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March 23, 2011


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I know there is a stereotype of athletes not always being the sharpest tools in the shed, but do players in a team sport really need to be reminded before every game that it is a team sport? Surely even the thickest among them will have figured that part out on their own.

Of course, your advice will probably just lead to a new trend of coaches who start giving speeches that begin with "I know I'm supposed to give you some sort of motivational speech now. But the truth is you don't need that from me. What you need to do is just go out there and..."

Love the video! It's hard to play basketball with your hands all bunched up in fists. Maybe that's why Kansas is still in the NCAA tournament and Illinois is out.

So I got this football coach pal, and after reading this he makes three points:

1. Yes, the pregame speech is a ritual. But that doesn't mean it's a worthless ritual. "It's a step in the process of the pregame ritual."

2. Yes, he does it partly because everybody else does. "Imagine what your players would say if you skipped this component of the ritual."

3. It has some function: A last chance to "echo reminders," and a chance to get players focused.

4. It's hard to come up with the speech every week, but it's important psychologically--partly, for the coach! "Personally, it is one of my favorite parts of the pregame ritual. I love looking to the players' eyes and seeing them ready to go to work."

So who cares if the speeches have a few clichés. The editor of Vital Speeches of the Day does--but this coach doesn't, and I don't think he thinks his players do, either.

Does your football coach pal's last name begin with K?

Nobody likes a snoop, Baker.

don't be ridiculous. you will never get rid of the pregame speech, and that's how it should be. end of story.

Good stuff as per usual, thanks. I do hope this kind of thing gets more exposure.

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