Floorball is gaining interest around the country. As more and more people become aware of the sport we see more people connect with it. I think on the whole most people who see the sport, and have the chance to play likely see the value of the sport. While the approach to grow the sport will differ I believe most people how want to grow the game are making a crucial mistake.
When most people look at a sport and try to figure out how to grow something they typically end up with the same answer. While it’s not a bad route, it’s is primarily flawed if not followed up with support.
In the conversations about Floorball most people jump to trying to get it into schools. While this isn’t a bad idea the ones that have done it currently don’t have anything in the local community for these kids to continue to grow and develop. What it boils down to is that the expectation is that others will do the work that people don’t want to. School programs are great, but if it stops there Floorball will fall into the same trap that floor hockey has. An activity largely seen as a school activity and nothing more. Floorball is so much more.
Getting Floorball into schools in some fashion is a great thing, but I believe the more important aspect is to get it out into the community. We need people starting instructional programs, and leagues. As Floorball gets into schools and other organizations those same kids have a pathway to continue.
Too many people are focusing on the wrong things in my opinion, and are hoping others will do the work in order for the sport to grow. However, this model is doomed to fail, and is not sustainable. It’s already shown to do just that.
Another trap is assuming hockey program, clubs, and businesses will automatically jump onto Floorball. While Floorball skills are directly transferable to hockey players the hockey community hasn’t quite embraced the sport. I’ve spoken at length in other blogs about how this could be effectively embraced, but it hasn’t happened yet.
We’ve seen some NHL programs look to use Floorball within their community outreach. While some people will tout the success of these programs in getting Floorball into schools there is little correlation to the growth and development of leagues in those same areas. However, the reality with these programs is to push the growth of hockey. Nothing wrong with that and in fact it’s an effective method in doing that. However, if you think it’s intention is growing the sport of Floorball you’re wrong.
Again, the method for growing the sport should be on educating players as to why they should consider playing Floorball in the first place.
At this specific point in time every bit of promotion and marketing for the sport is a good thing. However, for sustainable growth we need more happening around the country specific to Floorball. We need people teaching classes, starting leagues and getting their hands dirty. This process is not a quick one, and takes a lot of time, energy, and resources, but it is crucial. This has been a focus on mine and has been a reason why I started Floorball Guru, why I write this blog, and why I wrote a book. I think activating people with the resources they need to be successful is a crucial component to developing Floorball around the country. It’s part of our core principles Learn, Teach, and Play. Get out there and start working!