Taking over High School P.E.

As part of the purpose to Floorball Guru I spend a lot of time getting out and getting Floorball in front of people.  There’s a huge amount of people to educate about Floorball.  One of my current functions is education, and I’ve found that this role is an important facet of how I’ve chosen to get involved.  It takes a lot of effort to get anything off the ground, let alone convince someone that your idea is worth learning about.  I’m thankful to anyone who will listen, especially those of you who have taken the time to sit down and read through this article and other articles I’ve written.  It takes an incredible amount of time to formulate a list of ideas and topics on which to explore and discover.  I wish I could say it’s been an easy process along the way, but it hasn’t.  It’s taken an enormous amount of time and effort, but one that’s been a labor of love.  Simply put, I love Floorball, and all of the wonderful things that come with it.  I think anyone willing to put time and effort into a venture or business, putting themselves out there is a great thing.  Competitor or not, it takes a lot of risk to start a business and do all of the work behind the scenes to hopefully make it happen.  While I may choose not to work with a business for any number of reasons I very much respect the person for taking on the venture.

In this manner I’m thankful to anyone who will give me a chance.  Sometimes that means doing work with nothing in return.  At times people reach out to me and invite me into their world to share my passion.  At times I’m able to connect Floorball to kids at all ages, but when it’s inside of a school that’s a privilege.   I was asked to come into Black Hills High School in Tumwater, WA twice to take over their physical education program for the day.  All told as a result of that day I’m able to actively engage over 120 students about Floorball.  Traditionally they play floor hockey, or a variation of it.  By coordinating with their P.E. teacher we’re able to introduce a new sport to the kids.

In a typical session time is likely limited.  When I’m working with a new group I want to make sure they have a general background about the sport, and cover some basic rules on the game and safety protocols.  In all honesty no one wants to hear anyone drone on about this and that, especially in the P.E. setting.  Simply having a new sport, teacher, etc. it’s enough to get people a bit more excited about what they’re going to be doing.  All told I spend 5-10min. covering this information.  While it’s intended for the students what I’m really doing is helping sell the sport to the teacher.  I want to show them how easy it is to set up, get people playing, and how safe it is.  I can’t be everywhere and teach everything so I have to break it down in a fashion so they can see themselves teaching it to their students.

What we found in being able to take over the classes was more engagement by the students.  As the students were playing I routinely engaged the teacher asking him questions with the goal of getting him to see the value Floorball had on his students, but also to give him the confidence that he could teach this sport effectively to his students.  We made sure to end each session asking the students for their feedback.  We asked what they liked and didn’t like, whether they preferred floor hockey or Floorball.  By engaging the students, and the teacher were very excited about Floorball, and I think in the end at the very least I hope I was able to engage a few students.  Who knows, maybe through that experience we’ll see them become advocates and engaged in Floorball.

Floorball, A Tool for Group Sales

Floorball is hockey without being hockey. While they are similar they are different. For most Floorball is familiar enough that their previous experiences with a variety of stick sports makes is an easy sport to pick up. One of the advantages to the sport is its versatility in game play, location, field size, and equipment. This is a big advantage to the sport, but also an advantage for those in the hockey world who see the benefit to the sport.

While many will look to use Floorball as a program in conjunction with their other offerings, others will look to use it as a promotional tool. We see things like this being done in a variety of capacities. Go to a minor league or major league baseball game. They are filled with activities to engage their customer who is now in a defined space inside the ballpark. It’s a perfect match. They allow opportunities for kids, specifically, to live out the fantasy of being an MLB player. Many ballparks around the country use this nostalgia as a means to entertain young families whom they rely on to buy tickets, but it also serves to inspire the next generation of potential players. That’s a big connection to make especially when you’re looking for any advantage to continually fill a large stadium.

While many people think the game on its own is the draw they are missing the point. In truth for many sports it’s the ancillary components to the experience that make it just that, an experience. It’s the fan experience that people ultimately remember, and for kids they remember the experience far more than they’ll remember the outcome. My kids are no different. I love taking them to just about any sport we can go to. I can guarantee that they will remember the time they played stick ball in the kids zone at Jacobs (Progressive) Field in Cleveland during a rain delay more than they remember the outcome of the game. They talk about it constantly. This stuff matters, the challenge for each sport is to figure out how to engage the fans as much as possible. Indoor sports in particular have a challenge in doing this because of their limited space.

