Raffles Institution played host to Pixbo Wallenstam IBK, as the Swedish Elite Floorball Club held a clinic teaching the students how to master key floorball techniques (photo by Lee Jingyi/SSC).
As Sweden is famously hailed to be the powerhouse of floorball, Raffles Institution had the honour of housing some of the players from the Sweden Elite Floorball Club, Pixbo Wallenstam IBK, including coach David Jansson. Famous for coaching one of the best floorball clubs in the world, Jansson easily took the reins and gave the boys a taste of a Swedish professional.
The participants were divided into two groups, mainly goalkeepers and regular players. The regular players were then further separated into right-handers and left-handers. Endorsing the fundamentals, Jansson did not pick up on any fancy play but focused on getting the boys’ basic techniques right.
The boys were taught how to execute a proper wrist shot, a shot that is very quick and can come as a surprise to many goalkeepers, especially since they are mostly unpredictable. He demonstrated the need to gain some space before shooting and having one’s feet face the goal. The ball, he explained, had to be in front of the player and not at the side. The weight of a player also had to be on the leg closest to the ball.
Jansson moved on to the slapshot, a shot that has higher power compared to a wrist shot but demands the proper technique strongly. Unlike the wrist shot, the weight is transferred from one leg to another as the player swings his or her stick. The player’s hand also has to be positioned low on the grip of the stick.
With the demonstrations came applications. Giving the boys an opportunity to apply what they had learnt, Jansson simulated drills that mimicked possible situations in a floorball match. It gave a certain pressure to the boys, and they were able to discover their reaction under the pressure.
A man of encouragement, Jansson was not stingy with his praises when it came to the players. To him, floorball is supposed to be fun, and fun was the element that he brought to the table. The rigour of the first part of the training ended and the second half proceeded on to a mini match. The Pixbo players and Jansson himself joined in, and the boys were finally able to test out their skills against the world-class players.
The clinic came to an end on a high note. Not wanting to forget the day they rubbed shoulders with the Pixbo players, the boys had their pictures taken with them and went to the extent of having their jerseys signed.
“I think this clinic has been a very good experience. While playing with the Swedish players, it was extremely exciting and it showed us how fast the pace of the game is at the top level,” said Jared Tan, a goalkeeper from Raffles Institution.
When asked how he felt about being able to conduct the clinic, Jansson admitted that he enjoyed it a lot.
“The kids here in Singapore are great. The structure is in the school, and the discipline is in the school,” he laughed, “but they tend to smile when we give them something to smile about, which I think is the perfect combination.”
He concluded, “Floorball is going to be huge in Singapore.”