Generational Differences in Sport

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Effective communication and collaboration are paramount to success for health  and performance teams. With four generations in the workplace, communication and collaboration can be stymied by intergenerational differences. This session aims to break down some of those differences and help develop strategies to improve collaboration. This session will also discuss communication strategies for working with student-athletes.

At the end of this presentation, attendees will be better able to:

  1. Identify and compare the different learning, teaching, and collaborative styles across different generations.
  2. Evaluate the participant’s own learning, teaching, and collaborative styles and understand how that impacts their leadership, communication, and collaboration style when working with different generations.
  3. Evaluate learning and work styles when working with Generation Z athletes and develop appropriate approaches for increased communication and learning.
  4. Capitalize on the intergenerational knowledge to facilitate “managing up” in relationships with leadership and key institutional stakeholders.

Target Audience: ATs, RDs, CSCS, and other sports medicine or athlete support staff



Joi Thomas, MS, ATC

Executive Associate AD for Health and Performance

University of Minnesota


Joi joined the University of Minnesota’s Athletics Department in October, 2017 with over 15 years of collegiate athletics experience. In her role as the Executive Associate AD for Health and Performance, she provides leadership for athletic medicine, athletic performance, sports nutrition, and the contracted medical and psychological services of the department, while serving as a member of the senior management team. Joi is also the sport administrator for women’s basketball.

Previously, Joi was at the University of Wyoming for 12 years, where she served in a number of roles, from Associate Director of Sports Medicine to Associate AD for Health, Wellbeing, and Sports Performance and Senior Woman Administrator. Prior to the University of Wyoming, Joi served as the Head Athletic Trainer at Carroll College in Helena, Montana for five years. Joi is a member of Women Leaders in College Sports and previously served on their Education and Professional Development Committee. Joi is an alumnus of the University of Wyoming earning her bachelors’ degree in Exercise Science and masters’ degree in Kinesiology and Health.


Drug Free Sport International (BOC AP# P8729) is approved by the Board of Certification, Inc. to provide continuing education to Athletic Trainers. This program is eligible for a maximum of 1.5 Category A hours/CEUs. ATs should claim only those hours actually spent in the session. 


Drug Free Sport (Accredited Provider 99D4E11) is approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration to provide continuing education to Registered Dietitians. This program is eligible for a maximum of 1 CPEU.

Certificate Information

      • Activity Number: 166140
      • Performance Indicators: 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.4
      • CPE Level: 2