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 Motivation – Get to know your players

The first thing you have to do is pretty simple, to get motivated floorball players. You’ve got to get to know your floorball players and find out why they have signed up to play in your floorball team.

Floorball defense

Because, let’s face it, if all twenty something of your floorball players are just interested in having a bit of fun and not working very hard, you are NOT going to do anything, but make yourself frustrated trying to convince an entire floorball team to see things your way. Figure out what your players want, meet them there and start guiding them towards the future or your vision for the floorball team.

Floorball – Specific goals create energy and persistence over time

What’s measured gets done, clear goals will also increase the effort to reach the goals within the floorball team. Your goals will also guide you as floorball coach in planning and prioritizing your activities for the team and of course the roadmap will be clearer when you know where you are heading.

Floorball goal scoring, shooting practices and drills

Specific goals

Try to specify your goals as much as possible, because this will increase the effort and clarity of the goal. It will also be easier for you as the coach to evaluate the effort and give feedback if the goal is more specific. If you want to increase the ball possession, you could set a target to have at least ten successful passes from each player during a game, instead of saying, we need to increase the ball possession (or the worst case we should avoid losing ball).

Floorball skill practice drills

Use the goal setting for both floorball practices and games and try to write down the goals and visualize it for the team. This will secure that you have the same view of what’s measured and what’s needed to be done. If you are only discussing the goals, it will be possible that you don’t have the same picture or you or your players forget the goal and it can be interpreted in different directions by each player when the time goes by.

Common mistakes in goal setting

The goals are not…
– Followed up
– Visualized
– Specific
– Understood
– Few (too many goals will split up the energy and focus)

If your goals and vision is strong enough it will create energy and persistence over time.

“We shall have a man on the moon before the end of the decade”

Floorball – Motivation

Every floorball coach struggles with motivating his or her players from time to time. You’d think that this wouldn’t be a problem, you’d think that that all of your floorball players would be highly motivated already. I mean they signed up to be your floorball team, right? They MUST all be highly motivated and ready for you to mold them into stars… right?

Okay, stop laughing. I know, I know… Wake up! I’m dreaming! I’ll bet you thought the same thing when you first started coaching. You entered into this with the idea that everyone would be happy to see you, and that everyone would look to you for guidance, but that impression didn’t last for ever or did it?

Floorball youth coaching drills and practices

So what can you do with your floorball players strangely lacking drive to run through a brick wall for you and the team? Well, the first thing you need to understand is that every player is different. Not all of your floorball players are dynamos of energy, ready and willing to die for the cause. No, some of them just want to have a bit of fun in the sunshine, while others wan’t to be floorball superstars. Get to know your floorball players and theire motives and their vision of being in the floorball team to find the answer and the correct ingredients to get them motivated.

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 – 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.

For Me, the Floorball Team or why do I do it?

There is a general model to talk about individual motivation. The closer a thing is to your “heart” the more it will motivate you (internal motivation), or in other words give you more energy to perform.

Motivation in stone age

But first we need to move, a way back in time. Actually to the first people on earth, what was their motivation?
To survive, they needed to get food to survive, if you did not find any food your own body/you self would suffered, in the next step the motivation came from helping your own family, and after that your “relatives/other family” and maybe “friends”. That was the basic, but when you have achieved that, you could get some extra attention by being the best hunter (your professional role), and you might got a better position in the “team” because of that.

That’s way back in time so what do I know? But it could have been that way.

Motivation in modern times

If we translate it to modern time, could it be that the same basics are still there? If your own body is threatened or you see an opportunity that will gain you, you will react, right? You will try to run away/fight or grab the opportunity, because it’s about you, you are the most important for you! Things that will affect you will always create energy and motivation.
Just think of the headings or the first pages of the newspapers, each heading is formulated so you would react and buy the newspaper. “Top 50 people earning most in your town”, “The new flue, read how you will be affected”, “Ketchup causes cancer, you might be affected” If you don’t buy the newspaper or visit the website the “heading” makers have failed…

Players on the transferlist

Players that are on the transfer list or affected about “changing team” rumors will in many cases perform outstanding, sometimes they will perform poorly because they are too affected by this and choose to escape/run away. Either way the situation has created energy, but as in the second case it was misdirected.

