Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Floorball and ice hockey, round 2

Social media is wonderful, it truly is.

We have had some sort of "debate" on Twitter for a week or so with Dennis Chighisola, Michael Borg and Nicolas Kluger about the connections of floorball and ice hockey. However, as characteristic for limited messaging of tweets, the message has not been sent "correctly" between contributing actors.

Why do I say "debate" instead of debate? Well, because we are not actually disagreeing about anything. Naturally some slight viewpoints may vary, since I am a floorball coach (and relatively young one), where as Dennis is merited and experienced hockey coach.

First of all, you should read about the discussion in our previous blog answers. As I started here, Dennis replied to me here.

First of all, I'll give my primary statement: Floorball is good supporting training for hockey players and vice versa. (They are not the best ones, however they are usable in many phases of comprehensive training programs for respective sports).

What benefits can be found uniting floorball to hockey training?

I'll start with this question. 

The fundamental issue is hidden in the the idea that you add floorball to support your hockey training. In my own perspective (some odd years of junior hockey in the past) we used floorball in our summer training. However, our team played floorball with offsides and mild checking. 

When I think about ice hockey, the main benefit is indeed in stickhandling. Set aside the differences between sitcks and such. Stickhandling in different situations, usually quite fast ones, is very much relevant skill in hockey. Also I have found out that dribbling in floorball has also modified the way I use stick in hockey.

I have one slightly related example here. He's Ville Leino. Though I'm not aware of his floorball backgrounds, he is playing with rather short hockey stick. For some hockey players, this could also be the key to improve stick using. This in mind, floorball (or rink ball) are indeed good supporters for your hockey training.

Perhaps we shouldn't think about Hockey vs. Floorball?

The American case

Well, as we all are now aware, breaking floorball to the States and Canada, needs eventually to face the hockey question. How can we attract the players, especially young ones, whose heritage is mostly focused on ice hockey? 

This can be done most efficiently by involving floorball to the training of ice hockey. By this the game would have some new prospects getting familiar. With the modern day, the social connections worldwide are aiding this cause. Successful first time floorball experience for hockey player most likely directs him/her to computer and to YouTube and tadaa - the seed is planted.

But back to basics, I have talked about this in some of my previous posts, like this one about the evolution of the game worldwide. There are some others in Finnish also, but this isn't the forum for those.

The benefits from floorball training to hockey training

Now this is my primary issue. 

I don't think that simply playing floorball in your hockey training you can add that much to the players. Yes, some ones may find something usable, but mostly that isn't cost effective. And no one want's to waste time in this matter.

But, about the training that us floorballers do. In my perspective the defence comes first, but never on the cost of attack. So I feel that summer training of hockey could actually benefit very much about for example our man-marking training drills. However this should be done with actual floorball coach with thorough planning. Uniting this to for example basketball drills, I'd say that your average hockey player will benefit from it.

I'd separate the PT from this. As the physical requirements of a hockey player are little different from the ones floorball-player needs, I think that these programs don't benefit each other that much.

As you might have noticed, I use the word "benefit" quite a lot. When we talk about hockey training, or any other sport in that matter, we have to understand that when the best possible time-gap for individual progression happens, there is also school, friends and other time taking activities. So the player has only limited time in his/hers usage.

And so the time for team/individual training within hockey is actually very limited. So the hockey coach must ponder about the cost effectiveness of particular training or exercise. With this in mind, I strongly suggest that any hockey coach that actually thinks about this possibility (of using floorball as supportive training) should consult as soon as possible floorball coach's.

Considering that this post is more or less aimed for the States and Canada, there should be floorball training tours where some floorball coaches could demonstrate the training formulas they use. By this I think some sort of mutual discussion could be achieved and possibly some modifications of hockey training.

Naturally this is not the only way of spreading the joy of floorball to the North America. But this could also be used in the progress, alongside implementation of floorball as school-sport and other possible programs.


So time to draw some sort of conclusion, right?

As an answer to Dennis, yes I'm quite sensitive about my sport. But, try to stand in my shoes with a little mind game. How would you implement ice hockey to the world where floorball has been the most popular sport after football and basketball? Yep. 

However, I believe strongly in co-operation. And with co-operation we all can benefit. Hockey players will get better and floorball will have it's place in the world. Cool eh? Well maybe some day, but we are in quite a good starting point here. 

Also I believe that marketing our game can be done in many ways. So the main host of this particular blog, Michael Borg, uses quite aggressive method in social media, where my way is this one.

- Tommi Remsu
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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!