Floorball – Celebrate with the team or with me?

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

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.

Youth Floorball tactics and feedback

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?

Floorball victory

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…)

Floorball – See the opportunities – feedback and evaluation

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).

focused on floorball game, face off


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.

Floorball game running and focusing on defense

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?

Floorball – Correct Mental Pictures – Mental Training

Our brain is amazing

Eonverye taht can raed tihs rsaie yuor hnad… not all of us can, but most… and if you can’t, you’re still normal ; )

Icdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pclae.. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig? Yaeh, and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
Bring this along in your leadership, our brains are amazing and will create pictures of what we say, even if we don’t get the full, or fully complete picture.

No, no words in communication

Think about a moment where somebody is talking to you and you felt all the energy was gone at that moment, or afterwards. Think back of the words that person used, could these have affected the loss of energy?

I think there are worlds that you can avoid in your communication, do you have some own examples of negative words?
For me the words must, always, don’t and never, are some examples that can kill the message, or give the wrong kind of thinking. You can try to put those words in a sentence and think of the reaction from the receiver, by thinking how you would react on the message.

You can also use the “but – word”, to kill your message. But can easily be changed to and, in many of the cases, like for example, and you can… compared to, but you can…

Let me give some examples of these negative destroying words, creating the wrong mental picture.

Don’t think of…

Don’t think of a yellow sour lemon, but I said Don’t think of a yellow lemon! How many times do I need to repeat it, Don’t think of a yellow lemon!

What happened, what were you thinking of? A yellow lemon? Most of us will or would.

Don't think of a lemon
Somehow our brains are built to sort out the important thing in a message (like in the example above, with the letters), but the “don’t part” usually falls out, and we think of a yellow lemon.

Don’t hit the post, don’t hit the post… You know the result…

 Feelings vs. Facts

When you are up to take the penalty shot you need to control your stress level, feelings and thoughts (more of this in the feedback section later). You can also try to visualize the facts, in order to control the feelings and thoughts, did you know that to cover a football goal (soccer) you need 10 footballs above each other and 31 beside each other, meaning you need 310 footballs to cover the whole goal. You have 310 spots to shoot the ball into the goal.

Basketball example

If you ask somebody who is not that familiar with basketball, how much space there will be left outside the ball when it goes into the basket, by the way, what would you answer?

How many centimeters or inches round the ball do you think there is left?

Basketball basketBasketball in a basket

Of course there has been research done in this area. There were two teams of young people, the first team were looking up to the basketball basket and could start to throw their basketballs. The second team had a basketball basket on their level and they could feel the size, feel it, and also try to fit themselfes in to the basketball basket ring and they could see how much space there where left around the ball. After that they started to throw the basketball into the basket.

I think it’s already quite obvious which of the teams performed better. Team one with a self created or given negative mental picture? Or team two with realistic fact based positive image?

I will give you the right picture as well. The answer is that, you can nearly get two basketballs (at least in women’s size) in to the basket at the same time.

Basketball in basket from aboveBasketball basket

That was not the picture you had in your mind, right? Quite a difference between these two images? You can imagine how easy it will be for you the next time you play basketball, or imagine the effect on our players when they have the right picture and are not steered by negative thoughts and feelings when they start a new drill, practice or work towards a common goal. Everything is possible, use facts to beat your negative feelings and thoughts and work with changing negative to positive, what if, to why not?

Mental homework

This could also be a homework for your floorball players, that they try to change their own negative thoughts they are facing in other situations outside floorball to positive thoughts. They need to practice these skills as much as technichal skills with a ball. If you want to be a champion you need to thin like one. Take the full responsibility for your own thoughts, there aren’t room for negative thoughts. Your thinking drives your behaviour and actions and these will form the performance. What about you as the leader?

Positive or negative touch on your message?

Choose your words wisely. You can say things in a negative way or in creative positive way. Why tell your players how they should not do things or what they should avoid, when you can choose to talk about how they should do, and what opportunities they have. Words you say as a leader affect your floorball players, their mental pictures and the culture within the floorball team.

If you throw something in to the water, you can see the rings it will create on the water surface, so chose carefully what the things are, you “throw” in to your floorball team. Each action, word, behavior, attitude, relationship counts within the team, in order to be successful, each of these actions will be spread amongst the team one way or another.

Words coming from you mouth, will create the pictures in your players heads and also the words coming from their mouths, you strengthen what you talk about positive or negative, and you are the one making the choice between these two alternatives!

Focus should be on what to do, not on what you should avoid doing.