Keys to Starting a Floorball Program

You’ve recently found Floorball in some fashion.  Maybe you heard about it from a friend, saw a video on youtube, or social media.  If you’re reading this you’ve found what I’m doing in regards to Floorball so welcome.  I’m hoping that in your quest for knowledge you’re starting to develop an interest or maybe fostering a passion for Floorball.  If you’re like me, when you saw Floorball you wondered about why you hadn’t heard about it before.  You may also be wondering how you get involved. These are great questions to ask, but will take you on a journey of discovery.  In the end what you do with this new found knowledge will depend on you.

Unfortunately for most you probably don’t have a developed Floorball program in your area.  If you’re a person of action that will likely fall on your shoulders.  You can try to approach other organizations hoping they’ll see what you see and start a program for you.  The likelihood of that is small, not out of the question, but not as easy a sell as you might think.  I’m not saying this to discourage, but to inform given the experiences and lessons I’ve learned through my own journey.  I hope you can learn from my mistakes and failures and successes.

I want to tell you the secret to success.  You may or may not want to hear it, and you may disagree with it, but in all honesty it’s a sure fire way to expand and grow Floorball in your local area.  The question is are you willing to act on it.  Are you ready?  The most effective way to grow Floorball everywhere is youth programming.  What I’m referring to is a multi-step process and will take time to implement.  First, you’ll need to invest in some equipment (say, $500 to start) that should get you enough sticks to start.  Second, you’ll want to connect with the local City Parks and Rec.  Offer your services as a 1099 employee to run a brand new program and that you’ll be the instructor.   At the same time you’ll want to negotiate the rate of pay.  Personally I’d avoid an hourly rate and work off a percentage split based on the user fee.  As your program grows you make more money as does the city.  They get to offer a brand new sport without having to do much of the work.   You can also leverage their marketing power to build your program.

When programming you’ll want to be mindful of marketing schedules.  Some cities offer a new guide every quarter, while others do biannually.  If you miss the deadline you miss out on the marketing impact.  Make sure to stay on top of that.  The nice part about a partnership like this is that you’re both vested in the program.  If it becomes a success the city will see that and may be able to help you with the next phase.  The next phase is leagues for youth and adults.  Use the classes to fuel the leagues, and over time you will have developed a sustainable program.

Here’s the tough part.  It’s going to take time.  It won’t happen overnight and you won’t likely see a lot of interest in the beginning.  From a class perspective parents and kids come back because the like the sport or activity, but they’ll for sure come back if they like the instructor.  Its hard work being an instructor, and it’s not always that much fun.  It’s way more fun to develop leagues because you get to play.  It’s less fun just teaching and not getting to play, so to a degree it’s a bit of a sacrifice.  If you want to see your program grow you’re going to have to put in the work and make the sacrifice.  In the end if done right you will see the reward of your efforts in the end.

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