Floorball – Taking care of the results

Usually you only see the hard results, your score in the football game, your position in the league and so on. Many times you forget to see the progress and results in the “soft” parts, like working together (teamwork), better communication, team spirit etc. The majority of coaches are judged purely on results and in many cases, purely on immediate success rather on their performance level connected to the pre-requisites.

Working together as a floorball team

Even if it’s the hard results that will count in floorball, but the soft results will make the right prerequisites for the hard results!

Floorball – Sorry I can’t hear you, my ego is calling for attention

Tune in the communication frequency

When you talk about communication you often talk about sender and receiver, and if it would be only a question of these two roles, communication would be easy. But communication takes time and has more aspects to consider, you have competence, experience, expectations and the environment that can affect your communication. If you have a great competence and experience in some subject it will probably affect the way you express yourself and depending on the receiver’s competence and experience your message will be interpreted in different ways. The receiver will also be affected of his/her expectations on your message and could sometimes also “shut off” in certain situations, because he/she “knows” what’s coming.

game3

The environment will of course affect your message, during a game there could be noise from the crowd/parents that will disturb the communication.

Are you with me, does it make sense, yes…

When you are talking look at your players are they listening, are they “here”. Are they looking at you, nodding or shaking their heads?

It can be hard to check if your players have understood your message if you do it like most of us do, by asking, have you understand? And the answer will be, yes!

What if you just asked someone of the players to summarize shortly what you have said, so everyone has the same picture of the message and you would get a receipt of understanding.

Youth Floorball tactics and feedback

This same rule goes for you as a leader receiving a question from your players, summarize what you have heard and answer after that, so you know you answer to the question he/she actually wants the answer to, not what you expect or guess he/she asks about.

Sorry I can’t hear you, my ego want’s some attention

To be able to understand someone else you need to understand the other parts point of view, and this can be hard if you self are having a different view or are eager to express your “brilliant” idea / comment / question etc, but there is a good rule, you need to let go of your own perspective in order to be able to understand someone else. In practice this means you can not think of your own picture when you are trying to understand the picture the other one is painting, this goes for all of us.

 

“Many people have so big egos screaming so loudly, that they aren’t able to hear what others are saying”

Floorball – Conflict Handling

First things first, calm down. An old referee used to tell anyone who would listen to him this one thing, once a floorball coach begins to yell, the discussion is over. Take his advice, speak slowly and speak softly. When conflict occurs, your best bet is to remain calm, remain logical, and speak your piece. Listen to what the other party is saying and take it seriously, and most of all, understand that you will not win most of the time, and it should not be the main purpose.

Working together as a floorball team

So, conflict happens, so now what?  Well, smart floorball coaches understand that in conflict, there is opportunity. During a conflict, the way you act will determine the ground rules for the next dispute. For instance, if during a floorball practice the head coach yells back at a frustrated player, there is a good chance that this player will shut down and stop dealing with this coach. On the other hand, if the coach remains calm, speaks his mind, and deals honestly with the floorball player, the coach will open lines for future communication.

So remember to calm down, conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In conflict, there is an opportunity to exchange points of view. Conflict can be viewed as a chance to learn another point of view.  And besides all that, no one wins them all.

Floorball – Guided discovery

Magnifying glass.
Most of us has once owned a magnifying glass, have you? I have. The original purpose of a magnifying glass is to visualize the details or make the details bigger. Did you use the magnifying glass for something else? I did…
I assume that you have at least once tried to create a fire with your magnifying glass, when you were young? How can this be connected to (direction) your vision, goals and focused areas?
Your vision goals and focused areas should do the exact same work as the magnifying glass, catch the energy within the frames and focus it to a point to create fire.

Youth Floorball shooting, goal scoring practices and drills

Are we looking at the same picture?

One of the most important things, when talking about vision, goals and focused areas is communication. How can you secure that everyone has the same target image or picture as you want or how do you know the player have understood your message or seen the picture you try to “paint” out for them?

There will be a lot of things that will make the picture to differ between your floorball players, experience, expectations, their own will, the language you are using including your body language and many other things. Therefore it’s important that you somehow get a receipt of their understanding and interpretations. If you also allow you players to comment or maybe add things to your vision, focus or goals, you will immediately get a stronger buy in from each and one of the players.

A message from the future

Why should you have a vision? The vision will give you guidance in your leadership, coaching, daily decision making, acting and communication.

When you talk about a vision, you and I might have different pictures in our heads. I will try to give you my picture. For me to start with a vision can be in whatever format, only your own fantasy can limit it. It can be everything between some bullet points on a paper to a short movie “from the future”. So the format is not that important, but how it’s perceived, it should create energy and direct it on the long term, and to be honest how exciting are some bullet points, even if they would do the work?

A vision can be a colorful multi-dimensional description of what you as the leader see in the future, you can in your own mind/head try to move couple of years into the future and describe what you see, feel, hear, regarding the team, achievements, team spirit, players, club, fans, results, behavior etc. A good way to describe what has happened in the future is to actually try to describe it as it would have happened, not in, should terms. Because as you have read earlier the pictures you create are important (sour lemon or basketball example). There is one more dimension to ad, our brains can not make difference between created realistic pictures and realistic pictures, the difference comes from our own values and belief…

I try to visualize the difference for you.

