Floorball – coach for the right reasons

With the way most of our live and work these days, we have an increasingly isolated lifestyle. We sprint from our homes to our jobs, and then from our jobs to the grocery store, or to our children’s schools… and then if we’re lucky, from there to a quick dinner before collapsing into the sofa or bed, so we can get some sleep before the next day’s race. There is never time to become part of our community, never really time to do more than survive?

Coaching Young floorball players allows us to be part of the answer. Study after study has shown that when children are involved in organized activities like in floorball teams, they do better in school and within their families. So the real question isn’t how can we make time for this, it’s more like, how can we not make time for this?

Floorball practice shooting drill

I think we’ve all met the bad coach, the unreasonable guy who treats eight year olds like they are adult men in a NHL team. But we’ve also met the guy who motivates his floorball players to try new things in life, and to learn about self confidence and teamwork. You know… he’s the guy that we aspire to be, the one who generates respect from his players and their families. It really isn’t that hard… if you are coaching for the right reasons.

Floorball feedback, value it

and, always… coach for the right reasons. You are not involved with children in order to make all of them floorball superstars or national team heroes, you are coaching them into being better people …besides developing theire floorball skills.

 

Floorball – Mourinho – Everything can be controlled

Mourinho believe in control and his coaching methods focus on what is in his direct control, his opinion is that the only factor he can not control are the supporters.

One of his priorities is keeping things simple and therefore try to remove the complexity or simplify it. Focus or concentration is an another important area for Mourinhos’ players, the message is that the opponents are not stupid and can potentially have the same methods… In terms of weakness of the opponents Mourinho will try to and practice taking advantage of the individual player weaknesses, such as height of players or weak foot.

Floorball youth game

Other aspects of his leadership and coaching include a “brutal honesty”, with strict eye to eye contact and he does not censor his word no matter who the player, that you can read in the newspapers and in this book.

Mourinho believes in hard work ethics and a balanced game system, so it’s not about attacking or defending, it’s about balance between these two factors.

Floorball – Barcelona is the enemy outside the team?

The team spirit within the team will most of the times increase when you have another team to compete against or a common “enemy” outside the team.
This is something Mourinho is using many times, creating enemies outside the team to make the team stronger inside. I think Mourinho has already couple of scenarios ready, Barcelona is the favorite to win the La Liga in everybody’s eyes and the referees will give advantage to Barcelona… (this was written before the season started) Try to Google some of those sentences and see if you get any hits.

“I knew this would happen long ago, but I do not care. I know because I know who controls the game, and if you look at their statements, then you understand why they have made this decision. I worry about playing on a Saturday night at 22:00 then on a Tuesday in the Champions League. Barcelona [does] not want to play on the Saturday because they play on the Wednesday before, and because of this we need to play on a Monday.”

Floorball 2 on 1 practices and drills

As a leader you need to take responsibility for the extreme we and them situations that might occur in sports. A common fight against an “enemy” outside the team will strengthen the team spirit, but might in the long run create an unhealthy hostility against other teams or groups and it should not be necessary to do this in youth teams. You should focus on the challenge or compete against the situation rather than an enemy outside the team.

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 – Dealing with conflicts

Floorball coaching by its nature can be very stressful. The floorball head coach has agreed to place himself in a situation where he will repeatedly face conflict. Over the course of a floorball season, the head coach will likely have disputes with opposing coaches and game officials, as well as from his or her own floorball players and their family members / parents. No matter what a floorball coach decides to do, it is highly likely that his decision will be questioned or even resisted by someone.

Waiting time at floorball practice before a drill

So what’s a coach to do about this? Well, the first thing that a new coach has to understand is that it WILL happen. It is unavoidable, conflict will continually pop up as long as you are coaching. Quite honestly, if you can’t accept this now… quit, save yourself the mental anguish. But if you decide to remain, then you are going to need some help in dealing with it. Some tools and other posts are found on this site, use the search function or keywords.

Team and Individual Values – Norway

To get the best team spirit and values within the team. The Norwegian National Team defined some team value words and the meaning of them in practice.