Floorball goal scoring and shooting practices

What we care about, will motivate us

The things that are closest to a person’s heart that will create energy/motivation to do something will differ between people, but below you find general things, that motivate people, things that make people react in some way. You need to figure out this picture for each and one of your players to be able to motivate them, by understanding their closest to “heart things”. The closer the things are you the more reaction it will create, the order can vary between persons and there are of course many other things to put in there.

  1. Your own body / You
  2. Family, relatives and friends (teammates, here or further away)
  3. Traits and talents
  4. Opinions and values
  5. Social position, professional role, performance, possessions, looks etc.
  6. Club, nation, culture etc.

This a general picture and as I wrote earlier, it can vary a lot between people or in this case team members.

Why do you do things, what are the motives?

What about the floorball practices, why are your players coming there? What are their motives or their “closest to heart subjects”? Some of the answers you have already read about, but you need to explore this more in your own team, to understand your participants.

See the first 15 seconds, to get the explanation, to why the Waterboy, chose that particular class.

What motivates a floorball coach?

What then motivates a floorball coach? What motivates José Mourinho? After winning the triple with Inter he declared immediately after, that his work was done, he had created history with the team and that he needed new challenges in a new team. (Real Madrid)

I think José Mourinho finds his motivation and energy in aiming for the big titles, creating history and building up underdog teams to champions (maybe it’s hard to call Real Madrid for underdogs, but for the moment, they are behind Barcelona).

– Porto was struggling, Mourinho made them winners of the Champions League
– Chelsea hadn’t won the Premier League for 50 years, before Mourinho arrived.
– Inter were struggling in the Champions League, last victory was from 1965. With Mourinhos lead they won the Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League.
– Real Madrid has won the UEFA Champions League 2002 and La Liga 2008, so it has been a while a go for a team of Real Madrid’s caliber, that’s why Mourinho is in Madrid, this is his challenge and motivation, to get the big titles back to Madrid.

So by explaining why and finding subjects that are important for each person you can motivate others. What you are then doing, is to make them to take a “step over the line” from passive to active team members. It’s when this is done, you can expect real results.

You can have expectations on results, but if the players have not taken the step over the line, you will not see any results, it will rather be explanations, excuses and external factors, to the missing results, and many times a sacked/fired coach after a while.

This could be shown, when you are introducing your game set up going from 1-2-2 to 2-2-1 or 1-3-1. If you don’t manage to explain why this is the best system for the team, you can have players not “stepping over the line” and therefore the results might not be there.

Floorball running with ball practices and drills

A practical example – Penalty Shot

Let’s have an example, a penalty shot. If you would not have pointed out a penalty shooter, what reactions would this situation create inside your players?

Most of them would see this as a threatening situation (they are personelly affected) and would make anything in their power to avoid the situation (excuses, tired, small injury, I usually miss the goal on practice, and moving the responsibility between the other team member, you can take it etc.)  Why would your players want to take the penalty shot (step over the line)?

1. Your own body / You
2. Family, relatives and friends (teammates, here or further away)
3. Traits and talents
4. Opinions and values
5. Social position, professional role, performance, possessions, looks etc.
6. Club, nation, culture etc.

Egoistic reasons, I want to be in focus (1.). I do it for the team and my team mates (2.). I get an opportunity to expand the professional role (I will get the opportunity next time as well) (5.).  I do it for my nation (6.)

The players that find these why reasons inside themselves, will probably be more successful than a player that’s forced to take the penalty shot, they might just ask themselves, why me?

The answer to why

Other areas to think about regarding the why explanation, is when you are choosing drills to your practice, why this drill? When you have the answer for yourself, you might need to explain it to your players as well, or?

