Starting any new venture can be both exciting and nerve wrecking. If you’re stepping out and doing something new you’ve likely invested in that venture. That investment could usually come in the form of money, sweat equity, and an emotional investment in the process. It’s no small feat to make these investments, and in the beginning, there are visions of grandeur as we plot out the path of our new venture. While it’s great to have those visions the timeline that they may or may not come to fruition may vary. My path in Floorball has been no different.
I found Floorball a bit late in the game. However, having a background and experience in developing new programs, coaching, and being active helped me see a vision for Floorball. It’s been 6 years from that initial finding that I’m here today, and while the timeline hasn’t always worked out I’ve tried hard to show up and do the work. I’m convinced without a shadow of a doubt that Floorball has a bright future. While many see the future of the sport from a retail perspective, I see the potential from many different angles, and see it flourishing. The first step in the process is developing it at the youth levels.
Development in youth is a long and tedious process, one that is not for the faint of heart. In many ways it’s a sacrifice, but one that will pay dividends in the long run. The hard truth about any new venture is that usually it requires one person who puts in the effort pushing things along with the hope of getting more people on board. This process will get frustrating and it’s an easy trap that many people fall into. They think it’s going to be easy, or that it will catch on immediately. There are assumptions that people make but don’t do the work to follow up with it, or at the very least they don’t think outside the box.
For me, I saw the potential in Floorball through youth classes. I had a lot of experience developing youth sports and felt this was a great fit. I was right, and I’ll be the first person to argue that it’s the starting point. I reached out to my local parks and recreation department and developed a relationship. Through that partnership I started teaching. Three years later I’m still teaching regularly and making an impact in the sport and on the lives of kids in my city. From the instructional classes spawned a league, clinics, and camps. It wasn’t something that happened overnight, and in fact it took about two years of teaching classes before I did my first league and camp. Now people know what Floorball is and mark it on their calendar as something to look forward to each season.
While it’s nice to have a partnership, it doesn’t always work. Nothing wrong with that, and when I started my first league at the time the city wasn’t interested. It wasn’t that they didn’t support it, they just didn’t see it working out at that time. You’re going to run into this, but how are you going to react? My option was to push forward. I was able to get gym space for the league from the city, but I had to market it and run it on my own. I believed it would work because I had laid a foundation of teaching classes that I felt a league was the next step. I was right; and was able to start my first league in the fall of 2018. When I got the initial no, I could have given up. I could have pushed things back, or I could have pushed onward. I chose to push onward.
For those of you reading this I think the best advice I can give is to try. We’re too worried about failure and how that will make us look to those around us. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been there. However, I’d rather try and fail than not try at all. I regularly tell that to my own kids, and the kids I teach. Push yourself and if you fail along the way learn from it and keep trying. If you’re in the process of starting Floorball I’d love to help you along that way.