Norway scoring goal against Germany Hockey World Championships

“Can we control results or the outcome from a game? No, but we can control our physical preparation, our action and our values!”

Team Values – To beat the best teams!

– Disciplin (extremely good carrying through, we cannot afford careless performance)
– Engagement (We make each other good, and the opposite team bad)
– Enthusiasm (Positive body language)
– Clear roles and ownership of the role
– Desperation (work / practice hard and with discipline twice / day)

How do you show this when you step in to the changing room? How is your body language? What do you stand for?

Desperation Succesful Team Values Norway

Inspire your self and your teammates to success!

Norway made one of their best World Championship Tournament results in 2012, they were “unlucky” to meet the coming world champions Russia early in the Play Off’s, a thing they could not control (who they will meet), but they were well prepared, 2-2 in the third period…
Russia 5 – 2 Norway (Quarter finals)
Russia 6 – 2 Finland (Semi-finals)
Russia 6- 2 Slovakia (Final)

Norway Structured Development and Clear Vision

The most impressive presentation during the coach training, was the Norwegian one. So good content and fantastic presentation by Roy Johansen (National team coach) and his colleague from Olympic coaching team.

Roy Johansen Norway Hockey
Roy Johansen to the left

Norway started their development by thinking of, what are the best teams / nations doing? What does the best hockey (floorball) player do, what skills do they have, and what skills are they masters of?

Then they continued with working with their own team identity, who are we? What can we be best in? What can we control? Can we chase the other team all over the rink?

As an output from this, Team Norway could get some answers and identify areas to focus on. The key area was the answer to the questions, What can we be best in? What can we control? We can be physically prepared.
Therefore they
– Created a physical training development stair, with defined levels of, what is world class.
– Started an “Ironman” competition for all players and teams, that is run before the season starts.
– Defined their way of playing hockey (floorball)
– Defined team values, or valuing words to describe wanted behavior within the team.
– Set goals short and long term

Team Norway Hockey, Victory over Latvia during World Championships 2012

“Extreme goals – Requires extreme process”
/Team Norway

To be continued…

Floorball is bigger than Ice Hockey in Denmark

I will continue with the learnings from the coaching training, I attended during the World Championships in hockey. Next up Denmark…

Per Bäckman the head coach of Denmarks national hockey team and Esben Nedermark GM Danish National Hockey Team started their presentation, with talking about how small sport hockey is in Denmark.

Danish hockey has:
– 4400 registered players
– 16 teams
– 24 indoor rinks

While there are:
– 5000 hockey officials/referees in Toronto
– 296818 licensed football players in Denmark
– 5800 badminton players in Denmark
and 6000 Floorball players : )

Still Denmark is in the highest division in hockey, I will altough also talk about Norway, they have done an impressive work, with small resources!

What have Denmark done then?

One of the focus areas have been to have short and quick attacks, if you have not scored after 15 seconds you can give the ball (puck) to the other team, like the Norwegian national football team manager “Drillo” Olsen once said.

The Danish team have also been working with tactic and the discipline to stick to it, teambuilding, social environment and technical skills (opposite to Norway). What they are not good in regarding the national team coaches, is the physical part, they are too weak. The hard practicing culture is not there…

About the future…

Regarding the future for Danish hockey, Per Bäckman was quite negative, “we are at the top now, we will not get better, and we will not get more players or rinks, we need to take care of what we have now and try to maintain that.”

Wrong attitude…

In my mind totally wrong attitude, you will always need development and try to recruit new players and develop the game, players and teams, the same goes for floorball. When you think you can not develop or are satisfied, you will start to roll down the hill you are climbing and be eliminated in the end!

Denmark hockey and floorball
Danish Hockey a good story (name of the presentation) – They have done a good work, but it will not last for so long, with the attitude I have described above…

“You have totally different view on game system and tactics than Sweden?”
“Yes, I can not understand, why you would chase another players on the ice for 60 minutes” /Per Bäckman

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 – 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.