Floorball – Do we use the same system?

Misunderstandings create conflicts

A consequence of bad listening is conflicts. Did you know that over 90% of all conflicts starts from a misunderstanding, we did not listen to the sender careful enough, or the opposite, and we did not secure that we had the same picture with some questions, have I understood you correctly if I interpret what you said like this… We can still have different opinions about the issue, but at least we know that.

Do we use the same system

Think of 1-2-2 set up in floorball, how would you describe it? Depending on your age, geographical location, values, competence, experience and so on you will describe it in a certain way. Do you think you and I would have the same picture? What if you were on a seminar with 100 floorball coaches, you probably could find someone with same thinking, but otherwise you would get many different views of 1-2-2, everything from extremely defensive set up to extremely offensive and everything in between. So if you would attend at seminar like this, and got the opportunity to talk about 1-2-2 with everyone, you would need to be really present in your listening and check with questions that you have understood correctly. What great learning experience or source for conflicts (same topic, but different pictures = misunderstanding = conflict)

Floorball defense

Think of following situation. You have been signed to lead a football team and explain for the team that you want to use the 2-2-1 set up, and immediately get the response, “good we know that system, it’s the same as our previous coach used”.  This could be a major pitfall, if you think you and your players and the previous floorball coach had the same picture of how to play 2-2-1. Instead you could start asking questions to understand how they did play in general, offensive, defensive, you might find similarities to your thinking, but you would also find differences in both why, what and how.

See you or send me an e-mail?

Another part that will affect our communication is, how you perceive things around you. By seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting or smelling?How do you perceive things? If you don’t have the answer, you can think of, how you say good bye, or end up a phone call, or you are maybe only sending text messages (sms and e-mail). I myself usually end up with “bye, see you” (even if it’s a phone call or I know that the next meeting will be a phone call as well). I want to see and hear things. So why am I writing about this, because it’s a very important part in communication and reaching your players with your message. I usually talk in pictures, I try to create an image of my message at least in my leadership role, risking therefore to lose some of my audience, who don’t primarily perceive things visually, therefore it’s important to try to mix your message (See – hear – feel – taste – smell) if it’s a large team/group you are talking to or try to adjust your message to the individual receiver, to be able to do that you need of course to know your floorball players well.

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 – 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.