Floorball – Do we use the same system?

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)

Floorball defense

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.

Floorball – Sorry I can’t hear you, my ego is calling for attention

Tune in the communication frequency

When you talk about communication you often talk about sender and receiver, and if it would be only a question of these two roles, communication would be easy. But communication takes time and has more aspects to consider, you have competence, experience, expectations and the environment that can affect your communication. If you have a great competence and experience in some subject it will probably affect the way you express yourself and depending on the receiver’s competence and experience your message will be interpreted in different ways. The receiver will also be affected of his/her expectations on your message and could sometimes also “shut off” in certain situations, because he/she “knows” what’s coming.


The environment will of course affect your message, during a game there could be noise from the crowd/parents that will disturb the communication.

Are you with me, does it make sense, yes…

When you are talking look at your players are they listening, are they “here”. Are they looking at you, nodding or shaking their heads?

It can be hard to check if your players have understood your message if you do it like most of us do, by asking, have you understand? And the answer will be, yes!

What if you just asked someone of the players to summarize shortly what you have said, so everyone has the same picture of the message and you would get a receipt of understanding.

Youth Floorball tactics and feedback

This same rule goes for you as a leader receiving a question from your players, summarize what you have heard and answer after that, so you know you answer to the question he/she actually wants the answer to, not what you expect or guess he/she asks about.

Sorry I can’t hear you, my ego want’s some attention

To be able to understand someone else you need to understand the other parts point of view, and this can be hard if you self are having a different view or are eager to express your “brilliant” idea / comment / question etc, but there is a good rule, you need to let go of your own perspective in order to be able to understand someone else. In practice this means you can not think of your own picture when you are trying to understand the picture the other one is painting, this goes for all of us.


“Many people have so big egos screaming so loudly, that they aren’t able to hear what others are saying”

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.