to. If you have that kind of a close relation, he probably knows his players quite good. Of course you can know your players well without having a father – son relation, and it will work well!

“Compared to Rafa Benitez, Mourinho had more close relation to the players and was more open and humoristic” /Javier Zanetti