There’s a reason why sports often sell the “family atmosphere”. They need to because people with kids want to go to events, but they also want things to keep their kids engaged. If you don’t believe me take a 2 year old to any sporting event and see how long that holds their attention. More often than not it’ll be a challenge no matter how good the game is. My kids 3 & 6 love going to hockey games, partly for the hockey, by really so they can spot the mascot (thank you WHL Hockey, Silvertips, Chiefs, and Thunderbirds). The experience matters. What’s worked in the past is fine, but why not push yourself to think outside the box. While many organization will focus on engaging the family, it’s helpful to also think outside the box when trying to engage corporations, and other groups to engage with your brand in different and meaningful ways. If there’s one thing I’ve grown to love about sports, it’s seeing people thinking outside the box to make the experience that much more fun.

I think Floorball can be that fan engagement/experience for hockey. Floorball can be set up in a relatively small space and can be played by anyone.  The sticks in particular are a draw for many because they look similar to a hockey stick, but have far more performance that a traditional floor hockey stick. We’ve seen this done in the past with the Dallas Stars, who have been using Floorball for some time to engage fans prior to a game, even setting up courts right in front of the arena.

From a group sales angle, Floorball could be used a component to the game day experience. Set up a mini rink and let your groups come to the game early to play. At that point you could build in an option to have a player stop by, who knows. It’s trying to think outside of the box to make the experience that much better. It could go even further where there are corporate tournaments happening with the winner getting a box for the season, or a game, or whatever. The options available to use Floorball to link hockey are out there.  What’s even better is that it can easily be adapted to the space available. Floorball games, events, and competitions could be used in the off-season to drum up interest and keep hockey on people’s minds throughout the year, but targeted towards groups. There are a lot of options out there, but I think Floorball can be used in some unique ways to engage groups as part of the overall experience. I can’t wait to see what people will come up with. If you want some other ideas feel free to contact us and we can help.

 

Floorball Camp and YMCA

Growing a sport, program, or business takes a lot of time, effort, and resilience. It also takes a level of confidence in yourself to step out and put yourself out there. You have to be the driving force, and you have to be able to express your passion, vision, or goals in a way that others can relate to. This is a difficult process for many, and is a skill that must be built over time. None of it happens if you don’t believe in what you’re doing or selling. For me personally, this has been a journey and has been a process for me to work through. I’ve had ups and downs, successes and failures.

Recently I traveled to the Cleveland, OH area for a family vacation. It had been about 10 years since my fathers side of the family had gotten together. The main reason was to celebrate my grandmothers 90th. While I was there for a vacation and spending time with family, and with the blessing of my amazing wife, I used that opportunity to work. I’m looking to grow the sport of Floorball in anyway possible, and the best way to do that is to get sticks in hands, and get people experiencing the sport for themselves. It’s the most effective sales strategy I’ve found to build Floorball. We have to get people playing. I’m going to give you a little insight that some know, or maybe they don’t, but if you’re looking to grow anything you need to do. Ask the question. While cold calling may not be your favorite aspect you have to do it. I did a basic google search of where I would be and I picked up the phone. I’ve been cold calling businesses for years for just this purpose, so I know what to look for or, how to get past the first line and talk to the decision makers. For this trip I looked at local YMCA’s. The main reason was that it was summer, and it was likely they would have a summer camp, a captivated audience, and a willingness to try something new. On the first call to the Lakewood Family YMCA in Lakewood, OH they accepted my offer to run a 2 hour Floorball clinic for them. I can tell you that getting a yes on the first call is not the norm, and in many cases it takes a lot of time to get to that point, but every now and then it works out.

The day came and 32 kids between the ages of 6-15 showed up to the morning day camp. Some knew what was coming, while most didn’t, and even the camp staff didn’t fully know what to expect. The first impression with staff and kids was to take control. As the lead on the activity it’s important to have control of the group, while also trying to make a positive connection with them in a very short amount of time. Through the camp we focused on teaching a broad spectrum of the skills and rules surrounding Floorball with the ultimate goal of spending time playing. I think it’s important to teach the basics. I don’t think you can skip that part, but you want to keep things fun for both the kids and supporting staff. By the end of 2 hours the kids and staff were hooked on Floorball, and were asking to keep playing. You can’t ask for a better outcome than that.

