Students entering college this year have always had access to technology that makes their lives more efficient. They have never had to use a phone book, never had to stop to ask for directions. They have always been able to settle a debate by asking Google, and all of their music has always fit in their pocket. Virtually everything they need is literally at their fingertips.
They are accustomed to immediacy, which can lead to impatience and short-attention spans. They also have grown up with an abundance of choices to keep themselves amused, entertained or intellectually stimulated.
An article on Championship Coaches Network suggests that coaches should avoid lecturing to their Millennial-age players. Instead, they should combine education with entertainment, a process the author dubbed “Edu-tain.”
“Short attention spans are a hallmark of the Millennial generation because of the fast-paced world of technology,” writes Jeff Janssen of the Janssen Leadership Center. “They have hundreds of television channels to choose from if they are bored, a plethora of video games, billions of websites to surf, and ways to instantly communicate with friends. Thus, you too have to try to build entertainment in when you coach – or you will quickly lose their focus.”
Because of the need to be intellectually stimulated, learning is a form of entertainment for today’s players.
Video is, of course, the easiest and probably the best way to edu-tain members of your team. Video of an upcoming opponent, a recent game, a sequence from any game that highlights something important to the team, or maybe a speech. There’s no shortage of options.
But getting the players to watch is another issue. The way videos are distributed is the difference between whether the clips are seen or not. Sending an email attachment works. But if timeliness is important – if a clip needs to be seen before an upcoming practice – many won’t see it. Texting the clip works, but it might get lost in the pile of text messages received that day.
DRIVN’s chat feature is a simple way to send clips, and it provides a place where members can not only watch the video but also discuss it as a group.