Dr. Dan Gould comes on the podcast to discuss his research on Generation Z athletes. Dr. Gould takes us through the purpose of generation or cohort research, what time frame constitutes Generation Z and the characteristics that define this Generation. From there the team dives into coaching Gen Z athlete strategies. What it takes to develop a high performance players is discussed as well as some of the nuances the coaches must address in working with players.


J: Welcome to compete like a champion. You're here with Dr. Larry Lauer, mental skill specialist, and coach Johnny Parkes with the USTA player development. Today we got a very exciting guest on the podcast to talk about coaching Generation Z, Dr. Dan Gould. Dr. Dan Gould. Welcome.
D: Hi, good afternoon or good morning, whatever it is where you guys are.
L: It's just morning yet, not quite afternoon, Dan. Remember, we're on the same time zone by the way. So
D: Yeah, I was trying to sound important.
L: Everybody, the listeners now know where this is going to go. We're just going to be joking around the whole time.
J: So listen, we really appreciate you taking the time to come on the podcast here, Dr. Gould, but I'm going to let Larry do the honors on introducing you because you know you're sort of a lifelong mentor of his. We really appreciate you keeping him on the straight and narrow for us. So thank you, but I'm gonna I'm going to hand it over to Larry here to intro you.
L: Yeah. So I'm going to you know, just say a few things. You know, obviously Dr. Gould is at Michigan State University and he's the director of the Institute for the Study of youth sports. But more importantly, he has been my mentor and friend for what is it? What is it now, Dan? 26 years? Probably seems like a long time for you. So.
D: Yeah, it's been a while.
L: Quarter century of excellence.
D: Wow.
L: But Dan, you know, just so our listeners know, he's a researcher, practitioner, worked for many years in educating coaches. He's worked specifically with tennis since, I guess even the early 90s. Right, Dan? You've been working with us for a long time.
D: Yeah, way back when we started some burnout studies
L: Started with the burnout studies. And then you did the mental project with tennis, which ended up in the book, right? The USTA mental skills and drills handbook.
D: Correct.
L: But I don't know if I should embarrass him, but I'm gonna say it anyway, he was named one of the top 10 Sports psychologists in the world. So I'm not quite sure why, I still have to ask him why he asked me to come to grad school with him. I think he just needed someone to do work, but it ended up working out for me, so... But Dan, thanks for coming on and maybe just talk a little bit about, you know what your focus is at the Institute. And then we can really kind of dive into this idea of Generation Z athletes.
D: Yeah, thanks for having me. Our Institute has been around for 41 years. We were started by the state legislature here in Michigan to scientifically study the benefits, as well as the drawbacks for sport for children and youth and then to try to do things and work with partnering agencies, do coachess ed, other parent ed, that's going to maximize the benefits and minimize the detriment. So we have a couple things we try to study. Children in sport and the issues and that ranges from novice kids or, you know, five and six year olds just starting up to, you know, talented Junior athletes and even college athletes who are considered young adults, so we kind of run the gamut trying to better understand what's going on with kids' sports and again, trying to maximize the benefits and help people know what the detriments are so we can avoid those.
L: No, excellent, Dan. And obviously, you've done a ton of research over the years. And one of the things you started delving into was the idea of Generation Z, and maybe more from a general perspective, what is this whole idea about studying generations? And, you know, what's the idea behind this kind of research?
D: Yeah, great question. The generations type research, or sometimes what they refer to as cohort groups, are within, you know, society, different times in society, sort of groups of children are born around the world. So you have and we'll take the US, it's simpler, but you have sort of the baby boomers, many of who grew up when they were kids in the Great Depression, then went through World War II. Then we have millennials, you know, a couple subgroups there. And now people talk about Gen Z. And these are, you know, large cohort groups of society and these kids are born after 1995, '96 depending on who you read and go up through about 2012. So in the US that's about 25% of our population or 74 million kids. And the thought here are, well, every kid's an individual and that like in coaching individualization always trumps, sort of group principles, well, every kid's an individual, they're influenced as a group by certain things. So Gen Z kids, for example, lived through the great recession in 2008 and saw some of their parents lose jobs, and they've, you know, they've grown up through, you know, the media focus on the increase in school shootings. So people think or psychologists think these events that occur in society have an influence on that generation that may be different than generations before and a big one for Gen Z, and maybe perhaps the biggest, is these kids have grown up in technology, in a world that's always had technology. You know, when they were kids, they probably were given an iPad had to play, pictures taken, you know, social media. So they've grown up in a world that's total technology and people think that has effects on them and they've been studying that.
