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?
Usually you only see the hard results, your score in the football game, your position in the league and so on. Many times you forget to see the progress and results in the “soft” parts, like working together (teamwork), better communication, team spirit etc. The majority of coaches are judged purely on results and in many cases, purely on immediate success rather on their performance level connected to the pre-requisites.
Even if it’s the hard results that will count in floorball, but the soft results will make the right prerequisites for the hard results!
It’s easy to sacrifice relationships, when you are only hunting for results, the same goes for conflict handling.
On the Y-scale you have relationship and on the X-scale the performance. Depending on the size of the conflict or if you value relationship or performance higher there are some different ways to solve a conflict.
Avoidance – If there is a minor conflict, your players will forget it soon and it will not affect the performance nor the relationship.
Adjust/accept – You value the relationship higher than the performance and accept to adjust and give the other part right.
Compromise – Lose – Lose situation, none of the parts in the conflict will get their wanted solution and need to give up something. Example. A wants A as a solution B wants D as a solution, but you end up with C…
Bulldozer – You value the performance/results higher and are ready to sacrifice the relationship, you decide!
Consensus – Win-Win discussion, was it a misunderstanding from the beginning? Find a way to a win-win situation through guiding the dialogue.
The size of the floorball team will have a great impact on the team spirit, it’s harder to get a good team spirit within larger teams. In floorball teams with good team spirit the team members also tend to take greater responsibility of the negative results.
The team spirit will also most likely increase if your floorball players make great efforts or sacrifices during a floorball game. Increased team spirit will end up in greater attendance on floorball practices and more sacrifices from the players for the team during games, they will also more easily respect the team norms, like coming in time.
The level of team spirit will also affect the demand on leader behavior, task oriented (low team spirit) or relation oriented (high team spirit). High team spirit is most of the times connected to more democratic leadership.
Players in the starting formation tend to feel higher team spirit than substitutes in a losing team, but in a successful team difference is less visible between substitutes and starting formation.
In addition for clear common goals, communication and roles within the team, there are some additional things to consider regarding building up team spirit.
– Pride for the team and what the team is doing
– Team identity which will start from the game jerseys
Avoid sub-groups within the floorball team, make all of your players to know each other, this can be done through solving tasks together or with regularly meetings with the team and teambuilding activities.
When you genuinely help or support others they will do the same for you. When your players are there fully for each other, they will support each other, no matter what. One of the players supporting another will next time receive genuine support back. It’s somehow build into our system, if you get support or get something, you want to give something back. You show respect and you get respect back. You show appreciation and you get appreciation.
This is of course why shops have their demonstrations of food for example, you taste, and you feel immediately you need to do something back (at least most of us), buy the product. Try to transfer this thinking and acting into your team. You can go back and look for the Champions League games Inter played during 2010 when they won. They were there for each other all the time, and of course not only on the football field.
Extra ordinary relationships will give extra ordinary results.
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)
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.