Impacts Floorball has on Physical Literacy

Sports are great for a number of reasons. They’ve helped shape countless number of lives and helped bring people together.  One of the great components to sports is how they help develop physical abilities within the participants. In an age of competition between playing outside or sitting inside tethered to a computer or gaming system there is an importance that humans continue to move.  Everyone has different tastes or preferences on how they do that, but this is a big challenge going forward.

Working in the field of recreation, specifically campus recreation right now, I regularly converse with my student staff about this topic. Whenever the topic of student engagement comes up, or why there seems to be less engagement in campus recreation I ask them one simple question.  How can we make playing sports, working out, etc. more fun than sitting in a room playing Fortnite? While we’re talking about college aged people this sentiment rings true at younger ages as well.

Physical literacy is an important component to development that it’s part of the curriculum in just about any primary or secondary school.  You might be asking yourself, what is physical literacy?

“Physical literacy is the ability to move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person.”

Mandigo, Francis, Lodewyk & Lopez, 2012

Looking at a definition of physical literacy it’s clear to me that sports fit perfectly.  I believe that Floorball is a great component to building physical literacy in kids.  Too often we see kids not able to do certain skills. I think there’s a lot of value in being able to throw a ball effectively, or avoid a tackle.  Not only do these things build self-confidence, but they allow kids the ability to grow and learn how to move.  With that comes the potential for more people to learn to love moving. As a society we struggle doing that, and providing opportunities to do it.  In some cases we’ve put in on the back burner.  Again, how do you compete with technology?  It’s a challenge that needs to be met with equal force and fun.

The sports that have grown from grassroots to success across the nation or the world are the ones that engage people, fun, give the ability to grow, create areas of competition, and are affordable.  I’m not talking about leagues, tournament, clubs, or any of that. I’m talking about the notion and opportunity to play.  Kids have enough knowledge and imagination that they’ll figure it out. Within the social constructs they’re able to police themselves just fine. As adults we tend to complicate things too much by putting too many restrictions on play.  Give a kid a ball, stick, goal, they’ll figure out all sorts of possibilities.

What I really like about Floorball is that it’s a great sport for those looking for something new, and something different. In many ways it’s a great equalizer. Depending on where you live you may not have grown up playing a stick sport. This allows more people to get involved and be at a similar level.  This is a great thing when starting out.  Giving people the opportunity to learn new skills and movements gives them the opportunity to struggle, learn, and grow.  This process is a vital one when talking about self-confidence, and self-confidence is what it’s all about.