J: That's great, Dr. Gould. And essentially talking about now some of the characteristics of Generation Z. I'm wondering maybe if you could take a deeper dive into the characteristics of Gen Z and maybe the strength of Generation Z athletes and maybe some of the challenges of coaching Generation Z athletes.
D: Yeah, the general research not looking at athletes, but just looking at kids in this demographic group, there's some research that shows that have shorter attention spans probably because when they're on the computer, a lot of the programming is so quick and can change. They do have excellent technology skills. Most of us that are older, if we have a problem, we call a kid over to fix our phone. You know, they they sometimes lack strong interpersonal skills, because they're used to texting, they're used to talking to their friends, you know via technology works. Maybe a little less comfortable for them to sit one on one with somebody. They're the best educated generation in history, they want to be involved in decision making. Some of the research suggests that they're more stressed, they have less ability to deal with adversity. A lot of people think it's because their parents, because of things that have happened in society, like school shootings and the perception of danger, have coddled their kids more and not let their kids do things on their own. So they may be less almost independent, but also less likely to take a risk because they've heard so much about that. So those are some of the characteristics that we might think about, you know, and our athletes are all part of that generation. So they probably have some of these characteristics to some degree.
J: That's great. I mean, a lot of those characteristics, obviously then we learn, I guess, as coaches how we take that information to then actually coach these young people in a sport that we're trying to navigate both the sport, and you know, maybe nurturing them or developing them as people as well. Obviously a lot of the big role of that falls on the parents in terms of nurturing them as a person. But as coaches, we take on some of that role as well, as well as developing the actual skills for the sport that they're playing. So I'd love to know, maybe your insights as to, based off the maybe the strengths and the challenges, what does that mean for maybe our sort of coaching strategies to use with Generation Z athletes?
D: Yeah, and I do need to be thankful to the USTA player development because we did a study where we interviewed some of our player development coaches who are, and staff, who are doing a lot of work with these kids to kind of find out what they view are the characteristics and effective strategies. One is if the kids are maybe a little different than perhaps our generation in terms of forging like one on one relationships, as a coach, you might want to spend some more time kind of with the kids just letting the kid get comfortable with you. You know, they may be a little more passive in their communication at first. So you know, you just sort of kind of work with them. I know some coaches are, you know, with the players are teaching them how to shake hands, how to make eye contact when they meet people just like they would a tennis skill. You know, we know they need some structure, they're used to a structured environment. So as a coach, you know, I wouldn't put them on the court and say figure it out yourself. I'd probably give them some structure, especially at first. You know, attention span, I think is one that has a lot of implications for coaches. You know, in the school settings, we think kids are used to reading shorter paragraphs, that doesn't mean they still don't need to read books. And we think on the tennis court, their attention span, because of like gaming where things change quickly, if a coach goes on for too long, perhaps the previous generation of kids might have gotten bored as well, they'd be with you longer. Whereas now you've got to get in and give your demonstration and your instructions fairly quickly and get out. Some of the coaches told us too they're finding like a use of video. So many of us have smartphones, so we shoot a video of the kid's backhand and we show the video on the court. Again, every kid's different, but a lot of these kids are probably more visual learners compared to previous generations. Others, when the kids are older and ready for this, we got to be real careful with this. We teach them some, you know, breathing techniques, a lot of the stuff that Larry Lauer's put together, which is just excellent on mental skills that champions need, we teach them those mental skills and then we tell the kid we're doing this but in practice, we put them under pressure. So they get some practice, dealing with adversity. Again, we got to be really careful with that because if a coach isn't sure how to do it, they can create stress, a lot of stress in kids and even burn some kids out, but there's a lot of people now talking about pressure training, getting kids, after we give them the skills to work in those more stressful environments. So those are a few things that come to mind.
