Thursday, November 7, 2013

Börje Salming's Apprentice - Lasse explains the reality

We talked to Lasse, he is Börje Salming's apprentice in this video - the young man in that white shirt...

Hey Lasse!
Tell us a bit how you relate to Floorball and how it all started for you as well as what are your best memories or achievements in floorball?

I started with floorball at the pro level quite late. I was 24 yrs when I played my first "Salibandyliiga" (Finnish top league) game at Happee. It was in 2001 and it was exceptional because I don't know that many players start so late in life ;)
Although I played "floorball" from the age of 2. I played daily "hockey-street-ball" for about 5 hrs with my friends. I have also played golf since I was 8 yrs old. So I guess I had a quite solid background in different games with a stick and the ball/puck
My career: 5 yrs of age I started at the JYP Hockey Team and played till I was 17 years old. After that I started to play rinkball (same as hockey but with a ball also called rinkbandy) because they paid some money ;)
I was also playing floorball at the "hobby level" all the time and I knew some boys from Happee and that is how I started my floorball career. Funniest part is that I just now started to play Ice Hockey in the 2nd Finnish division - 17 years later - and I enjoy every moment of it. My best memories from my career, I think, it is all those Team Finland games, and the Finnish finals in 2004-2005, as well as the whole season with my good friends the Kohonen Bros. was just amazing! ....I still play floorball with the Nousu Salibandy!

How do you see the current Floorball activity in the Finnish school system, could you describe this from your own perspective?
It's huge! I think it's the most popular school sport here in Finland. And it has so been for over 20 years!

Beside of the schools, what is your impression on Finnish Floorball activities at clubs and other settings mainly aimed at the youth?
We organize those recreational leagues here in Jyväskylä with Happee and in Finland we got over 350.000 recreational players. So I guess floorball moves lot of people here in Finland. I think almost every big company has their own Floorball session every week. It is good way also for Floorball clubs to get money out of companies to organize tournaments and with "work well-being or health days"

Floorballcentral believes strongly that Floorball has been a good injection for Hockey, since we think the floorball infrastructure serve "playful hockey" so skills are both easily discovered and further developed? Do you think this is true - or is there really a thing like talent or is it all just hard work? 
In Finland we don't separate floorball and hockey at the school because we have played floorball for such a long time at the schools. There are some rinkbandy every year but I guess floorball is more easier and safer than both hockey and rinkbandy. 

Of course there are different type of players. We have Power forwards who are not that talented handling the puck (or ball) but also those skillful guys that are really good playing both hockey and floorball. That's probably why it has been always so we easy for me to change from one sport to another. 
I still have to learn how to skate though ;)

But it has been changes here in Finland because, for example, Team Happee's juniors can not skate because they have only played floorball - all their life. They are very skillful but I do think they are missing something because in the hockey junior side - the practice is so much harder. I'm still in pretty good shape at 36 years old, much thanks for the though hockey summer training. 
Anyway here in Happee we have the best coaches in the world for floorball, like Jyri Korsman who has studied how to practice just for floorball. I think nowadays the hockey coaches have been asking how we train in floorball because our players are really fast and elastic. Not too much of those slow muscles like you see too often in hockey. 
If you look at Sami Vatanen at the Ducs in NHL, he is the new prototype of player that combines best parts of floorball and hockey!

But I think as it comes to tactics, floorball is in ways much head of hockey because in floorball you have to think more. It's more like chess, soccer or basketball. Hockey is more based upon one-on-one battles and the winning of those. Yesterday I asked my hockey coach; how do you organize your defense? Do you double at the corners or is it the center or the wing who helps defender, or should center always stay in the middle or what? He didn't know. I think that's is the key point how one can turn the game from own end in the fastest possible way to have 3-2 attack.

What do you dream about as it comes to floorball right now - what is the best thing that could happen?
The North American and the Asian boooom! We have to make more those tours like Pixbo did with Zone to Bali & Singapore. We have to accept the air-hook goals and make it more like a snowboard feeling. Floorball is a game for the new generation and they want to chill and enjoy life. But still we have to keep on pushing the "real sport" status too.
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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!