If you manage explaining why and finding subjects that are important for each person you can motivate others, you will make them “step over the line”. This will be shown in:
– All team members are personally committed and interested in the success of the team
– All players understand why they are in the team (their role) and what affect they have on the whole team performance
– Leaders and coaches continuously communicate why, and try to connect it to each of the players “closest to heart things” (success of the team should be a common interest for each player)
…and therefore everybody realizes that their contribution will make difference for the team and themselves, from the top scorer to waterboy!

Floorball – The power of three letters – WHY

Think of a situation where you did not have the true energy or motivation to do something. Do you have the picture and the feeling?

I can use one of my examples, it’s of course from the sports. I played football and had my position to the right on the midfield. On some of the drills on our football practices I was supposed run up on the border and then make turn and run in towards the middle, and then the defenseman would pass the ball on the same side I was running from, to a forward that was meeting up the ball.

I found it totally unnecessary and useless doing that and therefore asked the coach, why I’m running the way I were, I just got the answer that I needed to do so, it was part of the drill… Do you find it exciting?

Ok I did not have José Mourinho as the head coach and I wasn’t David Beckham and as you see I didn’t have the opportunity either.

Floorball youth skills drills and practices

Explaining Why

What if the coach would have explained it this way? You need to run on the border and turn into the middle to get their left midfielder to follow you to the centre, by doing this you will create some space at the border, since their midfielder will follow you, and therefore we can pass the ball to our own forward in that space you have created through your run, and from there we can start our next move, so you are making an important run to create space for your teammate and for us to make the next move.

So what was the secret? WHY, you are doing something. Can you see the difference in the motivation and energy level of a young player?

Mourinho, do he need to explain why?

José Mourinho is of course not facing this simple problem, but he will still need to explain WHY, many, many times to his players. Sometimes it’s even harder to get your experienced players trying to do some new things, because some of them will be “yesbuts”, yes but, we are used to do it this way, and then you really need to explain WHY, they need to do things differently or your way.

“Yesbut we are different”
“Yesbut we have already tried it in the past”
“Yesbut our people don’t like it”
“Yesbut but my responsibility will change”
“Yesbut it will destroy our game”
“Yesbut it does not fit our structure”
“Yesbut our fans do not need it”
“Yesbut we are obliged to …”

God bless the whynotters!
They dare to dream…. and act, thereby achieving what others see as unachievable.

Why is also important in general terms, for why you are playing floorball, why are you here in this floorball team? You can also ask that question to yourself, why are you coaching, why are you a floorball coach?

Non-professional floorball players (main reasons)

Really young floorball player: Why are you playing?
–         I want to be a floorball pro
–         My parents want me to play
–         I have my best friend David here

Young floorball player: Why are you playing?
–         I want to be a floorball pro or at least try to earn some money on it
–         I have my friends here

Semi-professional Floorball player: Why are you playing?
–         I get some extra money
–         I like the chat in the locker room
–         I just like it, it’s part of me
–         It keeps me in shape
–         It’s nice to say you are a floorball player, to the girls in the bar
–         I like floorball

Professional floorball players (main reasons)
–         I earn my living
–         I want to win the league/big titles
–         I want to be a better football player
–         I like the chat in the locker room
–         I just like it, it’s part of me
–         I like floorball
–         I want to win (game, league, tournament)

“I told Adrian Mutu, you are already a rich boy, you won a lot of money, you are still in a big contract. So no problem with your future about money, no problem about prestige in your home country. When you go back to Romania you will be one of the kings. But five years after you leave football nobody remembers you. Only if you do big things. This is what makes history.”  /José Mourinho

Youth floorball practices and drills

When you are coaching floorball on “lower” levels you need to understand why your players are there, to be able to pull the right strings, your floorball players will have many reasons to why they want to play floorball, have you asked them?

Why are your Floorball players there?

What about if you are José Mourinho? Somehow there is no difference, you still need to know why, why are your players there, the main reason is not just that they have a contract with the team (in that case they probably already are sitting on the bench) or that they want to earn a lot of money, because they already are. So what is it then?

That’s a question I can not give you the right answer on, you need to know your players to understand, why they continue their career and what motivates them, and I mean each and one of them, because you will not get the same answer from each and one of the players!

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