The past few months have changed much of our daily lives. From a recreation standpoint, many in the field have been left at a standstill. Everyone is scrambling to adhere to new runs, policies, and an ever-changing landscape.
As someone who spends a lot of time planning, this time has been a roller coaster. You can do your best to think about the future, plan, and come up with a variety of options. Then everything changes, you throw everything out, and try again.
I’ve spent a lot of time working through the various rules, regulations, recommendation, and policies outlined by our Governor in Washington State. After reading through all of that I still believe that not only can sports exist, but that Floorball can make an impact. You may have to get creative along the way, but the framework is there to be engaging, safe, and fun.
Putting aside any argument for or against masks, Floorball can be a physically distant activity. Much like tennis, badminton, or other physically distanced activities, it can work. It will look different, but then again, we may need to change the goals of what we’re doing. In all the programs that I run my goal is not the competition, but the learning and development of skills. I spend most of my time teaching kids. Many of my kids come into my programs lacking physical literacy in this space.
Stick sports are a different beast for some. Many lack the basic knowledge and understanding in their bodies of how to move using a stick. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, they just haven’t had as much exposure to it. It takes time and practice to develop those skills. For the most part my programs are built around experiential learning and play to teach and reinforce those skills. How does that look in a physically distanced world?
In every program I run we always spend time working individually on a variety of skills. Every kid has a stick and a ball. They’re spaced out and I work with the entire group. Traditionally we transition to a variety of play-based games and drills. For the most part, I believe that all of that can be done while adhering to physically distancing protocols. What I enjoy most is the opportunity to be as creative as possible. There’s a lot of value in that as more and more people are looking for active programming for their children. Whether it’s working at home or in a group, Floorball works.
While we may or may not be able to be as close as before there are always options. I think the biggest hurdle many face is the notion of what was not what is. Don’t get me wrong, all of this sucks. However, I see opportunity happening right now. If there was ever a time to step away from “we’ve always done it this way” approach now is that time.