The development of any sport, program, business, or ventures one that takes a lot of time. Too often we fall into the trap that unless things take off right away they either won’t work or are a failure. In the conversations I’ve had over the years there seems to be a bit of frustration about the development of Floorball. Many who have found Floorball see and know its potential, but they also want it to be main stream now. While in some ways that would be wonderful in others it would be difficult to sustain. Plus, on top of that you have to have the support and framework behind it to be sustainable. By rushing the process you not only hurt the product, but potentially make it harder to sustain it in the long term. It will happen, but it won’t happen overnight.
The sports landscape is an ever increasingly challenging one. It’s a challenge sometimes just to keep up with the latest trends, or even know what some sports are. Take a look at the World Games Sports lineup for 2021 and I’ll be you’ll find a number of sports you didn’t know existed. This makes any sport looking to grow difficult to break through the noise. People will also try to compare other popular sports with where they think Floorball should be.
In a conversation once, someone tried to link the success soccer has had in the U.S. and wondered why Floorball wasn’t as popular. There are a number of reasons for that, but people tend to forget the path soccer has had in the U.S. They forget that it wasn’t a popular sport for almost 30 years. It’s only in the last 10 years or so, caught on to some degree. However, even now as it’s become more mainstream it’s still fighting to keep players, fans, and grow in the U.S. Time will tell on the long term development of soccer in the U.S. and I believe that the same will ring true for Floorball.
I believe that the sports landscape is shifting in a different direction than it has in the past 20 years. I think that as many mainstream sports (basketball, soccer, football, and baseball) have become so exclusive that people are open to trying new things. We’re pushing kids at younger and younger ages to be sport specific, and then trick them and their parents into believing that paying boat loads of money to travel year round is what’s not only good for the player, but necessary. This has slowly created pockets of athletic players who can’t afford to play, or are phased out as opportunities to compete diminish at the higher levels.
This is where Floorball can step in. The best thing going for it is that people are willing to try it. There are not developed travel teams and exclusive leagues. This is an opportunity for Floorball to try and capitalize on that. What it requires is hard work, patience, and diligence. Over time it has the potential to become something bigger. I’m actively doing this in my city and county. It has taken years to get from one step to the next, but I feel in time that will pay dividends. I think as a whole Floorball will see positive sustainable growth if they plan for the long-term and set up a solid foundation throughout the U.S. The question is, will you join me in this process?