Baltimore Ravens Devote One Day to Team Bonding Off the Field

Ravens Team Building

Less than a week after the Pittsburgh Steelers opted to forgo one of their 10 allotted days of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) in favor of a day of team bonding, the Baltimore Ravens followed suit.

“I felt like we got our work in,” said Harbaugh. “Now let’s go do something fun!”

Head coach John Harbaugh was so pleased with his team’s effort and commitment on the field during the first three weeks of OTAs that he decided to reward his team with a semi-relaxing day off the field.

“We had great OTAs,” said new Ravens safety Tony Jefferson. “Everybody was trying hard. It’s the best, as far as [how] a team has looked, since I’ve been in the league during this time. Everybody is glued together. Everybody is hungry to win. It’s very exciting.”

So how did coach Harbaugh reward his team for such a productive offseason so far? Paintball!

The Ravens may not have been on the football field, but the competitive juices were certainly flowing as teammates dipped, ducked, dived, and dodged to avoid being shot by one of the 80,000 paintballs fired during the day.

Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was named the MVP and coach Harbaugh’s team, of course, won.

“Just everybody getting out there, having fun, and getting out of practice,” said defensive lineman Brandon Williams. “It was great.”

Team Bonding vs. Team Building

“Every service provider on the planet, from paintball courses to rock climbing gyms to hotel conference centers, seems to have a team building offering,” write Adventure Park Insider authors Stephanie Sibille and Paul Cummings. However, “most adventure parks that are selling “team building” aren’t actually providing a team building service.”

As we mentioned in our previous blog about the Pittsburgh Steelers, there is a big difference between team bonding activities, like paintball, and team building activities. Both are incredibly important, but for different reasons. Team bonding activities are a great way to boost morale and camaraderie. Team building activities, meanwhile, are designed to bring teammates or employees together to not only have fun, but also learn to work together in a constructive way.

“[Team building] offers teams the opportunity for growth, reflection, and potential ongoing learning,” says Sibille and Cummings, “while the [team bonding] refers to fun, recreational programs that may involve networking and rapport building.”

Team Building

  • Designed for a particular goal or outcome: teamwork, communication, etc.
  • Has a well thought out curriculum.
  • Designed and facilitated by a trained professional.
  • Followed by a reflection or debriefing period to discuss outcomes.
  • Follow-up is encouraged.

Team Bonding

  • Designed for a simple purpose -fun.
  • May follow a schedule, but typically no curriculum is involved.
  • No reflection time is often included.
  • A stand-alone activity.

“Is there value to both types of services?” write Sibille and Cummings. “Absolutely.”

But only team building will affect long-lasting change within your team or organization.

Team Building with Terrapin Adventures

“Successful organizations have learned that high performance and sustainable results require attention to the relationships among employee, organization, customer and community,” says David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, head of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program.

Conveniently located between Baltimore and Washington DC, Terrapin Adventures is able to create a customized team building or team bonding programs (onsite or offsite, indoor or outdoor) to meet the specific needs of your organization,team, or group. Presented in a fun and creative way, our team building exercises help break down communication barriers and foster trust, which will, in turn, help promote teamwork and collaboration.

“Team developmental interventions are key mechanisms that may be used to facilitate team effectiveness,” writes Raymond Noe in Employee Training and Development.

After each team building exercise, your group will sit down with their facilitator to discuss the lessons behind each activity and how they translate to the business world. This discussion is designed to reinforce these lessons and help ensure that the progress made during your team building outing sticks.

Schedule Your Corporate Team Building Session!

Get in touch with a Guest Relations Specialist today and ask about how we can help you plan your team building event.

If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at info@terrapinadventures.com to learn more.

Works Cited

  1. Cummings, Stephanie Sibille and Paul. “Building Team Spirit.” Adventure Park Insider. N.p., 09 Oct. 2015. Web. 15 June 2017.
  2. Cutlip, Teresa. “Team building, engagement factor into workplace success.” GSA Business News . N.p., 30 May 2017. Web. 07 June 2017.
  3. Kulkarni , Rhucha . “Team Building: A Must for Virtual Teams.” HR Technologists. N.p., 5 June 2017. Web. 7 June 2017.
  4. Florio, Mike. “Tomlin scraps OTA on Monday, take players to Dave & Buster’s instead.” ProFootballTalk. NBC Sports, 6 June 2017. Web. 07 June 2017.
  5. Varley, Teresa. “Fun and games instead of football .” Pittsburgh Steelers. N.p., 5 June 2017. Web. 07 June 2017.
  6. Noe, R. A. (2002). Employee training and development (2nd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
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