If you get criticism or negative feedback, instead of protecting your self with excuses or explanations. Try to tell your self , “there is some truth in what you say, and there is a reason behind, why you say so”. Take the feedback with you and value it later…
If you listen to some interviews depending of the outcome you most likely will hear a difference. Many times a negative floorball result or performance is explained with external factors (referee, unlucky, away game etc), or wage internal factors, we tried, but today we did not manage to live up fully to our capability. Success on the other hand is most likely described with own successful performance and skills or a team members successful performance and is most likely quite precis. Do you recognize it?
“The linesman scored the goal. No-one knows if that shot went over the line and you must be 100% sure” /José Mourinho
Giving feedback or in explaining your floorball teams performance, the following aspects should be consired.
Internal or external factors? Internal could be your own effort and skills. External can be referee, floor, surface weather, unlucky and so on.
Stable over time or just “one timer”
Control over the situation, who was in charge.
Floorball Teams/players that are explaining their failures or success with external causes, as “one timers”, that where out of control for the team/player, will most likely end up in a really bad negative trend.
On the other hand floorball teams/players explaining their success with internal cause (their own effort, skills etc.), stability over time (we/I can and will be able to do it again) and we did it because we acted according to the game plan or as we have practiced (control), will have better chances to perform well next time as well.
Here you as floorball coach have an important role, because how you explain the results (cause, stability and control), will also affect the degree of how much your floorball team members will explain the results in this way, and also how they act during the game. The same principle can be applied on feedback during a floorball match.
Feedback during the floorball match
Your feedback during a floorball match can mostly be divided in three categories,
– Positive/negative reinforcement
– Technical instructions
– General encouragement
How are you acting in your coach role during a match?
-In the half-time Mourinho told me that “I want more intensity from your side, you are not the Milito I know, you are just walking around” – After that I scored two goals. /Diego Milito
How to celebrate a floorball goal?
What about the feedback between the players during a match? If you look at celebrations after a goal, how is the goal scorer acting? Running away from the team, or to the team members? Was the goal his or the teams, how is his/her reactions, ME or WE?
Feedback to the team or individuals?
There can also be difference if you are talking about team or individuals when you are explaining or giving feedback on the performance. Will you strengthen the floorball team or individuals in the team? In floorball teams with low team spirit or in a losing team, it tends to be more individual aspect in explaining the results and in teams with good team spirit and communication within the team, the team approach is more common, for both victories as losses, we win as a team, we lose as a team.
Finally a sentence about the most common reason for feedback from the coach or the team members, mistakes. “Everyone makes mistakes, but to get upset and also show it, makes the mistake complete” (Look, it was me who did it…)
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?
“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.
In order to avoid social loafing (social loafing = I’m not important, nobody will recognize if I don’t do my best), it’s important that you give feedback to all of your players, so they know you see them, and they feel they are unique, important and meaningful for the team’s success. This is especially important for the players with less “glamorous” roles, left or right defensemen (compared to a striker), hardworking defensive players or the substitutes (Waterboy).
See each individual performance
So you need to ensure you see each and every individual performance, and are able to give feedback, so the players can’t fall in to the trap of social loafing, they feel that you see them all the time and therefore the value of their performance will increase, you are showing them every player is important for the teams success. Like the small thing in the corner, when you played defense, so the opponents where not able to get in the front of the goal…
Floorball matches and practices
This is of course applicable for both floorball games and practices. Look at José Mourinho during the games, he is taking notes and writing in his small notebook through the whole game. It’s impossible to remember everything from the floorball game or practice… Your notes will help you when you want to give correct feedback after a floorball game or practice to each player, and the message will be stronger if you can refer to the the game situations correctly. Individual meetings with each floorball player will be a helpful method to avoid social loafing.
– Do it directly if it’s possible
– Be precise (use examples from the game and practice)
– React on one action or behavior (not person)
– Use I messaging, I feel… I can see…
– Keep it short
– Use silence (silence makes the player(s) reflect and think)
– Open up for a solution, (how do you feel? How could you do this differently?)
– Ending, (OK, like you said… …could that be the way you try to do it the next time?)
“Give feedback to your best players, otherwise they won’t be best in the long run, but give feedback also to the low performing players, so they know, that you know…” /Swedish hockey coach
“Guys you need to take more shots, they have also a bad goalie!” /Swedish hockey coach
After each game, Mourinho congratulates all his players on the pitch and bench, starting with his captain. And he does so by hugging them and/or touching their heads, not many managers has this kind of close rapport with their players.
There is a clear connection between, quickly getting rid of your previous negative thoughts related to your performance and your next performance in the next floorball drill, practice or game. Have you “driven of the road” in to the ditch, you will face two options, to stay in the ditch and complain about your situation and feeling pity of yourself. Or you can immediately start the actions to get you back on road again, get your focus back on the original plan (what and how).
The ones, who are good at this, refocusing, will avoid unnecessary energy leakages and be able to keep their self-confidence. Many times the players will continue to get negative thoughts after a mistake. What if I will fail again? What if I get injured? What if I will not be successful? All this can be changed to, what if I will have fun again? What if I’m good? What if I will be successful? This is something you can visualize for your players and guide their thinking in the right direction.
Think of, or look up some videos with José Mourinho in a press conference after a game, how does he act, what does he say after a win or after a loss? Is there a difference in his behaviour?
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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
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?
As the season progresses, keep after your floorball players. Build them up, compliment their improvement, reward them for it! If your floorball team is competitive, don’t forget what got you there! Continue to speak of floorball team cohesion and learning opportunities. The worst thing you can do is to forget your plan and start focusing on the title, all you are doing is setting your players up for an even greater disappointment. You’ll make them tight, nervous, and in the end… will they still be having fun then?
Remember, even if you’re not feeling particularly positive during some point in the floorball game, your attitude and your face, your posture, your entire being must reflect that you are positive and believe in your floorball team, and each individual. You have all the faith in the world in your teammates. They can do this and your positive attitude shows them that.
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.
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?
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)