To coach for FCP
I came in contact with Floorball Centre Pro and Oskar last year. I was spending some time in Shanghai due to an internship. I contacted Oskar because I was interested in playing floorball with Shanghai Sharks, the adult team Oskar managed. Oskar mention FCP and asked if I was interested to join the company. I coached some classes last year and thought it was really fun. We kept in contact throughout this past year and now I´m back in Shanghai for one month. I´m combining vacation with working for FCP.
It´s really fun to be a part of this company and to see how the sport is growing in China. As a coach I feel more appreciated here in Shanghai then in Sweden. The parents appreciate havening a coach that is foreign. They attend the practices and always ask for more classes. In Sweden you don´t always meet the parents. The parents will at least come to drop off and pick up the kid from the court.
To be a coach in Sweden vs China
I´m not an experienced coach in any of these countries, but I have an active carrier as a floorball player back home in Sweden. I see things from the players view. In Sweden I´ve mostly coached teens in the age of 15-16 years old. I started to play floorball in that age myself; therefor it is easier to relate to their capability to learn. Here in Shanghai I´ve only coached kids in the ages of 8-12. In Sweden most the kids know what floorball is, that is not as likely in China. In most cases they never heard about the sport or even seen a picture of it.
Most classes I´ve had in China started with some technic in how to hold floorball stick. Floorball is a new sport in generally but it´s even newer for China. You don’t have guidelines about teaching kids and their development from the national federation like you have in Sweden. You go mostly back in your own carrier and think about how you started. Since I haven’t coached kids in this age before it´s sometimes difficult to figure out how you are going to plan a class in the best way.
I´m used to having an indoor court with AC to practice on in Sweden, that’s not the deal in China. You get to use to oddest places as a court. You get to be outside, on squash courts and basketball courts. You get to play on wooden floor, carpet and directly on the ground. You don’t always have heating system that’s works either. You have to be able to compromise and always have a back-up plan for the training. Like, you should plan for more water breaks if you play without AC and you as coach should be prepared to sweat just as much as the kids because of the heat.
Chinese people still see foreigners as fascinating. Most of the kids don’t see western people on a daily basis. This makes the Chinese people very curious about their coach. All kids can express English greetings and are happy to use them. The communication can in some cases be difficult and cause some issues. Therefor you have to be direct and concrete in your actions as a coach. It´s a lot of hand gestures along with show and tell. Since the kids’ aren´t used to use the whiteboard with technical sign it is easiest to show every moment they are supposed to do. As a coach in China that can´t speak the language you act more then you talk.
To coach FCP teams vs other organizations
It´s a big difference to coach own teams within the FCP compared to other groups. By other groups I mean organization that hire us for introductions. Team training can be planned in advanced and we know on which level we can expect. Summer is a slow time in Shanghai. Most of the kids goes away on holiday but we can still have some classes.
Coaching a team for FCP is much like doing it in Sweden. The kids are there because they want to, they like to play and they do what we say. They have focus throughout the whole practice. During this time in Shanghai we´ve had some introduction classes for other summer camps. It´s fun to show the kids something new, which they never saw before. But it is also hard to plan. You don’t really know how many kids will attend before the class and some kids have never done a sport that includes a ball. In these cases you have to start from very beginning, teaching them to hold the stick.
I don’t think they listen very well in these classes, but I think it could be because it’s a completely new sport thought in English. With these classes you often have to do short breaks for photos. Every kid seems to want a picture taken with the equipment and the western coach.
To coach western kids vs Chinese
The biggest different between western and Chinese kids is their connection to floorball. I would say that pretty much every western kid I´ve meet here know what floorball is. They either played it before or seen it be played. It is much easier to teach a kid if he has something to relate to. The language communication is also easier with western kids. They are in generally better at English then local kids. In some cases it´s very usefully to have mixed teams. Western kids can in some cases translate Chinese to the local players.