L: Dan, you mentioned breathing exercises and, you know, also the the attention spans of you know, if you're working with children first just their maturation where they don't have the capacity of an adult but also maybe of the societal influences or the environment for these Gen Z, Generation Z young people. But how important are things like mindfulness and play a role in us being able to train, I guess the question I'm getting at, how much do we sort of bend to their need for changing things often and keeping it exciting and moving in and out of things and using video to teaching mindfulness and a quiet mind and being present and staying with one thing? Like, where's sort of the balance in that or where do you see that?
D: First, it's a great point. And it's something that I've thought a lot about because on one hand, we know if we don't meet the kids where they are, we're probably going to lose them. So you know, a good example is if you call kids and they won't pick up their phone, as one of the USTA coaches told us, I have to text them first to tell them to pick up the phone. Well, you're never going to get to talk to them if they don't pick up the phone
L: We have some coaches who are the same way, by the way,
D: But after that, if you expect, you know, say if you see my number you pick it up, I'm not texting you anymore. So I mean, it's sort of like at the front end we meet them where they are. But a good example of attention span, yeah, I've got to maybe do quicker demonstrations and get my feedback nice and succinct, not a bad coaching strategy in general. But over time, a tennis match lasts a long time, and that young person's going to need to learn how to go in and out of focus, how not to get distracted easily. You know, as one coach said, they know more about what's going on the court next to him versus the court they're on. They're not going to be a champion at any level unless they figure out how to get focused on what counts. So I think as coaches on one hand, we sort of meet them where they are, because we have to, but then we're working with them directly and very transparently and say, look, if you want to be a really good player, you're going to have to broaden your attention. You're going to have to learn how to focus longer, and I think the key is for coaches to be intentional and use you know, frankly, a lot of the resources you've developed, whether it's a, you know, a little program to help them deal with breathing and mindfulness and teach them those skills so they can better adapt, because what it takes to be a champion hasn't changed, while the kids may have changed some, we've got to help those kids. Even things like as a junior coach of high school kids, how do you help them learn how to navigate social media. Terrible stuff is sometimes said on social media and if a kid's looking at that, because they're so addicted to it, right up to match time and they get a bad tweet from somebody before they go on court, that could screw them all up versus that [inaudible] knows, like, I stopped looking at that stuff X amount of time before the match and to have some strategies to deal with it.
L: Yeah, that's, I think that's tremendous. A lot of it is then creating expectation out in front and explaining why you're doing these things, right? And then the other thing I hear is that doing something excellent t an elite level, a lot of things still apply, even though it's a different generation, right, and they're on their phones a lot and times have changed. And yet in many ways high performance has stayed the same. It's still putting into work over a period of time, being able to engage and stay focused. And you know, maybe the challenges are different around it, but nonetheless, you still have to get to the same point.
D: Yeah, what it takes to be a champion psychologically hasn't changed. You need to be disciplined. You need to be able to deal with adversity, you need to be confident, even when you're scared, you know, you need to be able to communicate. And yeah, and today, I say a skill that may be one thing that has changed as if I'm a champion, I need to know how to navigate social media, on one if I have x number of followers, my agent's going to be real happy because we can get more sponsorships. At the same time if I'm not careful, that social media can eat me up and interfere with my performance. So and we've always known really good athletes are able to sort of manage their environment, well, the environment's a little different, but the skill of self-regulating, you know, for me realizing that I'm getting overwhelmed with everything and then start to use my mindfulness to calm myself down. I think, you know, I think it's a little bit more of a challenge for coaches, but we need to be very intentional in equipping our kids, they can be just as good or better champions. Again, they're pretty knowledgeable, they can go on the internet, look at some of the best players, you know, they'll check you even today because if you say something, maybe they don't automatically give you the authority people did 30 years ago because you're a coach. So that's not necessarily bad. That keeps me on my toes as a coach, but how to help them kind of trust maybe if they're used to not trusting.
