Floorball Team dynamics on practices and games

So far, I have been talking about Steiner’s model in the teamwork part, but of course there are other models that can help you understand your floorball team behavior and development. Below you find a summary of Tuckman & Jensen 1977, team development model.

Floorball game situation drills and practices

Forming – The floorball team members get to know each other and start to identify the task/challenge they are facing and how they should solve it. This is a very exciting phase for each member, although they might have spent one or more seasons together, but when you add or trade/add/remove players or change the task for the team, you will start from the beginning by forming.

Storming – Now the “honeymoon” is over and you will probably or most likely face conflicts and tensions in your floorball team, between the players and sometimes between you and a player (or this will be hidden under the surface). The conflicts can be about roles in the team, behavior, tactics etc. If the conflicts are not handled some teams will not take the next step and be stuck in storming phase.

Norming – The floorball players start to find their places and roles within the team. Roles and norms start to be established and clear for everyone, regarding both the task and social intercourse. Goals are getting clearer and clearer and the co-operation is strengthened within the team.

Performing – Now the floorball team is ready, relations, roles, goals and norms are clear for everyone and accepted. The focus is now the first steps towards the common goal on short and long term, by beating other teams.

Adjourning – The season is over and the motivation is lower than before and the relationship between the floorball players might not be that important anymore, the focus starts to shift to holidays and next 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?

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.

Floorball thanks for the 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 vs. Hockey from a coach perspective Part 2

I’m today fully engaged as a hockey coach in a youth team and “partly” involved in different floorball asignments. What I can see is that floorball players playing hockey are mostly extremely skilled in stickhandling and they are also a head regarding game understanding, WHY? I think it’s simply because you don’t need to focus on learning skating. Therefore in floorball you can focus on stickhandling and game understanding at an earlier stage than in hockey, and as a hockey coach I’m greatly thankfull for that support from floorball to my players in my hockey team.
Hockey vs Floorball and team size

Floorball vs. Hockey from a coach perspective Part 1

Floorball vs. hockey, I think this is the way it’s seen among hockey and floorball coaches and you have a lot of preconceptions involved among the coaches, which are also very often transferred to the players and already there you have a huge barrier to break through, if you would like to try to combine the participation between these two sports, hockey and floorball.

Hockey – “Floorball is for weak hockey players” or “Hockey for girls”
Floorball – “Hockey is extremely expensive” or “Hockey players have the wrong values, they are too macho!”

Floorball defense

With these and similar statements, you create a huge conflict to a young floorball or hockey player who would like to try or start with one of the sports, which side should you choose (many times a young players parent will choose for them)?
I don’t think you should choose one side, I think you should try to combine these two sports, hockey and floorball, if it’s possible, since they will be complementary to each and other and improve the players in general.

So instead of seeing the benefits from combining floorball and hockey, when you are dealing with young floorball or hockey players, the focus is put on building barriers, starting from many coaches or sometimes parents?

Youth Floorball and Hockey – Can these be combined?

Floorball and hockey will be the theme for a couple of posts and I rather talk about floorball and hockey (combination / co-operation), than floorbal vs. hockey (competition), even if I will be forced to use floorball vs. hockey as well.

This first post will be a general post about hockey and floorball and the first question is, can these two sports floorball and hockey benefit from each other?

I think they absolutely can, floorball and hockey are very similar sports when it comes to required technical skills, tactics, game understanding and systems. The first and hard practical obstacle will be in combining these two sports, since both are played during the same season (winter). Therefore both floorball and hockey will be “fighting” to get the same athletes/youth players into their teams.

Hockey and Floorball practice game together

I think co-operation between hockey and floorball is the key. At least in the teams I’m engaged in “we” have managed to do this, hockey practices are mainly on Mondays and Thursdays and floorball practices are on Wednesdays, co-operation instead of competition.

I will continue to dig into this theme in several posts, from a coach perspective, a player perspective and a parents perspective.