“Great moments are born from great opportunity.” That’s the first line of US Hockey Coach Herb Brooks’ motivational locker room speech in the movie Miracle that is about the 1980 victory over the USSR in the Lake Placid Olympics. It’s unclear if Coach Brooks actually said it, but man, when you hear Kurt Russell deliver it, you’re hooked.
The 2000 film Remember the Titans is chock-full of inspriational speeches. Here’s one delivered by Denzel Washington:
And of course who can forget Gene Hackman’s rally clap inducing speech in Hoosiers?
Hollywood has got the sports motivational locker room speech nailed down and it begs the question: Is there such a thing as an organic motivational coach speech in real life?
This ESPN College GameDay feature answers that very question (be sure to maximize the video frame for full goosebumps).
I’ve seen and helped produce Intro Hype videos featuring coaches and players giving pre-written lines and I’ve seen and helped produce videos featuring completely organic, from the heart speeches. Honestly, I prefer the later. Coaches are awesome at motivating student athletes and scheming up plays, and players are awesome at delivering on the field of play. The fact remains most do not have the acting chops of a Denzel Washington or Gene Hackman. Don’t feel bad; I’m sure Gene would get destroyed on the field. Some of my favorite videos that we’ve produced feature real genuine audio and/or video of locker room speeches. This audio takes an otherwise solid video and raises it to another level.
Nowadays, it’s just about standard practice to have a team camera in the locker room during the pregame and postgame. Not every speech is going to be THE SPEECH, but you might be surprised by a few special nuggets from your team. It’s worth keeping track of during the season and communicating with your video staff, because it’s really hard to trigger those goosebumps, unless of course the person delivering the speech has won an Academy Award. It’s to your advantage to use these organic moments that fans crave to see. There’s a reason the HBO and Showtime sports documentaries following teams behind-the-scenes are so popular. I think it’s a pretty good recruiting tool as well because it shows the passion a coach has for his/her team.
Point is, these speeches can and should have life beyond the moment, beyond social media. They are special. They are unique. They are POWERFUL. And they can mark a major change for a program. If you don’t think so, rewatch Coach Dino Babers speech to his Syracuse Orange.