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 Team dynamics on practices and games

So far, I have been talking about Steiner’s model in the teamwork part, but of course there are other models that can help you understand your floorball team behavior and development. Below you find a summary of Tuckman & Jensen 1977, team development model.

Floorball game situation drills and practices

Forming - The floorball team members get to know each other and start to identify the task/challenge they are facing and how they should solve it. This is a very exciting phase for each member, although they might have spent one or more seasons together, but when you add or trade/add/remove players or change the task for the team, you will start from the beginning by forming.

Storming – Now the “honeymoon” is over and you will probably or most likely face conflicts and tensions in your floorball team, between the players and sometimes between you and a player (or this will be hidden under the surface). The conflicts can be about roles in the team, behavior, tactics etc. If the conflicts are not handled some teams will not take the next step and be stuck in storming phase.

Norming – The floorball players start to find their places and roles within the team. Roles and norms start to be established and clear for everyone, regarding both the task and social intercourse. Goals are getting clearer and clearer and the co-operation is strengthened within the team.

Performing – Now the floorball team is ready, relations, roles, goals and norms are clear for everyone and accepted. The focus is now the first steps towards the common goal on short and long term, by beating other teams.

Adjourning – The season is over and the motivation is lower than before and the relationship between the floorball players might not be that important anymore, the focus starts to shift to holidays and next season.

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 – 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 – Wanted position

I will talk about two ways of setting goals, or how to look at the goal setting process. The first one is about looking back on your performance and setting the goal little bit higher than the history shows.

If you are thinking about goal for the league position, you might look at your previous seasons 10 pos. 8 pos. 9 pos. and therefore you think a realistic goal should be 6 or 7 position, but you might to choose to raise it a little bit to position 5.

The second way to set goals is to take a step into the future and to think where you would want to be in the future or were you must be in order to achieve something. Let’s say your floorball team is in the next highest division. Maybe you have described in your vision that you want to be in the premier league (highest division), therefore you automatically must be top 2 or 3 in your division in order to be able to take the next step. This could create a conflict, if you have team members that are “stuck” in the history, they won’t think this is a realistic goal, and it might not be, it’s your wanted position in order to take the next step.

Floorball thanks for the game

If you are setting goals by taking a step into the future and pointing out a wanted position, you will create an information gap that needs to be explained for your floorball players. So the discussion should rather be about, if they want to be there, than if it’s realistic. After you have cleared out that, you can start to take small steps back from the future, if we want to be here, top 2 and advance a division. What changes do we need to do in order to achieve that? You need to slice the big block to small steps (We need to increase the amount of practices. We need to think about what and how we eat. We need to improve our defense.) When you have this discussion about many small improvements with your floorball players, you get a buy in on the goal and suddenly it starts to be realistic at least in every ones heads.

You can think about José Mourinhos challenge when setting a goal, that was to win the Champions League, when Inter had won it, last time in 1965, maybe it was more realistic if you look at other aspects than the historical performance, like the team members and Mourinho himself.

In short term goal setting you can use the same methodology, in order to support your long term goal and vision.

Floorball practice shooting drill

The last level defining a focus area will support you in achieving your short term goal (and long term goal and vision). What do we need to focus on as the first steps on our way towards our wanted position? This should of course be transferred to concrete actions and an action plan.

As a summary you can say that you can work with setting the direction on different levels, Vision – Long term goals – Short term goals – Focused areas – Actions/Action plan.

Floorball – Creativity within the frames

Give your floorball team members goals, not instructions on how to reach them. Ask for their input and point of view. Give your floorball players room to act and therefore also space for creativity, within the frames. You don’t need to have all the answer, guide your players to answers inside themselves (e.g. Player: How should we do this?  Coach: Do you have a good suggestion how to do it? Or, how would you like to solve it? Or, someone else, who has a good answer?)  After starting the fire (why and what), avoid putting your fingers in to the fire (how), create the framework for the fire and trust your players.

Floorball drills for 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 year old, skills passing, running and shooting

José Mourinho

“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 – 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 Positive Attitude

The head coach of a floorball team has one main job. He/She has to get the most out of the floorball team during the season. Everyone wants to win the floorball championship or the league title, but the reality of the situation is that only one floorball team will make it, and if  that is the only goal you as the floorball coach and your team have, to grade your performance only by whether or not you have won it all, there are going to be a lot of unhappy floorball coaches and players at the end of the year.

