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Football coach attends prestigious academy

Football Coach Jason Martinez, who took part in the NCAA coaches academy.
Football Coach Jason Martinez, who took part in the NCAA coaches academy.

By Sarah Licht

The Grinnell Pioneers Football Coach Jason Martinez was given a spot at the prestigious NCAA and NFL Coaches Academy to expand on his coaching abilities. The two-day Coaches Academy in Tampa, Fla. provides coaches from Division I to III leagues an opportunity to expand their knowledge and insight into the world of college football.

A football team’s ability to perform ultimately comes down to the coach’s ability to lead, and Martinez said the academy helped him develop his coaching skills to a higher level.

“During the two-day academy, the NCAA leadership development staff and the National Football League Player Engagement were able to educate and train us in a variety of areas that encourage effective coaching and improve student-athlete well-being at both the college and professional levels,” said Martinez.

The Academy covered many different topics to help improve Martinez’s skills both as a tactician and an educator. The academy covered topics such as effective communication with school administrators and student athletes and having mentorship that builds a healthy student-athlete culture when off the field, as well as more technical themes like budget management and coaching strategies.

Coach Martinez said that “understanding that the essentials to a positive team culture on and off the field is more than just Xs and Os [wins and losses]” was the most important lesson learned from his time at the Academy.

The academy has also helped Martinez recognize the role and opportunity he has to make a difference to the lives of his athletes. “As a leader within our program, I now understand how much of a positive impact I can make in our athletes lives on and off the field for their four years at Grinnell College but also as they continue to grow over the next forty years of their lives,” he said.

He also found that helping and building positive relationships with each individual on the team will help them improve vastly. “The biggest impact that we can make as coaches is in the areas that don’t involve scheme and play calling but rather the individual person’s development.” Martinez said, “Moving forward, I will continue in my efforts to create positive opportunities that are impactful and focused on making our athletes better as individuals on and off the field, as well as continuing to expand my own knowledge to the areas of mental health and well-being, leadership, and intentionality.”

More than anything, the Coaching Academy reaffirmed Martinez’s love for coaching. “I want to make a positive impact on young people’s lives and to give back to a sport that gave me far more than I could ever repay,” said Martinez.

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