J: That's a great point and trust without not trusting, we have, sometimes we go back and forward as coaches in that we're trying to set up the players with habits of mindfulness, journaling, visualization, a lot of tools that again, Larry and his team put together, and you know, for the most part when you do the exercises and when you try and establish this routine throughout the week with the players, they do a great job of it. They're really engaged in visualization exercises, in mindfulness, in calming their minds, you know, it's a little bit weird for them at first, but as the week goes on, or weekend goes on, when we do camps, you really start to see them start getting more comfortable with it and more engaged. However, you know, maybe this is a question here of of how are we able to encourage our young athletes to be able to, I guess, trust the value of doing them when they leave or when they go back home? You know, I guess, I know there's no magic gold dust here or any tricks, maybe there are some tricks to the trade, I don't know, but no, there's no magic gold dust, but maybe there's some tips here on how, you know, we could encourage players more to take this with them when they're on their own and why that's important.
D: Yeah, I think it's a really good point. So, sort of when you have them in a captured environment, you can teach them a lot of these skills, and again, we'd have to look at the precise situation because coaches don't have just time on their hands all the time. But a good way would be give them homework. Okay, I want here, what are the three best skills you learned in this camp, what I want you to do is identify how you could use that back home to help you sort of navigate your training, navigate your competition, and then I would give them one beyond tennis to use in school. And maybe they write that down, and they give it to the coach. And the next time you see him in a different camp, you ask them for a report card. Now if you had a smaller number of athletes, and it's reasonable relative to the coach's time you send them a tweet or you send them an email or, you know, however you communicate with them, and you ask them, are they using it? There's a lot of research now that we're thinking that, just because somebody learned something in one environment, they don't necessarily transfer it to the next environment unless we're pretty purposeful in helping them do it. Another would be maybe you send a note to their local coach of what you've been working and with some guidelines on how he or she could reinforce that with the athletes back when they're training with their own coach in their own part of the country.
L: Excellent, Dan. I know in interest of time because you, you're a busy man, and very important. So we're just lucky to get you on here, but we're going to finish up here. But if you're in front of a group of tennis coaches, or really just coaches, what are maybe the three takeaways you would say in terms of them adapting their coaching to Generation Z athletes? What what are the most important things you're learning from the research and from your practice?
D: You know, one is don't view them as weak or insignificant. Each generation has pros and cons. And these kids have some really good pros as well as some cons. With that being said, you know, I think we need to teach these kids how to deal with stress and adversity. And that's teaching mindfulness, breathing, those type of things. Even before that, I guess, is build a strong relationship. If you don't connect with kids and are able to build a strong relationship with them, none of the other things happen. So relationship would be first. Realistically as a coach, kind of, on court be organized, give them the structure. Be quick in and out, which is probably good coaching in general. Do that, help them learn to deal with adversity and then think about transfer. How can I get them when they're going to need to self regulate. When I got them in a three day camp, I can control the environment, get them to do things, as Johnny said, you start getting excited because you see you see them learning things? Well, we don't want that learning to stop. So think about ways where I could get their local coach to reinforce it or I keep in communication with them and then they come back and help me you know, I checked up on them.
L: That's awesome Dan and appreciate the time. And it does sound a lot of you know, meeting it in the middle, right, that we try to meet some of their strengths and understand them and take advantage of their visual nature and their technological understanding and certainly their drive to be good at what they do. And at the same time, a lot of the coaching still goes back to things that coaches have been doing for 100 years or more, you know, in terms of creating expectations, communicating, creating a relationship, right? And so the more things change, the more they say the same too, right? So there's ways to adapt but you still have to be, there's certain coaching principles that stand the test of time.
D: Yeah, exactly. I think you put that really well. We sort of need to meet them where they are, and take them where they need to go. And that's really about how do we support them, and at the same time, challenge them and I think the great coaches figure that out. I'm supportive, I meet the kids where they are, but if I'm really going to help that kid get better and not just to win major championships, but to be a better kid, to be a better player, to play the game for life, I've got to help that kid overcome challenges and if they don't have the skills to do that, part of coaching is helping them to develop those skills.
L: Well, definitely thank you, Dan, this has been awesome. I would encourage all coaches out there listening to take a look at what, you know, the Institute for the Study youth sports is doing. Certainly our USTA player development resources as well, because we do have resources to help coaches understand how to, not only prepare athletes for adversity and stress, but also ethical and appropriate ways to put them under stress and then work with themselves. It's been awesome, Dan, thank you.
