How To Give a Pep Talk like a Champ
“I don’t know what to say really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today. Either we heal as team of we are going to crumble. Inch by inch, play by play til we’re finished.
We are in hell right now, gentlemen believe me and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can fight out way back into the light. We can climb out of hell. Once inch, at a time.”
You could either channel Tony D’ Amato (Al Pacino) chilling locker room speech, titled ‘Inches’ that he delivered in the 1999 film; Any Given Sunday.
Which is a good place to start or as we are in the midst of the 8th Rugby World Cup , you could borrow a few pointers from these well- known past and present Springboks to give your team and you the winning edge.
When the chips are down, and team morale is at an all-time low?
It’s up to the coach or captain to motivate and elevate team spirit, but how does one go about it?
John Smit, former Springbok captain and Sharks hooker, lead the South African national team to victory at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
The hooker shared his secret with us on how he motivates the boys when the chips are up.
“A couple years back I was in the change room doing my thing before the game, the same way I always did. I was kind of expecting the guys to start climbing the walls and head-butting each other because they were so fired-up, but instead I was staring back at these deadpan faces.
I realised that if you’ve been around for some time, you’ve got to mix things up a bit, press different buttons to get the same results out of your team. Guys get used to how you activate them, so you need to learn to motivate differently to get the same results.”
What to do when team morale is running low and the chips are down?
Schalk Burger also known as “The Incredible Schalk or Schalla” is a Springbok and Stormers flank who has some wise words on how to motivate your team when things are looking bleak.
“Losing at half-time is obviously not ideal. As captain, my approach will depend on how the first half’s gone. If my team has played badly, I take a hard line: use some strong words to get the guys focused and motivated.
If we’ve played well and the other team has outplayed us, I’ll simply make some small tactical changes and roll with that confidence.”
Keep in mind that Rugby is unpredictable as sometime you win and sometimes you lose.