A Coach for this Generation’s Athletes
Preferred Coaching Qualities in NCAA Division I College Athletes: a Qualitative Analysis of Basketball Players from the Millennial Generation. Edward C. Hoffman, Daniel R. Czech, Jonathan Metzler, Trey Burdette, Drew Zwald, Jordan Blazo and Rebecca A. Zakrajsek. Applied Research in Coaching and Athletics Annual, 24, 2009
The Millennial Generation. The Echo Boomers. Generation Y. According to the authors of this study, this generation is currently populating the ranks of college athletics and is considered by social psychologists to be different from previous generations as they “demand more understanding from people in authority positions, quickness in decision making, more affirmations, and desire a large variety of choices.” How then to coach athletes from this generation? Are the “old school” ways still effective, or should coaches modify their teaching styles to connect with this new generation of athletes? The authors set out to “examine the preferred coaching styles of athletes” by interviewing a small sample size of nine male and female NCAA Division I basketball players. Open-ended questions about the qualities and characteristics of the “ideal” coach were asked. Answers by the athletes described a coach “who will sustain multiple roles in their lives, communicate clearly, maximize production, have compassion and be mindful of the entire team’s interest.” Terms used to flesh out this ideal coach included role model, parental figure, caring, forgiving, accessible, disciplined, fair and democratic. The authors suggested that those coaches who are cognizant of the needs of the athletes, and who make an effort to fulfill those desires, will draw better performances from their athletes.