D: Thanks, bye everybody.
J: Thanks, Dan. Appreciate it.
D: Bye.
J: Oh, there we go. He's gone.  He is very busy and we're very fortunate to get him on the podcast here.
L: Let's take a moment then just to digest here live and then people can hear it recorded because I know he had to go but what are your takeaways, Johnny? I mean, you were just coaching Generation Z tennis players when I came out to see you on the red clay courts. What are you thinking about when you think about these young athletes that you need to do as a coach? Because you're at the tip of the spear. You're working with the best players in the country in these age groups. What do you need to do as a coach to adapt to them and yet continue to stay true to what you believe is good coaching?
J: That's a great question, because, I mean, I think first and foremost, I always want to maintain, I think my standards of how I believe that we should be training and playing on the court. I mean, I'm a big believer in train like we play, and play like we train. I mean, there should be a consistency across the board. And in order to meet those standards I set for myself and the players, the players have to understand those. So I think there, like what Dr. Gould said is, laying out some of the expectations that has to be right there at the forefront. But I guess like, I mean, when I've got to coach players on the court, the thing I always go back and forwards with is, there are days when players are tired and you know that I can see that they're giving effort and the engagement may be wavering a little bit, where does a coach's balance come between trying to provide motivation and really try and bring the players up, bring the kids up. So you can almost spark a bit of motivation in them when they're feeling a bit tired. And then the balance between that and then also maybe taking a step back, because ultimately, it's got to come from them, you know? So yes, there's a teaching element, but at the same time, they sort of have to figure out how to maintain these standards for themselves. And that's a balancing act and that's always on my mind
L: That's very interesting point and I think that's a little bit of the art of coaching, right Johnny, where you're reading it, you're reacting. I kind of lean on the idea that when I'm teaching something new, that the athletes are going to need a lot of support, and a lot of encouragement and maybe motivation, right, when they're getting tired to continue to do what you've been working on. But as they get, as they learn to be able to repeat whatever that is to do it more consistently than you give them more space and let them try and fail and then you step in when you have to and motivate them. It's shaping behavior, right? So you're progressively over time becoming less and less involved with holding them accountable, and they're holding themselves accountable for that to a point where you don't have to do it anymore, it becomes automatice, but I think it truly is an interesting point and one where, you know, again, I think about the experience of the athletes, I think about their level of mastery on what it is you're trying to do. And then I think about the sport. We have to play when we're tired. It's not like you can call a timeout and send somebody else in. So our players, you know, we ask the abnormal of them because they want the abnormal. We're not asking players to be average or mediocre, we're asking to do the things that most kids won't do. And that's just the reality of developing tennis champions. So that's part of that conversation is that we know what we're asking of you is abnormal, but that's what you want of yourself. You want to be able to play two and a half hours in the heat appropriately. How are you going to do that if we always take a break when you're tired, if we don't try to push and stay focused and stay disciplined with your game when you get tired? You just let it roll, right? So I think these are the conversations coaches are having, need to have. It's not necessarily like it's just a Generation Z thing. I think it's a growing up thing, to be honest, as well. And while these kids are amazing with their hands and are amazing at hitting and ball, that does not mean that their growth and development emotionally, psychologically, physically in other areas is at the same level and I think we need to understand that. And then you consider Gen Z. Well, yeah, maybe no one's asking them to maintain their focus over a long period of time anywhere. They have their phones around them all the time, so as soon as they get bored, boom, they go to their phone. We're again, asking the abnormal so I think we need to help them understand why it's important to to become present, why it's important to be able to focus and show them on the court. You know, when you get tired and things aren't going your way, you can't go to Google and I know that's being a bit facetious, but you have to find the answer. You have to stay in there and figure it out, which is a wonderful thing. And when you do it, you feel amazing about yourself. Let's try and do that today. And how are we going to do that, right? So again, it's challenging, but great coaching has always been challenging.
