During St. Martin’s University Division II basketball pre-season, I created a two-hour session for the men’s & women’s athletes, in order to broaden their conditioning.
The focal goal was to create a team-bonding experience, as much as it was educate them on how to play Floorball. While the sport itself is a great workout, fun is a key component to keeping interest of both the players and coaches. Working with both teams, I designed a short program that would fit their needs.
The men’s basketball team focused on a scrimmage format, after introductory programs and game play had been established. The men’s team played with goalies, and we established a 4 x 6 net system with goalies wearing masks. Goalies also kept their sticks. While this wasn’t the traditional goalie look, the teams loved it and the competitive drive kicked in immediately.
The women’s basketball team was more instructive. After a basic rules instructional course, we showcased a few stick handling games as a warm-up, then went into scrimmaging. The men’s format for scrimmaging was changing out every goal in a king-of-court format. The women’s game was broken into three teams, playing 5 minute matches. We played for over an hour, rotating in that format.
Both the men’s and women’s teams were exhausted, however, they enjoyed the experience more than other traditional exercise programs.
Between the two teams maybe one of these athletes had ever heard of or touched a Floorball stick, and that one athlete came from Sweden. What stuck out to me was seeing highly skilled and competitive players step out of their comfort zone and have fun together. The program met the coaches goals of building “esprit de corps” while ensuring a high level of fitness. It is likely that as a result of this program that I’ll continue to work with these teams in in the future.