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)
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.
I wrote earlier about the Swedish 2-2-1 set up and quite aggressive forecheck, if you then look at the World Champions in hockey Russia, you find almost the opposite, very defensive 4-1 or V set up. When the forecheck is started they have almost a 2-2-1 set up, that is transferred to a wall or trap when they stop the attack from the opposite team. Not maybe fully transferrable to floorball, but I hope this post still will create some thoughts outside the box…
In the International Coaching Training, during the World Championships in Sweden, we also had the opportunity to listen to the Swedish National Hockey team coach, before each game.
Before the game against Russia, the team formation or system was discussed. Earlier Sweden have been playing 2-2-1 with defined or static roles, and with the mindset of putting pressure when the timing is correct. Since the statement “when timing is correct” can create confusion, he system has been changed, and the valuing part of “when it’s correct time” has been removed.
Today Sweden play 2-2-1, but player 1 in top will always put pressure and the roles are not static, the most offensive player will take the role of being P1 and the player that puts the pressure imediately, the other forwards will then adjust and take the two other roles P2 and P3.
There is a general model to talk about individual motivation. The closer a thing is to your “heart” the more it will motivate you (internal motivation), or in other words give you more energy to perform.
Motivation in stone age
But first we need to move, a way back in time. Actually to the first people on earth, what was their motivation?
To survive, they needed to get food to survive, if you did not find any food your own body/you self would suffered, in the next step the motivation came from helping your own family, and after that your “relatives/other family” and maybe “friends”. That was the basic, but when you have achieved that, you could get some extra attention by being the best hunter (your professional role), and you might got a better position in the “team” because of that.
That’s way back in time so what do I know? But it could have been that way.
Motivation in modern times
If we translate it to modern time, could it be that the same basics are still there? If your own body is threatened or you see an opportunity that will gain you, you will react, right? You will try to run away/fight or grab the opportunity, because it’s about you, you are the most important for you! Things that will affect you will always create energy and motivation.
Just think of the headings or the first pages of the newspapers, each heading is formulated so you would react and buy the newspaper. “Top 50 people earning most in your town”, “The new flue, read how you will be affected”, “Ketchup causes cancer, you might be affected” If you don’t buy the newspaper or visit the website the “heading” makers have failed…
Players on the transferlist
Players that are on the transfer list or affected about “changing team” rumors will in many cases perform outstanding, sometimes they will perform poorly because they are too affected by this and choose to escape/run away. Either way the situation has created energy, but as in the second case it was misdirected.
What we care about, will motivate us
The things that are closest to a person’s heart that will create energy/motivation to do something will differ between people, but below you find general things, that motivate people, things that make people react in some way. You need to figure out this picture for each and one of your players to be able to motivate them, by understanding their closest to “heart things”. The closer the things are you the more reaction it will create, the order can vary between persons and there are of course many other things to put in there.
Your own body / You
Family, relatives and friends (teammates, here or further away)
Traits and talents
Opinions and values
Social position, professional role, performance, possessions, looks etc.
Club, nation, culture etc.
This a general picture and as I wrote earlier, it can vary a lot between people or in this case team members.
Why do you do things, what are the motives?
What about the floorball practices, why are your players coming there? What are their motives or their “closest to heart subjects”? Some of the answers you have already read about, but you need to explore this more in your own team, to understand your participants.
See the first 15 seconds, to get the explanation, to why the Waterboy, chose that particular class.
What motivates a floorball coach?
What then motivates a floorball coach? What motivates José Mourinho? After winning the triple with Inter he declared immediately after, that his work was done, he had created history with the team and that he needed new challenges in a new team. (Real Madrid)
I think José Mourinho finds his motivation and energy in aiming for the big titles, creating history and building up underdog teams to champions (maybe it’s hard to call Real Madrid for underdogs, but for the moment, they are behind Barcelona).
– Porto was struggling, Mourinho made them winners of the Champions League
– Chelsea hadn’t won the Premier League for 50 years, before Mourinho arrived.
– Inter were struggling in the Champions League, last victory was from 1965. With Mourinhos lead they won the Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League.
– Real Madrid has won the UEFA Champions League 2002 and La Liga 2008, so it has been a while a go for a team of Real Madrid’s caliber, that’s why Mourinho is in Madrid, this is his challenge and motivation, to get the big titles back to Madrid.
So by explaining why and finding subjects that are important for each person you can motivate others. What you are then doing, is to make them to take a “step over the line” from passive to active team members. It’s when this is done, you can expect real results.
You can have expectations on results, but if the players have not taken the step over the line, you will not see any results, it will rather be explanations, excuses and external factors, to the missing results, and many times a sacked/fired coach after a while.
This could be shown, when you are introducing your game set up going from 1-2-2 to 2-2-1 or 1-3-1. If you don’t manage to explain why this is the best system for the team, you can have players not “stepping over the line” and therefore the results might not be there.
A practical example – Penalty Shot
Let’s have an example, a penalty shot. If you would not have pointed out a penalty shooter, what reactions would this situation create inside your players?
Most of them would see this as a threatening situation (they are personelly affected) and would make anything in their power to avoid the situation (excuses, tired, small injury, I usually miss the goal on practice, and moving the responsibility between the other team member, you can take it etc.) Why would your players want to take the penalty shot (step over the line)?
1. Your own body / You
2. Family, relatives and friends (teammates, here or further away)
3. Traits and talents
4. Opinions and values
5. Social position, professional role, performance, possessions, looks etc.
6. Club, nation, culture etc.
Egoistic reasons, I want to be in focus (1.). I do it for the team and my team mates (2.). I get an opportunity to expand the professional role (I will get the opportunity next time as well) (5.). I do it for my nation (6.)
The players that find these why reasons inside themselves, will probably be more successful than a player that’s forced to take the penalty shot, they might just ask themselves, why me?
The answer to why
Other areas to think about regarding the why explanation, is when you are choosing drills to your practice, why this drill? When you have the answer for yourself, you might need to explain it to your players as well, or?
If you manage explaining why and finding subjects that are important for each person you can motivate others, you will make them “step over the line”. This will be shown in:
– All team members are personally committed and interested in the success of the team
– All players understand why they are in the team (their role) and what affect they have on the whole team performance
– Leaders and coaches continuously communicate why, and try to connect it to each of the players “closest to heart things” (success of the team should be a common interest for each player)
…and therefore everybody realizes that their contribution will make difference for the team and themselves, from the top scorer to waterboy!
2-2-1 Normal or Offensive Floorball Set up / System
2-2-1 is in my mind very easy and a simple set to use in floorball. P1 is the key on steering the opponents attacks towards one border.
You can “visually” be balanced in 2-2-1, meaning how the other teams see your positioning. But you can decide by your forecheck that you will try to force all the breakouts to just one side, so you start neutral, but you will close one side by your running and positioning.
2-2-1 Floorball Defensive Set up / System
2-2-1 Floorball Set up / System, checking or steering to left
By deciding to move players forward on one side (right in example), you will force the other team to make their breakouts on one side, this way you can limit at least some breakout options for the opposite floorball team. It’s a bit risky but at least you will be aware of it.
By strengthening one side or almost closing it, you can also confuse the other team, since many of the set ups are very balanced. Of course you should try force the other team to play up on their weak side or on your own strong side.
2-2-1 Floorball Set up / System, checking or steering to right