Floorball practices for 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 year olds

So ask yourself. Can you make your team better than it was at the beginning of the season? Can you put up a set of different goals, measuring development in different areas, where the league title of course can be one of the goals? Can you turn your floorball players and team into a cohesive unit? Can you teach your floorball players something about the game and teamwork and improve their outlook on life at the same time? Maybe the first thing you should work on is promoting a positive attitude within your team.

Floorball – Run the extra mile on practice

If you assume that the floorball teams on certain level practice the same amount of practices each week, lets say four times, and you want to outcompete your opponents, you can choose to increase the amount of floorball practices or work on improving the quality of your floorball practices and drills, in order to “run away” from the other teams.
Let’s have an theoretical example, 4 (floorball practices) x 31 (weeks, length of the season) = 124 floorball practices during a season. Each practice contains 5 floorball drills, 5 X 124= 620 drills. Each floorball drill is repeated 5 times per player during the floorball practice, 5 X 620=3100 repetitions.

Floorball 1 vs 1 practices drills

Instead of increasing the amount of floorball practices you could set up a goal that each player will run 3 meters extra every floorball drill, this would mean 3100 drills X 3 meters X 20 players = 186000 meters. Your team would with this small improvement run 186 kilometers extra during the floorball season, the result should be visible in the end of the games or at the end of the season, you would have physically and psychologically strong floorball players, they will take the extra steps needed for success. Instead of running, you could let your floorball players practice a feint while waiting. 10000 repetitions will automatize the move, 10000 hours will make you master of it!

Floorball youth practices drills and training

The power of small steps

You can of course use the same principle for improvements in general or your work towards common goals. Let’s say you can do 3 small improvement steps each day, after a month you have 90 small improvement steps and after 6 months 540. If you can make each floorball player in your team to take these small improvement steps you will have 540 X 20 players = 10800 small improvements in your floorball team.

Floorball – For me or for someone else?

Internal or external motivation? The internal motivation comes from you, you do something because you want to (and you know why) and you can see the benefits for you. External motivation comes from for example external rewards, like prices, money or other benefits. It can be hard to tell what did motivate you most, but on the long term the internal motivation is the motivation that will help you most in your performance. Other sources for motivation might be:
- Task related motivation, comes from the teams goals and purpose, common efforts towards a common goal.
- Social related motivation comes from the social intercourse with the other team members
- Internal motivation comes from individual reward, goals and performance.

What is it that motivates us with a particular task. This may be some reasons:
- Social satisfaction
- Tournament moments
- Self-control
- Lifestyle
- Physical and mental wellbeing
- Success quest
- Money – survival – Luxury
- Status
- Competition
- (Nice view), See the Waterboy example in – For me, the team or why do I do it.

floorball reward

Rewards may increase motivation?

Yes answers, most people probably without thinking. So here’s a little story:
There was a group of boys who used to play football at a farmer’s field. The farmer himself did not like it and tried repeatedly to drive away those little football players, without success.
He decided to go for a new tactic. He walked up to the boys playing football and said that everyone would get 50 cents, each time they played football at his field. Next week, he gave them one Euro each. The week after he told the boys that he had short of money so they could only get 50 cents again. The next week he said he would only be able to pay 20 cents. The young football players were really upset, “Who do you think you are? How can you believe that anyone of us would play for you, for 20 cents?” So what the boys had done with joy and for fun (internal motivation), ended up as the farmer wanted, they quit playing after the external reward was minized or removed…

When a man comes home with flowers, the question might be “Okey, what have you done now, why do you bring me flowers? Or when you receive or are offered something for free, you immediately think “What do they want me to buy from them or what kind of subscription/contract is behind the gift”?
Rewards are good and fun, but you have to have the insight that people or your players perceive it very differently. Therefore, it is good to explain and justify carefully why you give the person something. Otherwise, some people get the feeling that the other person is trying to take control of me and tie me up by giving me something.

It’s good to have money, so you can buy things that can be bought with money. It’s although a lot better to not lose the things that cannot be bought with money. (It’s better to have internal than external motivation)