Learning To Fire The Ball

When teaching Floorball, the offense always comes first and the defense second. Mainly because scoring goals in Floorball is so much fun that its addictive. Don’t be frustrated if your players focus on scoring first, defending last.

When playing any sport, who doesn’t want to score goals?

This becomes especially apparent when teaching children to play floorball. As soon as they have a stick and ball they’re aiming for the goal. It doesn’t matter if they’ve never touched a stick before they’re still trying.

There’s something about an open net that calls us to shoot at.  If you’ve never instructed youth sports program, then I’ll give you a little tip.  If you set out goals for your class or practice the goal will likely be a distraction if you’re not planning to use it right away.  This pertains to pretty much all sports with a goal of some kind.  At least with basketball they can’t physically climb into the goal and get caught.  Nonetheless it’s a good idea to keep the goals hidden, or put propped against the wall until they’re needed.

With that in mind lets dive into the concept of shooting.  There are a multitude of shooting options available to use.  The two obvious ones are the wrist shot, where you effectively flick the ball off your stick, and the slap shot, where you wind up and slap the ground behind the ball creating a bow in the stick that acts like a spring which eventually releases energy against the ball propelling the ball quickly from the shooter.  Both are effective means to shoot the ball but require practice to improve.

Learning wrist a great skill to learn when you need to release the ball quickly and accurately.  One way to teach the skills is to have players dribble the ball back and forth a few times.  When they move the ball from the backhand to the forehand and are ready to shoot they should shift their weight to the front foot.  At the same time, they should be pushing downward on the stick while dragging it across the ground.  This will create a bow in the stick generating energy.  As the stick slides past the front foot they’ll look to release the ball.  The direction of the ball will be determined by how the bottom hand is positioned during the release.  If the bottom hand is palm up the ball will rise, and likely slice off the blade.  Encourage players to rotate the bottom hand downward during the release to keep the ball down and straight.

The slap shot is a much more difficult skill to learn from a static position, but is considerably more difficult on the move.  The keys to the slap shot is timing, transferring weight properly, and creating enough power behind the shot.  The concepts behind this can be difficult to grasp at first.  Initially many people aim to hit the ball as their shot.  However, the focus should be hitting the ground behind the ball first. This allows the shaft to flex generating power behind the shot.  Some players may grasp the concept faster than others.  Continually encourage players to work on the skill and eventually things will click.  The wrist shot and slap shot are just two options available for shooting, but both are equally effective in different circumstances.

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