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Coaching Millennials – A New Playbook | Millennials

Many athletic coaches today are saying the same thing – that there has been a change in society, that kids today have a sense of entitlement, that they are more focused on stuff and less on the experience.

However, there are coaches out there who are changing their approach to motivating Millennial athletes and ultimately transforming the playing landscape. The old stand-by’s of driving the fundamentals, yelling and screaming, and intimidation are fading away.

A recent example is the University of Minnesota Football Program’s new hire, P.J. Fleck.  Known as an energetic visionary, Fleck’s unconventional approach has got people talking. A DJ Booth at a football stadium, social media-like catch phrases, focusing more on motivating players than on X’s and O’s. The era of a more dictatorial style is ending because ultimately players want to be motivated, not screamed at.

What makes his style stand out? Fleck’s speeches are packed with motivational elements, and he energizes and inspires his team to do their best and buy-in. Listening to players is critical. He takes a tactical and emotional approach with his players – he knows how to teach and relate to the Millennial generation. He spends time on emotional intelligence – what makes his players tick, what motivates them?

As leaders in organizations face the same challenges with the Millennial generation, what can be learned from the experimental coaching style targeting Millennial athletes?

#1 Energize & Inspire
Leaders should share the vision of the organization and get their Millennial employees to understand the bigger picture, the role they play, and build excitement around the end game.

#2 Listen
Take the time to sit down with and listen to Millennial employees. Have consistent conversations with them building a rhythm to listen to concerns, provide feedback, and build relationships.

#3 Invest
Focus on emotional intelligence. Take a tailored coaching approach – how do you motivate the “players” on your team?  What makes them tick? What motivates them?  What gets them to move the needle?


Source: Motivation for the millennial generation: Could P.J. Fleck usher in a new wave of coaches?  Sports Illustrated |September 24, 2015

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