I’ve been in the sports world my whole life. In one form or another sports have permeated my existence. I love sports and have been drawn to team sports. I like the camaraderie that comes with teams sports. I played every sport I could find growing up, and I’m thankful for those opportunities.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve clung to the many positive benefits that participation in sports brings. Having played lots of different sports and having grown up in and watched the development of youth sports I’m sad to say it’s lacking.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve likely heard the conversation around youth and sport specific participation. I’m a firm believer against it, mostly because I feel it’s leaving kids behind. As more people focus on getting to the next level clubs and leagues meet the need. The issue I have is that over time there become less organized opportunities for kids to play as they get older. The problem with that is once that happens kids may not engage in physical activity going forward.
Looking down the road into older ages there seems to be less and less interest in adult participation in sports. There are always alternatives to sports and I fully support those. As an adventure guide in a former life I love getting outside and getting active in alternative sports and activities. I encourage that as much as playing sports. Yet, I believe that by providing more experiences and opportunities kids will find what moves them.
This is where Floorball has come in for me. On one hand I teach structured youth classes. Kids come in once a week for 30-45 minutes are give structured and unstructured play time. The feedback I get from the kids is always excitement. The feedback from parents typically goes like this, “my child has tired lots of things, but they weren’t interested until they found floorball.”
I work in Campus Recreation and I offer Floorball leagues and open play to students on campus. What I’ve found is that the students who come to play Floorball are not playing in my other sports leagues. By providing opportunities it opens the door to engage more people. That is the goal. Engage more people with opportunities. I just happen to use Floorball as a tool in that process. I encourage others to do the same wherever they are.