J: Absolutely. And that again, going back towhat you said, that is the art of coaching and trying to manage that skill. I wanted to go back to another thing you said about the attention span, this just sort of pinged in my brain a little bit as you were speaking there and what Dr. Gould said is the attention span we know is probably less because of all those things you just detailed out there. And I'm thinking, Well, what are school classes. What are classes like in school nowadays, because I remember growing up and we used to have like hour long classes and maybe a little bit longer than that. Even from a young age and like elementary school age, you know, you go through a subject, but you're in the class for an hour. And it seems to me now that it's less, you know, it's a lot less than that. You might have these 30-45 minute lessons and then you go to the next class or subject and then the next and then you know, is that taking into account the fact that we know children have less attention span, therefore, we create an environment where we can capture the engagement for that amount of time, but then where's the balance between trying to improve that focus and engagement over slightly longer periods of time because that has to be taught as well, surely. And that maybe goes up against whether that growth and development wise with the mental capacity emotional side and all that, but you know, where does the rubber meet the road there?
L: Yeah, well, you know, it's again another interesting point and I think about, one is the ability to hold focus over time or to concentrate. And then you think about the ability to refocus, which may be is even more important because we know the world is distracting and there's so much information we're being bombarded with every day that it's hard not to get distracted, even though you're on the court or you're in the classroom, and you're trying to stay engaged. So I think you work on both, but you know, I'm not exactly sure how much time each class is for my children, and probably something I should know, but I do like the idea of maybe switching it up more often or a shorter period of time, but nonetheless, being able to hold that focus for 30-45 minutes, so it needs to be high quality when you have it. And then when they switch classes, so if they're switching rooms or going to a different subject, that's also a great test of their ability to refocus, right? So we just did math, now we're going to do English, are you able mentally to sort of learn and put a period on the end of sentence of your math? Be like, okay, hold that. Good. All right, and then switch your focus to English and engage with that, right? And I could imagine a lot of kids maybe struggle with that, again, because of growth and maturation, and also, you know, the fact that they're highly distracted, maybe away from the classroom. So I think it would be great if teachers are teaching them how to focus and refocus. I can't imagine that would help so much. I don't know how much that actually occurs, but, you know, and I'm not sure we're equipping our teachers with that, but that I don't know for sure. So I think yes, you're trying to hold your focus for a period of time but you're also trying to really master the refocus. And that is that five seconds, 10 seconds where you breathe and then you connect with the present again, and then you remember your purpose, right, and you get back to work. And that matters for coaches too, because we'll be in a drill and something comes up, you get distracted and take a breath, get your focus back. What am I looking for here? Oh, yes, I'm looking at the kids' feet. I want to see their footwork right now. Stay on it. Right? So I think everybody has to work on this skill and you want to be a master at refocusing.
J: That's a great point. I mean, I'll go back to another example. I just [inaudible] this morning. So working on this kind of skill development of being able to work together, I mean, first of all, I always like to have a target on everything, even from the very first ball that they hit, there is a target, that creates purpose, so the mind is always engaged. It has a goal or a it has a target to hit. So whether that's a numerical value 50 in a row, 40 in a row, 30 in a row, 20 in a row, whatever it may be, or whether it's actual targets that they're trying to aim for, or whether it's a pattern that they are trying to execute and all the learning that goes into stringing one shot, to the second shot, to the third shot, right. So we're working on a bit of volleyball volley skills, continental grip skills, so the collaborative drill here was vollying into a certain spot. And obviously the person on the other end is hitting back and we had a target 20 volleys in a row. That's a lot. But I wanted to re-emphasize, well not re-emphasize, but emphasize that skill a lot. Now, yesterday, they got through that exercise quite quickly. You know, they did that pretty well. Maybe within three, four balls of trying, they did it, moved on to the next thing. Great. Today, it literally took 30 minutes. So I took actually a seat back after about 10-15 minutes. You could see them going in and out of focus there, so I went up to them and said, okay, if you want to go and take 30 seconds to grab a quick sip of water, refocus the mind, then come back out and go for it again, then let's do it. So I did that with the first court and then they still continued to struggle for another 10 minutes, but they were a little bit more engaged. They were a little bit more focused on what they wanted to, they're just missing a few balls here and there. The second court then actually reeled off their 20 balls quite quickly after the refocus exercise, but the first court that wasn't quite getting it, I actually then just took a seat back and didn't say anything. I'm like, I'm just going to let them work through this. Because then going back to the point, I think Dr. Gould found in his research here, was the ability to build resilience as well. So I took that opportunity to actually change it up. I mean, a lot of coaches may go, we need to crack on with the lesson plan here. And when you get through some other things, so let's just shut it down there and move on to the next thing. I said, well, the next court can continue to move on to the next thing because they're being able to execute the drill and learn the skills, but this court, I'm just gonna have them keep going, because I'm going to take this opportunity for them to build a bit of resilience here, they're going to get frustrated, they're going to get wound up a little bit. They know they can go and take 32nd break whenever they want to refocus, but I'm going to just let them work through this. And so I think that to me, and in the past, I would have probably just shut it down and move on to the next thing. But this session, I decided, you know, I'm just gonna let him work through it. Knowing what I know now about Generation Z, it kind of plays on my mind, I guess.
