7 Things Your Millennial Athletes Want You to Know but Won't Tell You

Athletic organizations around the country are all struggling to figure out how to manage and interact with the newest generation of athletes. And I'm not just talking about college teams.If you have access to the WSJ, I recommend checking out this article on the 49ers. Even if you can't read it, the title pretty much sums it up - "The NFL Team that is Solving Millennials: The 49ers are changing how they operate to cater to the iPhone generation."While it's tempting to write off millennials as the generation that can't pay attention or that spends too much time looking at their smart phone (see 5 Common Communication Errors You Should Bench this Season), what if you learned how to best interact with them and used that to your advantage?Here are 7 things your millennial athletes want you to know but won't tell you:1. Reach them where they areAs Maryland Men's Basketball Video Coordinator Jonathan Trock put it in a recent interview, for “the generation growing up right now, their fifth limb is their cell phone.” Recognize that Millennials aren’t bad communicators - they are just accustomed to communicating through different platforms and to communicating constantly.2. Talk to them in their own languageLack of audience knowledge is a common communication error - acknowledge that there are differences between how you may communicate something and how your audience receives it.3. Recognize their desire for achievementMillennials value efficiency and goal achievement. Present information to them in a fast-paced way that makes them feel as if you’re helping them progress towards meeting their goals.4. Don’t babyThe Millennial generation wants and LOVES independence and wants to figure things out on their own. You’re not going to keep their attention if they feel like you’re dumbing things down for them. Find the balance between making sure they have all the information they need and promoting personal accountability.5. Get socialMillennials are all about social network connections. Create a Twitter account, whether it’s personal or for your team, update your LinkedIn profile, and snap an Instagram picture now and then. Millennials will be able to better relate to you if they can interact with you on one of their favorite communication platforms.6. Be smart in how you present your informationUse highlighting or bolding tactics and incorporate lists to make important information stand out in your messages. Your audience is guaranteed to skim what you send them - make sure you smartly design your messages so everyone gets the most out of them.7. Don’t be afraid to add humorMillennials are a very visual generation - add pictures, videos, etc. in a tasteful way to capture and maintain their attention. A good gif can make all the difference.About the Author: Mitch Heath, Teamworks' current Director of Operations, wears many hats here at Teamworks with his responsibilities including influencing the direction of the product, serving as the liaison between clients and developers, and helping craft the strategy and vision of where Teamworks is heading.

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