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 – A winning role, You can do it! Yes we can!

As I wrote earlier expectations create roles, I will give you the definition of a role once again.

A role within 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

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.

Could this be used in a creative positive way? Could it be used to create a winners’ role? So if one part forming the role is about expectations from coaches and trainers, your expectations, communication and feedback will be important to create that “winners role”.

Floorball practices and drills for youth players

In floorball practice, show that you belief in each individual, show them you belief they can be the best, that you belief they can do it… of course with synchronized video and audio.

This will be balancing between belief/positive expectations and pressure, and you don’t want to step over the line to the pressure side.

“- I think you can do it, but I appreciate you just as much if it does not go as we both believe.” The winners’ role I’m describing is not about winning games, it’s more about having to believe in the possibility of success. (You Can Do It).

Waterboy example of you can do it…

…and Barack Obama example of You can do it or Yes we can.

I’m not into politics, but Obamas short speach is quite impressing? Talk about creating postive expectations, you can do it!

Create a winning climate

You might have the capacity, talent and ability, but if there is a lack of belief, there will be lack of results. In this case the most valuable tool for you in your leadership is feedback. Make sure you create the pictures of success and belief in the heads of your players.

José Mourinho works on each player’s self-image, even if he might have many of the best football players in the world. They still need to be seen, feel the trust and belief from their coach. How you view them, is how they will view themselves.

Floorball practice and drills goal scoring

Here’s a practical practical tip how to create a winning climate and winnig roles within your team.
– Create a list of strengths for each floorball player in the team, and focus on talking about these with your players.
– Notice your own attitude towards the players, try to “zero it” and focus on the positive things.
– Talk about each players strengths, show them that you believe in them.
– Expect the best from each floorball player.
Players want to meet expectations, they want to be winners, you can do it!

“A loser gets bitter when he is behind, and unwise when he is in front”
“A winner keeps his faith and balance, regardless of his position”
“To be afraid of losing, removes the willingness to win” /Vanderlei Luxemburgo

Floorball is about 1 vs 1?

In a floorball game you have 5 players against 5 players, but if you look closer, you can apply the rule from mathematics “Lowest common denominator”, in that case you will always have 1 on 1 situations on the floorball floor.
If you are able to fool one player or support one player better than the other team, you will have a 2 on 1 situation and therefore an advantage, so why try to complicate the floorball practices and drills with for example, more than 3 on 3?

Floorball 1 vs 1 practices and drills

“The way I use to develop an aerobic condition is three against three, man to man, in a square 20 metres by 20.” /José Mourinho

“Everything must be kept simple, do not complicate what is a simple business, a simple beautiful game” / Luiz Felipe Scolari

To challenge or to be challenged

Many times floorball coaches are talking about challenging another player or defensemen, but what does it mean? For me, to challenge, means a player with the ball needs to move towards a free space and get the defensive player to move there to take the challenge, if he/she doesn’t, you are past. If you go straight against the defensemen in his/her territory, you will get challenged, right?

Floorball scoring and shooting practice drills

Floorball – Repeat mode

Repetition is a powerful teaching method and tool, remember the 10 000 hours of practice or the Pareto 20/80 rule (coming later). Through repetition, a new idea will be integrated as a normal thing, even if it from the beginning was innovative or new. The same goes for floorball practices and drills, repeat, repeat and your floorball players will integrate what you have been practicing on, to the game. We often need to be reminded, rather than instructed?

Floorball skill practice drills

Messi, Eto’o and Ronaldo feints

You can see those incredible feints done by Messi, Eto’o, Ronaldo and others, and we are amazed, how did he come up with that or how was he able to do that? The answer is simple, through repetition and hours of practice, to automatize the moves.

Social facilitation

An aspect to consider when you are introducing a new floorball skill drill, is theopposite of social loafing, social facilitation, it means that we will perform better when we have people around us watching, but there is a but, it’s only easier tasks or well-known activities that is will apply on. When you are learning or practicing a new floorball skill you don’t want a lot of people or team members watching you, it will only make you nervous, stressed and insecure.
So when you practice a new moment, you might split up your floorball team in small groups to lower the physical and psychological arousal level and therefore get a better learning environment. When your players are more familiar with the new floorball drill/technical moment you can start to do the practice in bigger groups in order to raise the arousal level to be more like a game situation.

Youth floorball practices and drills

David Beckham, free kicks

A young David Beckham was practicing free kick after free kick “alone” in the nearest park. Since he was alone, he could practice with a low arousal level, automize and learn the correct technique. If you add visualization to this practice you have a powerfull tool for the future.

He was lucky?

He was so lucky or their team had more luck than us. Have you heard these words? This at least something you might hear many times, when people are successful, but the people saying those words, don’t know what’s behind the luck, hard work and commitment, the more you practice “the luckier” you get.
Look at Mourinho is he lucky or is it luck? For me it’s quite obvious it’s thousands of hours of hard work, learning, studying and practice. Success doesn’t just happen because the stars line up in your team, it’s created. Look once again on the leadership model, can this be your formula for “luck”?

