With the departure of several esteemed veterans, the 49ers have gotten a lot younger this offseason, and must adapt to teaching those of a newer generation.
The 49ers first turned their attention to team meetings, which can last around two hours, and have chopped them down into 30-minute blocks, each of which is followed by a 10-minute break, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The 49ers coaching staff, led by new head coach Jim Tomsula, consulted with experts on the matter, including Stanford University researchers and advertising executives.
The focus was to learn how the "young brain works," according to the feature. By restructuring meetings, the 49ers are hoping to maximize the attention spans of players on the team.
“The [experts] are telling me about attention spans and optimal learning,” Tomsula told Kevin Clark of the WSJ, expressing his concern. “I’m thinking, ‘My gosh, we sit in two-hour meetings. You are telling me after 27 minutes no one’s getting anything?’”
Not everyone is on board with the divied up team meetings, which include breaks.
Steve Logan, the 49ers' new quarterbacks coach, said he offers the break to his players, including 27-year-old starter Colin Kaepernick. “Every 30 minutes I say, ‘You want to take a break?’ and they rarely do,” Logan said. “They want to go go go.”
Other changes involve sending alerts to players’ calendars instead of a printed schedule, and enhanced digital playbooks to aid visual learners.
The 49ers understand they have an uphill battle transitioning to a new regime, but have also considered that reaching the young players, or "millennials," can help them get over the hump.
Millennial is a term that describes the 18-to-34-year-old demographic; the 2015 roster currently has an average age of 25.2.