Vision 2014
– We should win the league 2014
– We should improve our team-spirit
– We should increase the intensity in our practices
– We must… etc.

Or…

8th of May 2014
I would like to welcome you all to this press conference. I can imagine you have a lot of questions after our victory in the League. If I just start to give you my point of view of the key success factors, after that you will be able to ask some questions to the players.

To start with, I think our victory would have not been possible without the fantastic team spirit we have in our team, everyone has a clear defined role, and all of the players have accepted this during this year/these years, we don’t use the word “first teamers”, we are one TEAM.

During this year we have increased the intensity in our practices which we also showed clearly in yesterday’s last game in the league. We were the strongest team in the end, we were willing to run the extra mile, and if you look at the amount of goals we have scored this season, it’s 89 goals and that gives you also the picture of an offensive, strong and quick team!

The setup, could be that you actually rig a press conference with the players in the press role. Do you feel the difference between these examples?

Guided discovery and all in

After creating a vision it’s important to also involve your floorball players, what do they think? Is this the correct way? Don’t just accept an yes, ask questions, why do they think it’s the right way, or why not, what did they find exciting in the vision (and not, why?), was there something that needs to be changed, added or deleted? In the end you are of course the one deciding about changes, but if you don’t listen to your players, you need to explain why you will do that, why you will continue with your “picture”, but in that case are you walking alone towards the vision or do you have your team with you on the trip? I can say that if the vision is well taught throug, prepared and tested on a smaller group before the presentation, and it’s attractive, you will only get positive feedback and explanations why it’s correct and therefore the players also feel that the vision is also theirs. Otherwise you sometimes get good input that will complement the vision, things that you haven’t thought about or didn’t feel were important, but for the team it was. Even if you make some changes, you will still have the same buy in from your team, in this case maybe even more, because they have added something and you as the leader have showed them that their opinion counts, respect!

José Mourinho

The same method applied on practices and drills.
“I use a global method, I use direct methods when preparing our organization, but I also use guided discovery where I create the practice, dictate the aim, and the players come up with different solutions” /José Mourinho

Floorball Communication Guidelines

One good communication guideline I can give you, is that, always remember who or what you are speaking to, or about, and pay attention to the situation that you are in. You cannot use the same logic and vocabulary with a group of eight year old floorball players that you would with a team of professional floorball players. You might be able to yell at older players during floorball drills, but you can’t do the same thing to a ten year old floorball player or with a referee during a game.

Floorball game and passing drill practices

Above all, always, remember that the world does not circle around you, each floorball game and practice is just a practice, until you start to earn your living on it, then the stakes might be higher.
Every floorball player, parent, spectator, and game official has their own beliefs and sets of priorities. Very few of these people will bend to your desires just because you are a floorball coach. Be prepared to explain what you want and why, this will help you on you floorball coach journey.

Floorball Communication and Body Language guidelines

Communication starts immediately in the first meeting with your team, players, new people, other floorball coaches, referees etc. the first impressions counts! Dress well, hold your head up high, look into their eyes when you are speaking, and always speak slowly and clearly. Treat everyone with the respect that you hope to earn or get back. (body language)

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

Listen when others speak and consider what they have to say before you respond. So you respond on the right thing. Ask questions as “receiver”, to secure that you have understood the message from the “sender”.
Make sure that you understand their point of view before continuing the conversation.  When you disagree, do so respectfully, clearly state your case and avoid repeating the same points over and over.

Floorball Coaching Communication Skills

Every experienced floorball coach can tell you about leadership tricks that they have learned over the years as floorball coaches. They’ll tell you about how they motivate their floorball players, how they establish discipline and rules and most of the floorball coaches will even be able to give you a few tricks about how to deal with the referees. When they are done, you’ll be left with one conclusion, most of what they are discussing comes down to communication. The José Mourinho Signs - Learn to understand body language Good floorball coaches communicate well, what a concept! 😉 You’d think that this would be obvious, but so many floorball coaches, not just floorball coaches, coaches in other sports struggle with this as well, on a regular basis. Many coaches think that they ought to automatically get respect in their role as a coach from their players and the game officials, but like most things, they have to learn to earn it. Good communication skills will accelerate this process. Take a look at the leadership model this can be applied on communication as well or the body language material

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 – 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 – Motivation to stay in the team

So far we have been talking about motivation to do something. What a bout the motivation to continue within the same team, stay in the group? Motivation to stay in the floorball team can be divided into two categories:
– Forces that attract team members to the team (task oriented, to win games tournaments)
– Resistance towards splitting up (force inside the team to continue as a team)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic left Inter for Barcelona in order to be able to win the Champions League. Inter with Jose Mourinho won Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League, the year Ibrahimovic left.
Mourinho left Inter for Real Madrid but, most of the Inter players stayed in the team, even if there were a lot of rumors about transfers, but not many of them showed up to be true in the end. The force to stay in the same team was stronger than the attraction of other teams, except for José Mourinho.

Floorball youth skill drills and practices

Research shows that a high turnover among players/employees is expensive, time consuming and affects the satisfaction and communication negatively among the players in the team.
When it comes to changing the coach it looks like the change is connected to negative results in case of continuous change of coaches.

“The magic triple we won with Mourinho, no one can take that away from us, and we have the same team as last year, so no one can say we can not do it again” /Javier Zanetti