L: I think that's tremendous. Because again, it's so easy, you know, in normal life off the court, just to, you're not sure what to do, just move on. Move on to the next thing, do something else, lose focus. So to have them persevere and stick it out, I think is great. And again, these are great examples of how to teach these things on the court, right? So if they can't move on with the lesson plan until they achieve a certain number, and I've seen you do that. I've seen other coaches do that as well. I think that's tremendous. And it forces them to figure it out and to refocus. And so, I think that's a major point out of that, and to the coaches listening here or to the players that, instead of diving headlong into making more mistakes, wouldn't you rather take 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds to let go, to really breathe and then get your focus back on one key strategy to allow you to perform. And I think sometimes there is a place for staying with the drill, and continuing to go with the drill, and not stopping because you want them to be able to push through adversity, and then there's also a time and place where Okay, this is not working or I want them to practice to refocus. So I'm going to give them the time to go to their towel, breathe, encourage themselves and come back with good energy. And I'm going to coach that. And that's essentially what Dr. Gould's talking about is if you're going to pressure children if you're going to put them under stress and adversity, and I wouldn't say you know, we're doing this with rec kids who are just picking up the game. These are kids who are playing tournaments and they want to perform, you're not going to do that without teaching those composite skills and showing them how to do it on the court. Otherwise, it's not very ethical. So I think you need to explain why you're doing what you're doing. You need to explain the expectations, remind them to use the skills that you've taught them and encourage them throughout to use them and let them know it's not a punishment. It's actually this is for your benefit, for you to work through things because in matches, when you're not making enough balls to win points, you're struggling, there isn't anybody gonna come out there and change the conditions to help you win. you're gonna have the same conditions. You have to figure it out.
J: That's a great point. Well, listen, we're gonna wrap it up here.
L: Wrap it up. This is post game. That was fun, it was a little different.
J: I liked it, it was good chatting through. I mean, we're very fortunate we were able to get him on. He came in a couple of weeks ago for a coaches symposium that was going on here and he delivered a great presentation on Generation Z. But we're gonna we're going to put up a couple resources in the show notes there. We've got his research study that compiled all this information and basically titled the same as this podcast, coaching Generation Z athlete. We're also going to put up a couple articles about sport parenting do's and don'ts, essentially.
L: We're going old school. I remember writing this a long time ago because I used to work at the institute
J: You know, this is really, this is some great information that came out of some really great studies with actual parents of athletes in youth sports. So you know, why not take those as learning lessons and see how it looks and weigh them up against how we do things? I mean, that's how I learn, I sort of look at these things and go, Ah, I got a couple of things there in the don'ts. I got to work on that. So...
L: Yeah, poor Isa.
J: Poor Isa, poor Leo. But anyway.
L: They'll be in my office in about ten years.
J: I'll be in your office before that.
L: In 10 minutes.
J: But anyway, so Dr. Lauer. I mean really appreciate you getting on your mentor here Dr. Dan Gould. I mean, he literally is the master in understanding Generation Z, but many other things too. So thank you for getting him on and it was great kind of doing some sort of reflection of that. So until next time, Dr. Larry. I think we're checking out.
L: Checking out.