NFL coaches were faced with a new challenge this offseason.
They had to engage their players via remote meetings rather than having them in the same room and Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale drew on non-football experiences to make sure he was able to get the job done. Martindale “taught some boring subjects” to high schoolers in the past and knew he’d have to get creative to reach his players.
Martindale’s approach was heavy on guest speakers. NBA legend Julius Erving, former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari and others were part of Martindale’s “Chasing Greatness” series.
“I wanted to make it must-see Zoom meetings,” Martindale said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “You do get Zoom fatigue. I wanted to make it where they couldn’t wait to come to the defensive meetings. We wanted to make it an event. We wanted to build a champion mindset. That was the most important goal we had this offseason. I think we hit a home run with the speakers we had.”
The Ravens found a way to keep players interested online, but they will have to wait a bit longer to see if the “champion mindset” carries over to the field.