Alternative Training

Training for many is a mixture of love and hate. Floorball has shown improvement with athlete training, because it differentiates how modern athletes build up their skills with a cardio-vascular exercise.

There are always aspects to training that people enjoy and don’t care for.  While it’s important to focus on stick handling techniques, the work done away from the court is just as important.  It’s easy to forget the less glamorous or fun aspects related to training.  However, these exercises and activities are a vital component to the overall development of players.  Adding alternative training methods such as barre fitness and yoga will help players develop smaller muscles that will help them with strength and stabilization throughout their body.

Yoga is a well-known training method across the fitness world.  When done properly yoga can help improve your overall performance including power and endurance.  Yoga has a variety of styles which can focus on relaxation and meditation to strength and flexibility.  Improved flexibility is beneficial for all athletes by helping to restore the body to its natural state.  A body that is working correctly will allow players to perform and feel better while helping to lower potential injury.  The goal in regards to the body is to improve overall mechanics and movement.  The use of yoga as part of a training regimen will allow players to be more efficient and effective in their movements.

Another training method to consider is barre fitness.  You may be wondering what barre fitness is?  As the word implies barre does refer to the use a ballet barre as part of the program.  Barre fitness classes are ballet-inspired utilizing a mix of ballet barre routines, Pilates, dance, yoga and functional training.  You won’t be doing dynamic moves and running around, but a mix of stationary exercises that are focused on activating and developing the smaller stabilizing muscles, specifically in the core.  While this training is beneficial for field players, it is particularly valuable for goalie training.

While lifting weights and cardio are all important aspects of a training regimen and will help in the overall physical preparation for competition it’s important to mix things up.  Using alternative training methods players will increase all aspects of their athletic performance, while helping to minimize potential injury through training.  While it’s important to be training don’t forget to add in rest days.  Rest days are an important aspect in any training plan, and should not be skipped.  However you choose to train be open to new techniques and methods because they can add value to your training program.

Avoid Ego To Build The Game

Anger only wins when you feed it. Competition is fostered through the belief of winning together. Floorball is a sport that is still growing, and needs active participation from every coach out there to consistently improve and broaden the game.

However, since getting involved in floorball I’ve noticed a few things crop up that confuse me.

One of the main things that I’ve seen is a sense from some that they’re focused on competing with other clubs or states trying to plant the proverbial flag as the best in the country.

This notion doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially when there isn’t a whole lot to base that off of.  Making a statement that Idaho has the best floorball players in the country, and they’re the best state in the country for floorball is silly.  Not because they are or aren’t, but that fighting over a statement like that doesn’t matter.  If teams want to prove it on the court that would be the area to stake claim to those statement.  There are a variety of tournaments for floorball, but the number of teams and overall quality is somewhat lacking in development.  While there are established leagues throughout the country they are not the norm at this point.

If floorball is to gain acceptance and growth then the entire floorball community needs to get behind each other and support each other.  Current leagues and clubs that have been established should be more focused on supporting new and developing leagues and clubs.  Growth in the sport is beneficial to all and will help improve the number of players, quality of players, and the amount of competition at tournaments.  I believe that at some point we’ll likely see more tournaments spring up across the country, and it is inevitable that there will be one or two premier tournaments around the country.  However, the top tournaments in floorball will still be the World Floorball Championships, World Games, and hopefully the Olympics.

In order to develop the sport in the US we need to all band together use our resources to the benefit of all.  Arguing about which club or organization is better does nothing to further the cause and development of the sport.  If we all use our collective experiences we’ll be better off in the end.  If you want to prove you’re the best go to as many tournaments that you can and prove it on the court.  The biggest challenge with the US is how large it is.  Not everyone can afford to travel across the country to compete in tournaments on a regular basis.  It’s a challenge enough for every other sport to do that as it is.

As it is, there’s enough of a gap between people who’ve played to those who have never played that the emphasis should be on helping each other instead of tearing others down.  Complaining or arguing about who’s better isn’t the answer.  Dropping egos and working collectively to find solutions is what will help us move the needle forward in a positive direction.  Those are the people we need to get involved and help improve the sport in positive ways.  We can’t forget that we’re still new to the game and we have to have patience to learn not only how to play, but how to play the game properly.  Be part of the solution and not the problem.

Bring The Goalie

You have a floorball program up and running, you have players, teams forming, but you don’t have any consistent goalies.

That is pretty normal problem for any sport that involves the position of a goalie to play.  While there are alternatives to have a real goalie such as using a shooter trainer in front of the goal, or by using smaller goals with no goalie, nothing is quite the same as having a live goalie in the mix.  Playing with goalies changes a number of aspects of the game on the defensive and offensive side of the ball.  However, there are some barriers to that mainly the cost associated to purchase the necessary protective equipment.  If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a shot you know how important it is for goalies to have the proper equipment.  If you’re lucky and have someone who’s dedicated to the position they’ll invest in getting the equipment needed to play.  While having head to toe protection is nice there are a number of options out there that can do that job to get by.

Where you’re an individual looking to buy gear or a program looking to have gear on hand the top three pieces of equipment that are a must have are a helmet, knee pads, and chest protector.  Aside from the helmet you can pretty much piece together the rest to make it work.  If you’re looking to have equipment available for multiple users, such as at a facility, you’ll want to purchase multiples and take into account sanitary and cleaning procedures.  In some cases you might already have some of this equipment if you’re moving from ball hockey to floorball.  There’s nothing that says you can’t use the same helmet and chest protector.  Depending on your situation the catcher style chest protector might be a better financial option for your program. Sometimes you use what you have to make it work, and for recreational purposes that works just fine.

When you’re looking at goalie equipment there is a lot out there online and for the most part it’s all very similar.  Like any product floorball goalie gear is focused around protection, comfort, and the ability to absorb energy to control the ball (think minimizing rebounds).  One thing to note is that a floorball goalie helmet is not the same as an ice hockey helmet.  While there share a lot of the same characteristics floorball helmets are considerably lighter, and are very similar to street hockey goalie helmets.  Pricing will vary as any other piece of equipment, but depending on what your needs are or your personal preferences there is a variety out there to meet your needs.  The same goes for knee padding.  A number of floorball companies sell knee pads, but floorball knee pads vary from volleyball pads.  Floorball knee pads are typically large and provide more complete protection around the knee.  In some cases they will also extend down to the middle of the shin for additional protection.

The biggest thing is don’t worry about the initial cost.  You don’t need every piece of equipment right off the bat, and in many cases those who like playing goalie will go out and buy their own gear.  Just don’t be shy in using goalies or getting some minimal piece of gear to get things going.