Successfully Coaching The Millennial Generation
Millennial’s offer many unique coaching challenges. “Positive Reinforcement” may be one of the biggest mistakes most coaches make when coaching this generation.
We teach at Volleyball1on1 the importance of “Recognizing Excellence” vs. “Positive Reinforcement” as an important coaching concept. We see many High School Varsity Coaches and their staff miss the opportunity to “Recognize Excellence” when developing great volleyball players and people of character on their team who will thrive in the world today.
Looking at this current generation we coach, we believe it is imperative to confront some difficult truths. This video below by Simon Sinek called the “IQ Millennial Question” sums up some of the challenges we face as coaches (and also parents).
Important points from the video related to this article:
Failed Parenting Strategies (which often we see shows up also as failed coaching strategies) include:
- Kids / players being told they are special
- Kids / players getting rewarded for things they do not deserve.
- Kids / players setting false expectations of how the real world works.
A good majority of these issues are from a belief in the value of positive reinforcement. Parents and coaches have been told and programmed to constantly reward children for mediocre or poor performances.
Which creates a false belief in positive re-enforcement? Why are the benefits of positive reinforcement constantly shared as a culture?
“Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is a very powerful and effective tool to help shape and change behavior. Positive reinforcement works by presenting a motivating item to the person after the desired behavior is exhibited, making the behavior more likely to happen in the future.”
So, how does it fail? And why have we created a young generation of people with so many challenges and struggles in the workplace and life? We don’t tell the truth!
We believe at Volleyball1on1 High School Varsity Head Coaches and staff need to suffer from what we call at Volleyball1on1 “B.H.”, Brutal Honesty.
What does this mean? If your players don’t play well, I am going to tell you. If your players are lazy and don’t work, you are going to tell them. Most importantly, if you do something good, particularly if you do something great or excellent, you are going to tell your player or players the “Brutal Honesty” truth and “Recognize Excellence!”.
We offer “Positive Reinforcement” too easily and quickly. At Volleyball1on1, as part of the Volleyball1on1 Culture we help High School Varsity Coaches establish in their gym, we only “Recognize Excellence!”.
We only compliment excellence in behavior that we establish are the ideal behaviors in our coaching system called “What Great Looks Like!” and on / off the volleyball court with “The Volleyball1on1 Winning Culture.”
We highly encourage you to implement this culture of “Brutal Honesty” and “Recognizing Excellence”. Create this new habit today in your gym with your program and players.