Many are learning about Floorball for the first time. It is natural that the learning curve for most will be steep. There is a lot to learn when learning a new sport, and it can be a bit daunting. For anyone looking to start a Floorball program I recommend following these steps to create a sustainable foundation. The goal here is to develop a full-fledged sport and not a one-off adventure.
Step 1 – Learn the basics
Floorball is like hockey in several ways while different in others. It is important that you learn those differences and stick to them. If you truly want to play Floorball as designed, you need to be teaching and playing the sport accordingly. At all costs you want to avoid playing a pseudo form of hockey. Stick checking, stick lifting, body checking must be avoided to maintain continuity. Take the time to read and gather as much information about the sport as you can. The goal is to develop a foundation of knowledge, so you are prepared to teach the sport accordingly.
If you’re looking for resources, you can find a few to help. The International Floorball Federation rule book is a good place to start. You can find it on their website at www.floorball.org. The rulebook will give you a detailed account of the rules of the game and will help ensure you know to carry out those rules. If you’re looking for a complete guide to the sport of Floorball including a curriculum, drills, tactics, and other information check out the Floorball Guru Primer at www.floorballbook.com. This book will give you everything you need to start a program and be successful.
Step 2 – Teach the game
Everyone has their own style and approach to teaching. I highly encourage anyone looking to start a program should teach the game. One of the best ways to do this is to run learn to play clinics, and instructional classes. The goal is to teach the game in a controlled setting that focused on skill development while teaching the basics of the sport. Like all developed sports you need instructional classes, development processes to build a following and a base which to grow. This is valuable because it helps build interest and engagement in the sport while laying a foundation for the next step.
Step 3 – Develop Leagues
Typically, people want to jump to step 3. For starters if you got into floorball you likely realize the value of the sport and want to play. The problem with jumping to this point is that you haven’t set a foundation which to build off. For many, going through step 2 is a tedious process, but one that it crucial to long term development of your leagues. When forming your league, you’ll want to first find space to host it. The size of your space will determine the type of league that you’re able to offer. You might also want to consider when starting out focusing on a smaller version such as 3v3 instead of jumping into 5v5. If you’ve been teaching and building a base you can use those participants to fuel your league. Now you should have a core group of players from ages 6-15 that can transition into a youth league. It is likely the parents of those kids have found an interest as well and may look to join the adult league. Now you have the true potential to have an established and growing Floorball program, not just a league, but a sustainable process.
Step 4 – Keep building
This entire process will take time. While we want to jump in to the fray and immediately build something of value it will take time. Things don’t happen overnight, and while you may believe the sport to be a wonderful thing it will take time to educate. We’re breaking habits and changing passions from other sports to Floorball. If you’re not willing to put in the work and play the long game your program will not succeed in the long run. Keep at it, keep learning, and keep pushing forward. Things will come in time.