Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why Hockey - Why Floorball?




Why Floorball?
I've had this question asked of me several times.
4000 years ago HOCKEY was invented! The origin of the game is unknown. Some say the Middle East, some say Europe and even some say South America. There is evidence in all three of these places that support that there was some form of what we know today as HOCKEY. The game started as a field sport. First it was 1, 2, 3 or 4 players and developed into games that pitted towns against towns and games that lasted for days.
From this original game came: the modern version of field hockey, ice hockey, roller hockey, maybe lacrosse (especially if hockey's origin was South America), hurling, golf (maybe), bandy and FLOORBALL.

FLOORBALL was invented in Sweden in the late 1960”s to the early 1970's after some Swedish students came to the United States and witnessed floor hockey being played in American schools. From this development came a game that is fast, fun and safe. Fast forward to 2011 and in the last two months FLOORBALL (IFF) has received full Olympic status and looks to be programmed in the 2020 or 2024 Summer Games.
I was introduced to the game at age 3! Not today’s version. But I was playing gym hockey as long as I can remember. My Father was a Principal of an elementary school where I spent a lot of time waiting for him to get done with work. In the gym I spent time stick-handling, shooting and bringing my buddies with to form games. I prayed for snow days so I could talk him into letting us kids play all day. That version was very dangerous as we used real hockey sticks, no protective equipment and a hard plastic ball that gave us welts on our legs, arms and torsos, black eyes and chipped teeth. This is where I really learned to love the game of FLOORBALL or HOCKEY!

As an ice hockey coach I have spent 15 years trying to figure out how to develop HOCKEY SENSE into the players I have coached. With the lack of ice in many areas coaches need and have thought outside the box to find ways to train their players.
Ice hockey is a dynamic game that needs many skills to be able to play at a proficient rate. But HOCKEY SENSE is the one thing you can have, and be average at everything else, and still be capable of playing at a high level. Wayne Gretzky is a prime example. He was an average skater (relatively speaking), his shot was accurate but not over bearing, yet his HOCKEY SENSE was off the charts. I’ve played with, coached against, coached players that were physical specimens that look like they should be able to play the game (any game) and can’t because they lack HOCKEY SENSE. I’ve played with, against, coached, coach against players who could skate like the wind but had no HOCKEY SENSE and never amounted to anything. I’ve also played, played with, coached and coached against players who have HOCKEY SENSE and they have been some of the best players I have ever been around or watched.

How does a player develop HOCKEY SENSE?
It takes time and years and years of practice in game like situations in either organized or non-organized environments. A player who goes to regular practice and regular games each year, year after year, still doesn’t get the time needed to develop HOCKEY SENSE. It is the players who play pick up hockey (what I call RAT hockey), street hockey, floor hockey, roller hockey, lacrosse, soccer and/orFLOORBALL who develop these instincts to really understand and comprehend time and space, attacking and defending strategy and nuances of the game that only hours of practice can teach.
While coaching in the California five years ago I was introduced to FLOORBALL. What I have learned in the last five years:
 
  • Floorball promotes athleticism
  • Floorball is a great Anaerobic (Same as ice hockey) and/or Aerobic workout
  • Floorball incorporates Dynamic stretching
  • All you need is a stick and a ball
  • Floorball is safe
  • Floorball promotes quick hockey skills like stickhandling, shooting and passing
  • The players think it is FUN!
  • I can use it to walk through game and practice situations without the cost of the ice (Forechecks, breakouts, Attacking Situations 1x1, 2x1, 2x2, Back Checking, D-Zone Coverage, PP and PK, Small Games)
  • The players can play and practice in the driveway, garage, in the house (not recommended), at the park, in a gym, on sport court or any smooth surface they can find
  • Ice hockey and FLOOBALL are linear straight line games. Getting from point A to point B involves stopping and starting
  • You have to move your feet. A player cannot coast (bad ice hockey habit)
  • Teaches good HOCKEY SENSE over time
  • Floorball teaches to play in the middle of the surface (ice or court)
  • Floorball is a game of a lifetime and is for young, old, girls, boys, women, men and handicapped
  • FLOORBALL is HOCKEY and HOCKEY is FLOORBALL!
In the short time I have used FLOORBALL with the players at the High School I coach at; I have seen a dramatic change in the players that play on a regular basis. They are more poised in playmaking situations, they process the game in a smarter fashion and they are really learning the nuances of the game. I haven’t coached them, I haven’t taught them, and all I have done is let them play FLOORBALL.
I believe HOCKEY SENSE wins hockey games. As long as I coach ice hockey I will use FLOORBALL to train HOCKEY SENSE in my teams!

Mike Perkins, FHA 
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Caution

Research suggest that eye-injuries are more common in Floorball as compared to Tennis, but less common as compared to Squash (similar to Racquetball).
To minimize this risk of injury Floorballcentral recommend: Use certified protective eye-wear (mandated in many European areas for the youth). Do not lay down on the court. Follow the rules strict on stick height.

Also if you get addicted to this sport - do not blame us!