Keep the fun through instruction

Teaching, coaching, or instructing, are all crucial components to both the development of player, and the growth of the sport in which they teach.  However, simply being good, or great at a sport doesn’t necessarily translate into good and quality coaches, instructors, or teachers.  In the case of a developing sport it is vital that there are enough quality instructors to teach the basics in a while maintaining the fun.  Too often instructors get stuck on teaching the technical aspect of a game thinking that the key, when in fact the more important aspect starting out is to show why the sport is fun.  Once you have buy in and as players develop you can begin to add in more technical aspects of the game.  In this instance we’re talking about entry level players.

How you approach your instruction will vary on the age of the players.  While some aspects of my instruction will be similar regardless of who I’m teaching, the approach will change to meet the needs of those in front of me.  One thing I’ve learned coaching is that at the younger ages kids are less interested in drills.  While drills at the primary ages are a necessary evil, the more important piece is adding play based training to teach skills.

I’ve been a team coach for a variety of sports, and I’ve also taught instructional classes for kids at a variety of levels.  I can guarantee that at the end of a 6-8 week session players will routinely ask to repeat play based games over a drill.  While the drills teach the technical skills needed to play the game; play based drills teach the same things but in a fun way.  What I love is trying to use drills and games from other sports and figure out how to use them for Floorball.

We all have our own unique talents and skills.  With that in mind it takes skill to teach the basics, progress players to the next level, and pass them onto the next skilled instructor to repeat that process.  Think of it this way.  How would you teach someone with no background how to pass, shoot, dribble?  These skills are crucial components of many games, and a without those skills you would not be able to progress as a player.  Therefore, you would likely not enjoy the game and would give up.  Let us now add in that you’re instructing a group of 7-8 year old children how to play Floorball.  How would you proceed?  This is a challenging skill that takes time to learn and master.  Time should be spent thinking through what skills and steps need to be taught in order to learn a new skill.  How will you go about making that time fun and engaging for all involved?  Can you answer these questions?  If so, you’re ahead of the game.  If not, don’t worry.  It’s part of the process of growing as a coach and instructor.  I fully believe that without the development at the beginning there is little hope for growth and sustained development at the older levels.

If you’re considering Floorball but not sure where to start I recommend teaching the very basics to get people playing.  You can always teach and learn together.  Focus on core safety skills, core rules of the game, and get people moving.  As players learn and develop the more you have to build off of.  In a short amount of time you can take a group of beginners and build them into intermediate players.

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