How I got into floorball
“Comment ça se fait que tu connaisse ce sport?”
Which is French for
“How come you know about this sport?”
Well, this is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down… OK, perhaps picking up a new sport is not quite that dramatic.
A big part of student life is taking on new experiences, and mine has been no exception. Indeed, I look back on my time at the University of Bath very fondly. In particular, I remember the Sports Day in Freshers’ Week quite well. Many of the sports clubs were out on campus, putting on taster sessions to recruit new members. I was particularly interested in the cricket club. Having grown up as a British ex-pat in France, I had only ever seen cricket from afar. So, seeing the Uni cricket team having a knock-about in front of the library, I gave it a try. It was good fun, but the students running the session were not very enthusiastic. I was not convinced that I would want to part with my membership fee for this, especially given the inconvenient training times.
It was at this point that I was approached by Ali, the then chairman of what I would later find out was the Bath Uni floorball club. He said…
“Hi, you look bored. How about coming and trying a sport you’ve never even heard of?”
… or words to that effect (this was nearly 5 years ago, so forgive me if it’s not verbatim).
I was intrigued. Not having anything specific to do that day, and keen to join at least one sports club, I thought I might as well give it a try. Ali led me to the Sports Hall (recruiting a couple of others along the way), where a game was already underway.
I had a lot of fun running around, and got a hang of the basics very quickly. I returned the following week, for the first proper training session. The committee introduced themselves and gave an overview of the sport and the club. They also asked whether anyone wanted to try playing in goal. I had been a (not unreasonable) goalkeeper in a football club a few years previously, and didn’t have the physical capacity for the amount of sprinting needed to play floorball properly (nor much of the motivation required to get it). So I put myself forward.
The club lent me some kit, the first-team goalie Matt gave me a crash-course in where to kneel and a couple of things to keep in mind (staying tight against the post, keeping my hands up) and suddenly, I was making my first saves and getting a great workout!
I was hooked. Within a couple of weeks, I had completely forgotten how to keep goal in football – to this day, I always find myself glued to the near post and have to try very hard not to kneel down. One of the advantages of playing such a niche sport was that I was able to get some national-level competition time very quickly, learning and improving my technique all the time. From then on, I have played whenever possible, training with 5 clubs in 3 countries. I love it.
Over to you: Have you ever been hooked on a sport from the first time you tried it? Have you ever been interested in something, only to be put off by the person representing it seeming not being passionate?