Playing the game is one part of the process

Sports in general have many benefits. Some of the benefits are the same, while others may vary depending the sport, or what you’re looking to get out of them. They also change, or I guess we change as we get older, and aren’t able to do the same things we used to do. I’m routinely reminded of this fact working on a college campus. I work in college recreation specifically, and I spend most of my days inside a recreation facility.

Over the years we’ve developed a pretty consistent noon basketball game. I’ve tried to switch that to Floorball, but to no avail, at least right now. I’ve played basketball and many other sports my entire life. I’m not the top player on the court, but I can hold my own with the students. Sometimes I teach them some older skills and techniques that most players have forgotten or don’t use. I do the same with many of the sports I play with my students. I try to be active and out there with them for a number of reasons.

My main reasons lately have been to stay in shape. I’m not a huge fan of distance running as I get bored, but if I can chase a ball up and down the court I’m usually more interested. Aside from having fun, I’m mostly looking for a workout, which I can usually find. I laugh when students don’t want to guard me because I run, and try to run them ragged. It got me thinking about why we get into different activities.

I found Floorball for instance out of the blue. I saw it’s potential and had the skill to pick it up quickly. More importantly for me I was interested in learning everything I could about the sport. I wanted to become educated so I could better understand the rules and nuances of the sport. I noticed early on that there weren’t a lot of resources out there geared for the beginner. The more I’ve worked on this process the more questions I’ve received from people looking for information.

I love playing Floorball. It is a blast every time I get the chance to play. Lately it’s not as much as I would like, and teaching is fun, but it’s different than just playing. There are always times when it’s important to just play. I think having too much structure at times takes away from the purpose. A lot of the time you learn by doing, so allowing for unstructured play is a crucial component in the development process. There are times when structured learning should happen, and they should work hand in hand. I’ve learned over time that part of getting people to engage in the sport is to pull some of the structure out of the equation. Teach the basics so the game has a Floorball feel but not so structured that people get frustrated with it. Like anything new it takes time to learn. However, once people learn it they can better appreciate the game as it is intended.

It’s all relative in the end. The more we learn the better we can play the game, and ultimately the better we should be at teaching others to play the game. If every Floorball player was out there working to find and encourage new players into the sport we would grow exponentially. More players in the sport benefits the entire community. If we work together on this the sport will become a significant force in the sports community. Sometimes people just need the right push to get involved. You never know who may get involved that ends up changing the landscape of the sport because of your simple gesture.

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