This is the perennial complaint that comes about as each new generation gets older. That there is always a softening and lack of toughness in each new batch of kids that grows up. And with the mainstream popularity of social media, we see this complaint more and more.
But I'd love to put a stop to it. When I hear people talk about modern kids being soft, I usually laugh. I coach some of the toughest and most dedicated youth wrestlers I've ever seen. They show up night after night and go through physical and mental hell to get better and prepare themselves for battle. And half the time they're smiling, even through their tears.
Are there some differences between generations? Of course. Is technology and the invention of the super phone a problem? Actually, no. I think it's a great weapon if used correctly. Now more than ever, information is absolutely at the tip of everyone's fingertips. In less than two seconds, athletes can access modern research on nutrition, off-season and in-season workouts, technique, motivational speeches, etc. The amount of information is limitless.
And look at what this younger generation of athletes are doing! Kyle Snyder (Olympic gold medalist) and J'den Cox (Olympic Bronze medalist) both won their Olympic and World medals before they were even done with college. Henry Cejudo was only 21 when he won his in 2008. Aaron Pico was 19 when he was winning senior level Freestyle tournaments. And most recently, Daton Fix, a red shirt freshman at OSU made the finals of the senior-level US Open.
So, no...there is absolutely nothing wrong with this generation. Maybe they learn differently, but that's a coaching and teaching problem not a toughness problem.
High expectations, discipline, encouragement to create, and tough love does wonders for kids of any generation.
I think that applies to all aspects of growing up. Not just sports.