Floorball goal scoring and shooting practices

Is it because we have been lucky? Of course not. It’s about anything else but lucky when you’re talking about my players. “  /José Mourinho

Floorball – Practicing is my secret

10 000 Hours – 10 years

A number of studies have shown that it will take ten thousands of hours to become a master of what you are doing. This will apply for leadership, professional floorball players, football, work, hobbies etc. Each of us has the potential to master what we are doing, but it will require time, 10000 hours, or about ten years, you need to focus your energy, if you want to be the best in whatever you do. But too many of us don’t commit to the things we are doing well enough, but we still hope to be the best or recognized, sometimes we give up too early, wondering why we never become the best.  “I was a great talent, when I was young…” Ever heard that?

Floorball practice drill dribbling

Talent or a lot of practice?

Talent is a word we use to simplify the explanation of success and the difference between the best and the normal people or floorball players. We also assume that elite floorball, hockey or football is only for the people with right heritage and genes and unfortunately we were not one of those… that’s why we are leaders or waterboys ; )
What if it wasn’t like that, and it could be seen only as an opinion that hinders us from being the best? What if our success is only connected to the amount of hours we practice?

For example, many floorball and football coaches talk about that they are able to spot talents, is that true? Or are they good at spotting players that already have been practicing more than the others?

You can have gifted parents, but it’s probably more realistic that the parents have put more efforts already from the beginning in to the practicing?

Tiger Woods, a golf talent, or is it a result of practice?

Tiger Woods has been seen as the greatest talent in golf, ever. In that case you need to know that Tiger Woods got his first golf set before he was one years old. He had been through his first full golf round at the age of two years. When he was five he had already practiced more than an average golfer will practice during his or her whole “career”. The same goes for Messi, Beckham and the other football stars. David Beckham used to practice in a little park, and he practiced for hours and hours every day.

“With hard work everything is possible, everyone can dream, and what you dream of you can reach, if you are willing to work for it” /Lionel Messi

When José Mourinho arrived in Madrid he commented Christiano Ronaldo, “He works incredibly hard, it’s impressing to see a player of his caliber to practice harder than nobody else”

If you map the hours the star football players put on practicing, it would not be a surprise, why they are where they are.

“Practicing is my secret, I have always believed in, if you want to be successful you need to work for it, practice, practice and then practice more”. / David Beckham

I’m not sure how many hours of practice, I can give you by reading this blog, but at least some valuable time and leadership knowledge, I hope.

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.

Floorball – Unbeatable at home stadium

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.

Floorball training drills practices and excercices

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

Internazionale locker roomAC 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?

Floorball – Waterboy Leadership

We are a team

The statement “First-teamer will not be a correct word. I need all of you. You need each other. We are a TEAM.” That statement shows how important José Mourinho sees each player in his team. To not be eaten up by the competition from other teams and unhealthy competition within the team, he is creating a culture, where everybody feels and knows that they are an important piece in the team puzzle. Each player should act like a leader regardless of the rank or position within the team, with this I’m meaning the players take responsibility for their own role, results and therefore also for the teams results, they are leaders from their position, during practices, games and outside football. Each player is part of the leadership team within the team, no role is a small role!

Floorball feedback, value it

Maybe this is why Samuel Eto’o accepted to play in a “not central” role his last season 2010 in Internazionale and take a big defensive responsibility, instead of beeing in a central role, like he is playing now.
With this vision everyone needs to show “leadership”, take responsibility for the results, inspire teammates and therefore also act in a positive way towards their teammates, be a leader. No matter what your position is within your team within the team (defense, midfield, forward or a waterboy…), how old you are, what earlier experience you have, you have the power of showing leadership, no one can take that away from you if, you decide to do it. Make your players aware of this, this is what Mourinho is doing.

“For example, in my team I love to have Geremi on the bench because he’s a low-profile player who is ready to help, ready to fight for the team, ready to do the job I want him to do.” /José Mourinho

“Why drive Aston Martin all the time, when i have Ferrari and Porsche as well? That would just be stupid” /José Mourinho

You are a key player

Positive culture creates a positive spiral and positive spiral creates positive results. Remember every role is an important role! Think of an orchestra, one false tone from somebody and… or think of this example.

Xvxn if my computxr is old, it works vxry wxll, xxcxpt for onx tangxnt kxy. You could think it wouldn’t affxct this txxt, but somxhow it’s dxstroying it. Somxtimxs you might say to your sxlf that your xfforts arx not visiblx, you arx just onx small pixcx in thx puzzlx and no onx will rxcognizx if you don’t do your bxst, but bxlixvx mx, your xfforts will makx diffxrxncx, sincx a txam will nxxd all of it’s playxrs in order to function and pxrform wxll. So nxxt time you think your xfforts will not makx diffxrxncx, rxmxmbxr my old computxr, you arx a kxy playxr and your xfforts will makx diffxrxncx!

