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  • Rick Jones

Generation Z (The Most Praised Generation in History)

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Today, we are coaching a group of young people that has been referred to as Generation Z. They were born roughly between 1995 and 2010. For the most part, the group of young people we are coaching cannot remember a world without the internet. Generation Z is described as diverse, entrepreneurial, overwhelmed, and lonely. They are also the most praised generation in history.

These Generation Z members have been told their whole lives how awesome they are. They have been given trophies for just showing up and losing every game. They have been given huge “championship” rings for winning a tournament that only had three or four teams in their division. This doesn’t mean we don’t believe in praise, it’s just to be effective with praise, it has to be done correctly.

4 Ways to Praise Your Players:

1. Be specific in praise. Avoid the use of common phrases like: good job, way to go, atta boy/girl. Be specific: “Johnny, that was a great first step on the zone play.”

2. Praise effort, not talent. There is a huge difference in the outcomes when you praise a player’s effort and not his talent. “Johnny, you are really fast.”, replace with “Johnny, you ran your guts out on that play, that is awesome!” Our players are born with talent, but effort is a decision they make.

3. Brag Days. Every couple of weeks or so, we will have what we call “Brag Days”. On these days, we will tell our coaches or our leadership class members today is “brag” day. That means at the end of the practice or workout, the player or coach will single someone out for praise. We have three rules when we do this:

1. We will call the player by name

2. We will look them in the eye.

3. We will be as specific as possible.

This is how it works. I call on a coach(on some days this will be a player in our leadership class). The coach stands at the front of the team and has a specific player stand up. That coach will look that player in the eye and say something to the effect, “Billy, I was so proud of you today. When you were on the scout team , you gave us a fantastic look at the way the corners we are playing this week will play press coverage. It is effort like yours that helps us win.” Over the course of a football season or an off-season, a large number of your players are going to receive these specific, heartfelt praises. Whether the recipients is the star of the team or a scout teamer, it can have a huge impact on the attitude of everyone on the team.

Go Tigers!

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