One thing I want to impress on anyone interested in going to businesses for a clinic. When making the pitch you have to make it clear that you’re there to serve them. You want to make the process as simple and easy as possible. Under promise and over deliver on everything that you do. Make it so easy that they want to bring you back time and again. This is important because people talk, and word gets around about good and bad businesses experiences. Talk to everyone. Engage the kids. Everyone in that room is the most important person, and while they may not be the one to make the decision to ultimately start a Floorball program you need to win them over. Program managers, intramural coordinators, directors are the ones to make decisions, but they do so based on their clients needs and wants. As a director, if I have a demo come to my facility and I see a group of staff and kids fully engaged in an event that we don’t offer I’m going to be seriously looking to implement that program, sport, or event in the future.

Floorball will continue to grow, and in order to do that effectively we need more people out there with boots on the ground working to get people playing. To do that we need to first educate and support new programs with educational resources and development. It has to be done in a way that allows them to learn without constant face to face interaction. We need more print and digital resources to grow and develop as a sport. This is one component to what Floorball Guru is doing and will continue to going forward. I’m excited about the future of the sport in the U.S.

Got an event? How can your local EDC help you?

Often when looking to start a new venture, or if you’ve already started and need some help there are a variety of resources available to help you.  In many cases there are organizations and businesses who have a broader reach or financial resources than you do, but are interested in helping you with your program, event, or project.  Depending on where you live you might want to consider looking into your local economic development corporation.  If you don’t know what an EDC is it’s defined as:

“An organization common in the United States, usually a 501(c) (3) non-profit, whose mission is to promote economic development within a specific geographical area. These organizations are complementary to Chambers of Commerce. Whereas a Chamber of Commerce promotes the interests of businesses in a particular geographic area, an EDC typically focus on longer term economic growth by attracting new businesses. Generally, an EDC can be found at the state level to attract business to a particular state. The state level EDC often works closely with local EDCs and may offer low interest loans, grants, tax credits and other economic incentives to attract businesses”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_development_corporation

Now that we have a general understanding of what an EDC is, how do we approach or work with them?  This takes a bit of research on your part to figure out who to contact.  While this could be a bit intimidating by and large the EDC wants to help you as long as you can show the value of your product, program, event, and how it will help the region in general the want to help.  For example, you want to host an event, but you need some help promoting it, coordinating space, coordinating hotel reservations, potential sponsors, etc.  The EDC can help you because they should already have a number of connections in those areas and can become a central point for you to make connections.  The EDC understands that if they have the resources to spend $10,000 to promote or bring an event to the region they will, especially if the return on that investment brings in $20,000-100,000 in revenue to the region.  Frankly, this is one reason why cities have been investing heavily on building and developing sports fields.  They know that hosting a tournament of 100 teams every weekend over the summer is going to bring millions to the local economy.

A great example of this is Hoopfest in Spokane, WA.  Hoopfest is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world.  The tournament literally takes over the streets on downtown Spokane for the weekend.  Throughout its existence it has helped Spokane be a destination for players looking for a unique experience.  The economic boom for this event is beneficial to hotels, restaurants, and other businesses in the area, while also showcasing Spokane’s other tourist interests.  Events like this benefit so many outside of the initial tournament organization that it’s worth looking into if you’re putting an event together.

The potential economic impact for your event could have a very positive impact on a number of businesses.  If you’re able to show that benefit the EDC and other businesses may turn around and become long term partners or sponsors in your event, especially in the future.  If you’re in the process of putting an event together do some research, get out and meet people, and connect with your local businesses.  The more people you get invested in the success of the event the more likely it will be a success.

 

Why Do I Play?

Why do I play Floorball?  I came across Floorball through a random occurrence.  Once I saw the sport I was drawn to it.  I’ve always love hockey and hockey type sports, but had never played anything organized.  Most of the time it was playing street hockey with friends and family, and even a little ice hockey when we would freeze our driveway.  My initial reaction was, “why haven’t I heard of this sport before?”  My next thought was, “why aren’t we playing this in the US?”   The more I learned, played, and taught Floorball the more passion I developed for the game.  It is now engrained in my daily life in one form or another.

I play floorball because it’s fun and I love the sport.  I love how it brings people together in ways that don’t always happen in other sports.  One reason for that is that most American’s don’t play hockey sports, except for a few times in Physical Education classes in elementary schools.  Throughout the country most kids are playing football, soccer, basketball and baseball.  That’s not to say that kids aren’t playing hockey around the country, but by in large hockey isn’t as ingrained in the culture as say basketball.  What this has done is to create a somewhat level playing field for new players.  As a Director of Recreation at a University I’ve seen floorball draw out students who either aren’t coming to my programs, or aren’t interested in other sports.  However, floorball intrigues them enough for me to at least engage them on that level.  What we’re drawing from right now are kids who are athletic playing basketball and football, but now we’re teaching them a new skill, to move and think in new ways while drawing on their other athletic knowledge.  That to me is very exciting, and a good thing for the long-term development of the sport.

