Floorball – Hard days will always come, but never last?

What other people think of you is none of your business (I think Mourinho could have said that), Leadership is about having an unshakeable faith in your goals, vision and in your power to make positive things to happen together with your floorball team, these are also the things, good leaders are able to feed back to the team, to give more energy and keep a clear direction.
Just remember that hard days will always come, but never last, but strong people always do. Hard times are just opportunities to learn for the future!
Hard times build great leaders and floorball players. During the hard times and pressure, your leadership ability and skills are tested. Are you, or can you always be in control of things?

Floorball deke ball control

“If everything is under control, you are going too slow” /Mario Andretti, race driver

“The only thing that we cannot control is our supporters” / José Mourinho

“Pain is temporary. Quitting last forever”. /Lance Armstrong

Great leaders and teams create castles of the stones others throw at them, but it’s impossible to build a castle of success on a foundation of excuses.

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 – 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 – 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