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How Coaches Can Bridge The Generational Gap With Younger Athletes

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Marcia McDermott (@SoccerChicago) is a PCA National Advisory Board Member and Head Women's Soccer Coach at Army West Point. McDermott has nearly 25 years of collegiate, professional and national coaching experience under her belt, and served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women's National Team in 2011. As a student-athlete, McDermott led the University of North Carolina to three national titles in 1983, '84 and '86, serving as co-captain in 1986 during an All-American season.

As a coach for many years, McDermott has coached several different generations of student-athletes. She says that each generation has different strengths and each time, there are different variables at play. Through the years, communication styles have changed, and coaches have to realize that when making an effort to connect with athletes, and make the effort to communicate in a way that the athlete will both understand and be comfortable with.

McDermott even shares that sometimes, it takes a very open conversation early on in the season to understand varying communication styles, and she urges coaches to have this conversation with athletes so they can better understand one another from the start.