I play floorball because everyone can play regardless of age or ability.  My two kids have had sticks in their hand since they were one.  They’ve developed a passion for the sport and have developed in many ways because of it.  Playing and teaching my kids sports in general is my way of connecting with them and passing on general knowledge.  It’s also a sport that can be played as parent and child, with cousins, friends, and even grandparents.  It doesn’t take much just a stick, a ball, and some imagination and I’ve found a new world to explore with my children.

I’ve grown up playing a lot of sports and in all of them I can hold my own.  I’m better at some and not so great at others.  In the end, I’ve found what makes me passionate in those sports, and I brought those experiences and passion to floorball.  I want to challenge anyone reading this to ask yourself, “why do I play?”

Floorball Growth and Development in Virginia

Floorball is growing around the USA, and there are a number of programs and businesses that are working on the grassroots level to spread the word.  One such person is Katie Brown out of Richmond, Virginia. Katie is a strong advocate for Floorball with experince playing at the Women’s National Team level, and has been working to develop Floorball in Virginia.
How did you get involved in Floorball?
I loved to play hockey growing up as a child. As an adult I really started missing the sport and started to look for a way for me to play without high risk for injury. While searching online, I found social leagues were hosting floorball games and quickly became a fan.
What compelled you to start a Floorball program?
Creating RVA Floorball the first league in Richmond, VA for children to play Floorball was a fun process. I have always been an athlete and my desire to create a youth program started when I traveled with Women’s National team in 2015 to play in the WFC.I have been working in child development for the last 13 years in the classroom and the gym which really helped me create a youth floorball program.
 
What makes Floorball appealing to kids and adults in your area. 
Adult and children here in RVA love Floorball, we have some really great Leagues here that keep it fun and safe.
The sport  floorball is a fast pace, no contact and  similar to many other sports including hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, and soccer which everyone can relate to. It doesn’t take long to learn the rules for floorball, plus it requires very little equipment, and can be played in many settings as a co-ed sport.
What are some highlights so far from your Floorball program?
We are currently hosting Free Floorball Clinics monthly with River City Sports and Social Club, who host an adult floorball league here in RVA, to help educate the community on floorball and to provide fun activities for families in the area. We have a couple of programs that we offer, like weekly clinics over the summer for children to come play, and leagues during the school year,  We also offer cross training to Hockey teams in the area, year round, to work on their stick handling skills.
For more information please check out RVAFloorball.com or find them on Facebook or Instagram at RVAFloorball
 
What does the future hold for Floorball in your area?
Floorball is currently growing here and I hope to see that the growth continues by including the youth in the area.
What advice would you give to other individuals or businesses looking to start a Floorball program?
Not to worry about it, to have fun, and to just get started.

Use the off-season to build and to restore

Training during the season varies from training during the off-season.  What you’re able to do, or the type of training you should be doing should be different in the off-season.  Depending on your season you won’t have the time to allow your body to recover between games.  At the same time, you want to make sure that you’re not overdoing it, and putting your body at risk for overuse injuries.  The off-season is a great opportunity to give yourself a break and mix up your routine.

Ideally a team or individual should work with or at least consult with a personal trainer, or strength coach.  These professionals have the education and knowledge to help you and your team reach their max potential in time for the season.  The result of this training will hopefully allow you or your team the ability to show measurable increases in a variety of areas.  In many cases simply consulting with a certified strength professional will allow you to develop a plan to achieve your goals.

Most coaches will have a general idea of where their players stand regarding physical fitness.  However, it’s helpful to have a baseline in which to effectively track player development.  Within the fitness plan there should be check points along the way to evaluate the progress each player is making, and if needed make necessary adjustments to the plan to meet those goals.  In the off-season, it’s recommended that teams spend time away from the sport played.  In many cases it is encouraged that players spend time playing other sports to help develop different muscles.  This not only gives players a well needed break from playing their designated sport, but also helps to rejuvenate the player beyond the physical.

How a player or team chooses to develop during the off-season will vary based on many factors.  In some ways, the opportunity to give players rest is valuable at all ages; though a player looking to prepare for the next step in their playing career will likely need to seek out private instruction to meet the new demands.  While not everyone can afford this as an option with a litany of fitness programs available online the amount of resources available can help guide players in the direction they want to go.

