The goal for many teams is to be competitive. The basis of competition is to be better than the person across from you. To do so it’s important that all players are prepared for competition. While a lot of time is spent working on technical aspects of the game the crucial parts are traditionally less fun but far more important. A player who is out of shape or not fit for the rigors of competition will weigh the team down, and put themselves at a higher risk for injury. Depending on your team or the player an injury may greatly affect the overall strategy of the team. It is important that all players understand the importance physical fitness plays in their overall development as an athlete.
The first question to ascertain is what is the focus of training? Are you looking to increase power, stamina, agility? While you will develop this over time, you will want to have clear goals in mind when you put your fitness plan together. When I started training again for competition I wanted to focus on agility and stamina. To do that I worked with a trainer who helped me increase explosiveness to match the demands of Floorball. At the beginning we started with three days a week for two weeks. This allowed me time to build into the workouts. As part of that training we also spend time stretching to increase overall flexibility. I suffer from tight hamstrings and hips, and for me it was important that those areas were working properly. Another area of the body that can be neglected is abdomen. I found through regular stretching of these areas it not only increased my performance, but helped me avoid injuries down the road.
I took these experiences from my own training and brought them to the USA U19 Women’s Team. The challenge faced was being able to develop a workout plan that would meet the needs of the players while not fully knowing what access they had to equipment. For this I focused on body weight, agility, and cross-training to help prepare players for the World Floorball Championships. Below is an excerpt of that training plan. Over time players will see an increase in their performance and as they improve more exercises can be added to challenge the athletes.
Make training an integral part of your development, but as much as possible make it fun. Use the people around you to build you up and encourage you to be better, try harder, and push forward. Without a community of support, it will be much harder to find success in this area. A team that struggles together bonds together through the hardship and triumphs.