Floorball – Team Spirit inside the team

The size of the floorball team will have a great impact on the team spirit, it’s harder to get a good team spirit within larger teams. In floorball teams with good team spirit the team members also tend to take greater responsibility of the negative results.

Hockey vs Floorball and team size

The team spirit will also most likely increase if your floorball players make great efforts or sacrifices during a floorball game. Increased team spirit will end up in greater attendance on floorball practices and more sacrifices from the players for the team during games, they will also more easily respect the team norms, like coming in time.

The level of team spirit will also affect the demand on leader behavior, task oriented (low team spirit) or relation oriented (high team spirit).  High team spirit is most of the times connected to more democratic leadership.

Players in the starting formation tend to feel higher team spirit than substitutes in a losing team, but in a successful team difference is less visible between substitutes and starting formation.

In addition for clear common goals, communication and roles within the team, there are some additional things to consider regarding building up team spirit.
– Pride for the team and what the team is doing
– Team identity which will start from the game jerseys

Avoid sub-groups within the floorball team, make all of your players to know each other, this can be done through solving tasks together or with regularly meetings with the team and teambuilding activities.

Floorball victory

When you genuinely help or support others they will do the same for you. When your players are there fully for each other, they will support each other, no matter what. One of the players supporting another will next time receive genuine support back. It’s somehow build into our system, if you get support or get something, you want to give something back. You show respect and you get respect back. You show appreciation and you get appreciation.

This is of course why shops have their demonstrations of food for example, you taste, and you feel immediately you need to do something back (at least most of us), buy the product.  Try to transfer this thinking and acting into your team. You can go back and look for the Champions League games Inter played during 2010 when they won. They were there for each other all the time, and of course not only on the football field.

Extra ordinary relationships will give extra ordinary results.

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 – 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 – 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
Competence
Experience
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
Honesty
Loyalty
Positivity
Humility
Showing that you are ready to do things for others (acting)
Solving problems together
Good communication
Supporting each other
Ethics
Moral
1+1=3

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)
Equipment
Competence
Experience
Support round the team (ass. Coaches, goalie trainers)
Common goals
Honesty
Loyalty
Positivity
Humility
Solving problems together
Communication
Supporting each other
Ethics
Moral
Norms

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