After a long season, it’s important that players and coaches utilize the off-season to rest, restore, improve, and prepare for the next season.  What are you doing to prepare?

Floorball and the Olympics

For many, the goal in many cases is to compete at the highest level of competition.  Those opportunities will vary depending on the sport that you play.  For many athletes, the top tier of competition means representing your country to compete in the Olympics.  It’s one thing to compete and represent your country, but to do so on such a large stage is a unique and special experience for all athletes.  While the meaning of the Olympics has evolved over time the nostalgia it brings in watching people who’ve spent their lives striving for greatness fail, or succeed.  I can think of a variety of examples in my lifetime that stick out while watching both the Winter and Summer Olympics. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to see Floorball in the Olympics in the relative future.

Floorball is a recognized sport by the International Olympic Committee, and the International Floorball Federation staff have been working to ensure that Floorball be included in future Olympics.  One of the more important steps to making that a reality was the inclusion of Floorball in the 2016 World Games.  By all accounts Floorball could successfully showcase its athletes and brand as a sport on the World’s stage.  This was an important step in gaining attention and hopefully acceptance as an Olympic sport.  Through the success of the World Games we are hopeful that Floorball will continue to be a sport in the 2021 World Games in the United States.  Having a successful World Games in the U.S. would help set Floorball up to be a potential Olympic candidate for the 2024 (Paris) or 2028 (Los Angeles) Olympics.

Floorball is growing around the world.  More and more countries are getting involved and investing in Floorball programs, clubs, and national teams.  However, in my opinion the largest market missing is North America.  While Floorball is further ahead in the development of the sport than the US, there is still a growing contingent of Floorball groups, clubs, and players gaining momentum.  However, Floorball is relatively new and built primarily on the grassroots movement.  In comparison to other sports there isn’t much support from corporations and large organizations haven’t quite embraced it.  The largest reason for this is a lack of players, leagues, and opportunities to get involved, specific to North America.  If there was more dedicated support and money infused into the sport to build the sport, like any other product, would have the opportunity to flourish.  Given the framework of Floorball it can be easily adapted and played anywhere in any condition.  This will be a key factor in the long-term growth.

It makes sense to see Floorball as an Olympic sport, hopefully as the World continues to develop it will become a force that can’t be ignored.  By that point the framework of leagues, classes, and development will already be in place and moving forward.  Being in the Olympics will only help Floorball take the next step in its worldwide development.

Choose to inlcude

Chairman of Special Olympics – Tim Schriver

Choose to include.  A simple phrase that evoke a not so simple response for some.  If you haven’t heard about Special Olympics and their mission about including persons with intellectual disabilities you should certainly look into them.  The movement to create inclusive opportunities for all is an important one.  Inclusion and sports has been and continues to be a medium to challenge and expand that idea.

I think Floorball can play an important role in that movement in both Special Olympics and Unified Sports programs.  Any chance I get to talk Floorball is a chance I’ll certainly take.  I’m fortunate to have opportunities to share the sport with others.  I think Floorball is a great fit for creating opportunities of inclusion. Floorball is already a recognized sport with Special Olympics and is being played, but not in North America at this time.  I’m not alone in this process as others around the country share that same passion for the sport, and are working to get more involvement, especially within the Special Olympics community.  There have been demos around the country raising awareness and making sure that all have the opportunity to experience and play this great sport. Floorball by nature is an inclusive sport and can be easily adapted to meet the needs of the players, and is a great way to engage a broader audience.

I have been fortunate enough to have been included in a few events within Special Olympics.  Specifically running Floorball demos at winter and summer Olympics for Special Olympics of Washington State.  Each event has been a wonderful opportunity to showcase Floorball to Special Olympic athletes. What I really enjoyed was seeing the athletes jump in and learn a new sport and succeed. One of the great components to Floorball is that other than the goalie it needs very little equipment.  The adaption of rules and game play make it a fun, fast, inclusive activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle. The other function is that Floorball provides more opportunities for athletes to choose and find sports that they’re passionate about.

This past week Special Olympics USA Games were held in Seattle, WA, and was a marquee event for the region. Thousands of athletes from around the country came to Seattle to compete in a variety of events. While the focus of the event is on the athletes and competition there was another part focused on training and developing youth through a program called youth leadership experience.  This program consisted of over 100 students and leaders from around the country.  As part of that program I was invited to develop a team building experience for the group.

