Friday, May 3, 2013

Scratchin' heads and the hockey wonder..dude?


We saw this winter numbers that compared the world's largest hockey hub - the Greater Toronto Hockey League with Sweden - and how - both these big machines are able to produce top notch Hockey players - delivered to the NHL and to other professional leagues.

The difference was not super big - like two times in favor of the Swedish player production but it was not too far away - we think it was significant. The Swedes have a clear upper hand over GTHL.

We have earlier explained much of this with the word Floorball. But we think most hockey folks in America still does not grasp how it works so let's try to aim for a push and pull study.
Let see is if all or any of our arguments fall into these two areas.

It is our unscientific opinion that the Swedish society value quality at a higher rate as many other societies. This makes a high cost labor country able to compete with top notch products on the global stage, including hockey players. We think this plays a role. If you do something you better do this good - or not at all - versus the American - The Work Hard philosophy....

Then it is also true that Swedish Hockey started a focused development plan a few years back (but what they do not say is that Floorball emerged strongly in the Swedish society/schools at the same time).
That is probably both push matters.

Then it is also true that Swedish hockey use Floorball as a minor part of their Hockey education - it is there - and it is used but not like crazy.
But... the schools are fully dominated by Floorball, like basketball here in the us, and that seems to produce kids in hordes with soft hands and an eye for the game. It also provides a very good work-out and inspiration during PE.

From the Hockey perspective, to be honest, Sweden produces an incredible amount of - not Hockey players at first - but Floorball players at first...(it is hard to grasp if you have not seen this first hand). The thing is that this spills over to hockey and we DO know that all of today's Swedish NHL players have been raised with Floorball at school - and not Floor Hockey.

In school this tickles talent, skills and interest and many of recent years exports to the NHL have also praised Floorball for both contributions to their hockey talent as well as their well being. This connects to players like +Mats Sundin, +Peter Forsberg and also +Mats Zuccarello-Aasen from Norway etc. But it also connects to the LTAD ideas the ADM unit in USA Hockey tries to promote. They say, do not get too stuck in hockey only - try other things to as you are young and you will get better.

We think this is all on the "pull" side of the matter.

All of above is boring theory that does not make too much sense to any athlete that more care about muscle, attitude and vibrant skills.

So let us present the factual practical reality.
This is a young man in a regular living-room.  He has earned his talent. He has earned his skill. He is not a Hockey player - but his soft hands beats the crap out of most any hockey player at his age... yes we said he is not a hockey player but we think he is better than most hockey players at his age as it comes to soft hands.

And then the Americans still scratch their heads over the soft hands produced in countries like Scandinavia.
Let's hope they will not stay too blind too long.

Floorball is for all and you know what that includes both hockey players and psych.


So why do you not try this now with a wood stick and a puck?
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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!