The New York Times had an interesting article recently about the value of a younger professional serving as a mentor to an older journalist. Specifically in this story a young social media expert assists an older editor in learning Snapchat.
“My experience with Talya taught me far more than the basics of a new form of video storytelling (which was already asking a lot). Along the way I learned important lessons about the strengths and weaknesses of the middle-aged brain, and how learning new things can keep it in top working order. It also made me realize that organizations and individual workers could do a lot more to bridge the gaps between generations. Each age group has untapped resources that can benefit others at a different stage of life.”
My experience working with assistant coaches and staff half my age has been powerful. I am sure people expect that I will often be the teacher, but I find I have much to learn as well. This is true of related areas like social media, new technology and popular culture, but it also turns out to be true about the game and training as well.
It makes sense. The game is ever changing and a 25 year old coach had different training and a different playing experience than I did. They are also eager to put their own ideas out into the world and to test the effectiveness of those ideas. We need to listen to them more, and allow them to mentor, even as we continue to bring the depth of our coaching experience to the table.