Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like an empowering, energizing, and all-around inspirational speech before the big game? A well-executed speech can focus your players, teammates, and coaches on the road ahead. But, above all, it gets the athlete’s head in the game, giving him or her the desire and willpower to make a serious difference out on the field, pitch, or court.
However, that begs the question: who did it best? CoachUp, of course, doesn’t shy away from these hard-hitting issues and we’ve put together a list of our favorite motivational speeches. Be careful, though, these may inspire you to grab a ball and get out there right afterwards!
5. “Pain Heals” — Shane Falco, The Replacements
Keanu Reeves has gotten loads of criticism over his long acting career, but nobody can doubt his moving performance in 2000’s The Replacements. Short and sweet, Shane Falco, the team’s washed up quarterback, gets right to the point in order to motivate his teammates before the biggest player of the game. In fact, Falco actually admits to giving a bit of an anti-motivational speech when he says: “I wish I could say something classy and inspirational — but that’s not our style.” Unfortunately for too-cool-Keanu, he ends up delivering a killer line just a few moments later — Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever!
4. “This is your time, now go out there and take it!” — Herb Brooks, Miracle
This is just some good, old fashioned advice that Brooks gives to his players before the Gold Medal game against the Soviets. If you want something, you’re going to have to go out and take it yourself. Nobody is willingly going to give you the game, the win, or the glory — want it? Go get it. And, ultimately, that’s what Brooks says here — nothing fancy, wordy, or mystical, just the truth.
3. “It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward!” — Rocky, Rocky Balboa
Most everybody will be familiar with Rocky’s epic speech to his son, but if you aren’t, try listening to this on repeat for a couple hours. Rocky reminds his son that life is tough, but you can’t let it win. Most importantly, if you want something, you’ve got to believe in yourself and work hard to get it. Try not to get caught up in what other people think, do whatever it takes for you achieve your goals. That’s it, it’s that simple.
2. “You don’t have to prove nothin’ to nobody but yourself!” — Fortune, Rudy
This is a particularly moving speech for a number of reasons — especially given its context for the student-athlete, even today! Of course, this speech reminds Rudy that he’s already defied the odds by training each and every day to earn his spot on the field. Rudy, “five-foot nothin’,” found something he wanted and worked his butt off until he got it. Athletes these days can get obsessed with touchdowns, dunks, and home runs, but for those that are lucky enough to attend school for their talents, make sure to take the good with the bad. Being a well-rounded person is just as important as being an elite athlete — so don’t take your education for granted!
1. “I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book, we’ll be winners!” — Norman Dale, Hoosiers
Perhaps one of the greatest motivational speeches in one of the greatest sports movies of all-time, Coach Norman Dale begs his team to ignore everything going against them. Forget the crowd, forget their skill, forget it all, none of that matters, Dale says. Instead, he gets Hickory High to focus on on the fundamentals, promising that if his team plays the way he knows they can, they’ll be winners no matter who’s up at the final whistle. In today’s community, we often deal with coaches that have a win-at-all-costs mantra, those who put aside the feelings of their athletes in an attempt to win glory for themselves. However, it’s refreshing, even after all these years, to see Coach Dale focus on the right stuff. Remember, being a winner doesn’t depend on wins and losses!