Floorball – Feedback to all players, from striker to waterboy

Social loafing

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 the thing in the corner

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.

Feedback Guidelines

– 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.

Floorball – Conflict handling – Relationship vs Performance / results

It’s easy to sacrifice relationships, when you are only hunting for results, the same goes for conflict handling.

Conflict handling, Avoid, Bulldozer, Concensus, Compromize, Sacrifice

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.

Floorball – Food is fuel

In order to incorporate these healthy snacks in to your floorball team, it’s a good idea to send home a flyer to the floorball parents outlining what is, and what is not acceptable as a floorball team snack. Make sure that everyone is signed up to bring a snack on floorball games and sometimes as well on floorball practices.

Floorball youth practices and drills

Food is fuel, and just like a high performance vehicle will sputter and die if you don’t have fuel, so will your floorball team and star players stumble and lose steam at a critical moment in the game, if you don’t have eaten correctly before the floorball game. Make sure your floorball players know about this and eat healthy and you’ll see a big difference in their performance in the floorball rink.

Each floorball game is a practice game, until you earn your living on it

Stress affects floorball performance

Performance connected stress arousal

The figure above is showing the performance of two equal floorball players (capacity, when they are at their best), the difference is on their stress levels. A players optimal performance might be in the beginning, middle or at the end.

The first line/player will perform well or at his/her best with lower demands and stress level, while player two needs and can play at his/her best with high demands and expectations.
Do you know these curves for your players? Who will perform well in critical situations and who will be at their best with low expectations? These curves are just two examples, you would probably have as many different lines as you have players.

Floorball practices, games and drills

Each floorball game is a practice game, until you earn your living on playing floorball. That’s a quite good attitude to have, to keep the right perspective on things and situations, to try to keep the stress level on an acceptable level.

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 – Stress level affects focus and attention

Too high or low levels of stress/arousal will affect many areas, one of them is focusing. When you are talking about focusing, you can talk about optimal, broad or narrow focus.

Hockey vs Floorball

Let’s have a look at an example from the UEFA Champions League match between Inter and Bayern Munich.

Level of focus, Attention, arousal, stress, optimal, narrow, broad

1. Optimal attention field , with moderate or optimal arousal. (Lucio is able to see the opportunities for passes, but can also try to get past his opponent)

2. Too broad attention field, as a result of low arousal. (He can hear the crowd and his coach Leonardo, and has the focus on something else than the closest situation), can result in loss of ball possession.

3. Too narrow attention field, due to very high arousal. Limited to one option and it will be hard to perform it well due to too narrow focus (opponents feet) and tension in muscles.

What about the focus or attention in this picture (Bayern Munich defenseman and Inter’s Samuel Eto’o)?
Where focus Samuel Eto'o Inter Bayern Munich Champions League

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.

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)