Floorball – Teamwork – Playing together

This part is about predicting a floorball teams performance and possibility to deliver results. The Teamwork part consist of three blocks, capacity + team spirit – co-operational losses = team performance.

In capacity you can put in:
Practice facilities
The amount of football practices
Practice length
How you use the practice time (quality of the practice)
Training equipment
Support round the team (ass. Coaches, goalie trainers, material management, doctors)

Strengthen resources and skills

Build up your resources and the individual skills of your players. A team with individual competent players will obviously have better opportunities compared with less skilled teams. In the team capacity you include physics, condition, fitness, speed, strength, body size, attitude, motivation, mental or psychological skills and coordination skills. Other categories are age, experience, education, gender and social status.
Support round the team like assistant coaches, goalkeeping coaches, fitness trainers, physics, masseurs, doctors, sports scientist, sport psychologist etc.

Manchester United for example has, a full time doctor, five physios, a fitness coach, a weights coach, an optometrist…

“Captains and coaches from all over the world considered that Mourinho got the best results with less resources than their rivals, but he has been rude and with no education in his behaviour to achieve his objectives.” /Franz Beckenbauer

Floorball victory through best youth practices and drills

Team-spirit can be described in many ways, here some keywords:
How well we know each other
Striving together towards a common goal
Showing that you are ready to do things for others (acting)
Solving problems together
Good communication
Supporting each other

Co-operational losses can be described as the opposite to team-spirit, but also as more practical losses during a practice or a game:
Lack of…
How you use the practice time (quality of the practice)
Support round the team (ass. Coaches, goalie trainers)
Common goals
Solving problems together
Supporting each other

Floorball practices and drills 2 on 1

Co-operational losses can also be:
Undefined roles
Bad passes
Wrong positioning
Bad performance/errors during the drills on your practice
Unclear directives
We and them thinking or me and you (in a negative way)
Egoistic behavior (in a negative way)

Smooth co-operation

Get the different groups in your team to work together smoothly, through for example the team set up (like e.g. 2-2-1) and with synchronizing defense and forwards. The composal of the floorball team is important in avoiding co-operational losses. To practice with the same speed and intensity as in a floorball game is obvious for every coach. In avoiding the social loafing part, you need to have clear roles, responsibilities and norms in your floorball team.

Ringelmann study – Tug of war

One of the earliest studies in the area of co-operational losses and social loafing was done by Ringelmann. Ringelmann let people participate in a “tug of war”. He started to measure their individual capacity, which was defined as 100%. Then they did the exercise in pairs, with three people, four people and so on. The result showed that in pairs they reached 93% of their capacity, three people reached 85% of their individual capacity, 77% in a team of four and only 49% in a team of eight people.

The tendency that peoples effort decreases in a larger group is sometimes called the “Ringelmann effect”, he’s study is supported with more recent studies (Ingham, Levinger, Graves & Peckham, 1974) This could explain why some star players sometimes are invisible during a game, they are waiting for the other players to perform and not counting their own low performance will be visible. It can also be the opposite, many of the team members take a step back and wait for the star player to win the game for the team. This type of social loafing will appear on all levels, in all ages and regardless of gender.

Social loafing as a result from a red card?

Social loafing can also be visible after a red card in a football game, the team with all players left feel they have an advantage and instead of continuing, they take a step back and feel comfortable, social loafing and the team with only ten players might feel they need to take greater responsibility and therefore the game might continue look like they play with even strength.

With this prerequisites you should try to improve you capacity and team spirit and to reduce the co-operational losses.

Easiest part to copy between floorball teams

The easiest part to improve or at least get the right prerequisites from the beginning in big European football teams is probably the capacity block, and now I’m talking about really big teams like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich etc. You can buy the players “you want”, you have everything in place round the team, and this is the part that’s also easiest to “copy” between the teams.

But unlimited money will not grant you success, there are many failures back in time with clubs getting a lot of money and unlimited resources to buy players, but the victories aren’t still coming and then you have problems with other parts in this football leadership model, like team-spirit, co-operational losses, motivation or common goals…

I don’t think José Mourinho had the best team regarding capacity in Inter 2010, of course he had world-class players, but not the best indivual players, some other teams had stronger names on the paper (e.g. Barcelona), but he mastered the other parts in leading the team in a briljant way. He was able to motivate the players, build up a strong team-spirit and reduce the co-operational losses and the result was there, three titles!

“It is like having a blanket that is too small for the bed. You pull the blanket up to keep your chest warm and your feet stick out. I cannot buy a bigger blanket becuase the supermarket is closed. But I am content because the blanket is cashmere. It is no ordinary blanket.”

“We are on top at the moment but not because of the club’s financial power. We are in contention for a lot of trophies because of my hard work.”  José Mourinho

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.