I have a background in team building and development through my undergraduate program at Western Washington University, and graduate studies at George Williams College of Aurora University. I was more than happy to use that experience to help with this program, and thankful to have my wife and a friend join me to assist in the program.  One of the challenges to the experience was the time constraint.  Team building takes time and there’s a progression to it for thorough experience.  While I did get the time I would have liked I felt the groups were able to take something with them.  Through the experience I’m hopeful the participants were able to take something with them throughout the week.  I really appreciated that Special Olympics staff for thinking about the importance or team building and making it a priority.  Whether it’s a small or large group it’s an important part of development to spend time in this area.

To round out the event the groups were surprised by the Chairman of Special Olympics Dr. Timothy Shriver.  I was fortunate to be in the crowd and get to listen to his message to the youth leaders.  It was powerful and inspiring.  His message while focused on inclusion was inspiring and encouraging the group to be themselves.  His message take from the stage production Hamilton “I am not throwing away my shot”.  Listening to the students around the room explain their passion and that one thing they strive for was powerful.  It spoke to me, and helped encourage me that the path I’m on with Floorball is where I need to be.  I’ve developed a deep passion for this sport and I’m working hard to raise awareness, and get more people involved.  Sometimes that’s be a challenge and it’s forced me to put myself out there, but in the end I’m pushing forward.

I encourage anyone reading this to get involved with Special Olympics or Unified Sports.  I also encourage you to ask yourself the same question.  What is your shot?  What do you desire to do, accomplish, or become?  For me it’s developing the sport of Floorball.  Until a few years ago I never knew that’s what mine would be.  Be open to possibility and I’m going to continue to push, build, educate, and include.

 

 

Building a Positive Practice

Practice is one of the building blocks to focus on when developing a player or a team.  The key is to avoid common pitfalls that coaches can fall into when designing and running a practice.

Practice plan

A good coach expects their players to be prepared for practice and for game day.  Equally a good coach should be more than prepared for practice and game day.  In many cases that preparation starts prior to the first practice or game.  This preparation can roughly be broken down into physical training, technical skills, and offensive and defensive strategy.  Coaches should be thinking about the big picture and have a clear understanding of how they plan to guide their team towards those goals.  What has evolved in this process over time is a focus on documenting data.  Coaches are looking to quantify their athletes’ development during the preseason through the end of the season.  From a physical development standpoint, a team goal could be to increase agility and speed.   The question is how do you go about doing that, and how do you evaluate what the progress is for each player toward that goal.  If you don’t have a plan in place and measurable outcomes you’re missing out on helping your players reach their potential.

Practice appropriate for age group

The information or practice plan you create as a coach will vary depending on the age and skill level of your players.  One thing I’ve seen, especially with younger players, is the coach teach or trying to teach skills and tactics in a manner that isn’t suitable for the physical or mental development of their players.  Whatever sport you’re trying to teach if you’re trying to introduce a skill or topic make sure to think through the learning development or process of your players.  Teaching a 2 year old how to play soccer greatly varies from a 5 year old.  When I first approached the City of Lacey to run Floorball classes for kids age 7-15 I was very intentional when choosing that age range for several reasons.  The skill and development of a 7-10 year old is enough to make a drastic difference.  I’m also very cautious about lumping wide age groups together in an instructional setting for this reason.   How I run the class, and the activities done will vary because of these differences.  You must adapt to the group.  Don’t expect them to necessarily catch up to you.

Practice without fun misses the target

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly times to hunker down and get things done.  Time to push players to be better, stronger, suffer through pain.  However, a good coach knows when to push and when to play.  Allowing players spaces to have fun, be creative, and enjoy the game is a vital aspect to the overall development of players.  I would argue that this aspect should be carried on to the highest levels in some fashion.  One of my goals during a practice is to give players the opportunity to prepare for game day.  During this time players should be given space to learn, develop, have fun, try, and fail.  Through this time players build camaraderie and confidence in their abilities that will carry on with them throughout their lives.   I encourage all coaches to look for opportunities to continue their own development and learning.  As you expect your players to come prepared to practice make sure you’re equally prepared to teach.  Use these moments as opportunities to instill positive lifelong skills in your players.

For the younger ages the focus should be on having fun, developing skills and growing.  For the older ages the same still applies, but you can spend more time focusing on tactics and developing advanced skill development.  As your group develops and the more time spent with them you’ll get to know and understand where your group is at.  From this knowledge you can figure out the best way to challenge them, adapt your approach to fit their needs and abilities, and improve how you develop your practices going forward.  Get out there, keep learning, growing, and having fun.  If you need more information or are interested in starting a Floorball program reach out and we’ll help you get going.