10 Epic Sports Pep Talks to Motivate Your Team [Videos]

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Meghan Lockwood
Meghan Lockwood



The first game my father ever played in professional baseball, the coach walked him to the mound, slapped him on the back, and said, “We have two men on base -- you get them out, I won’t put you back on a plane tonight. Throw the ball. Throw hard, Chip.” 

He was 18 years old. His name is Skip. Possibly the least motivating speech EVER. 

I've personally never experienced that level of pressure, but as an athlete all my life, I've always been fascinated by how people pump themselves up for their next big challenge. Sitting next to my bed in the morning is the quote from Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

I believe in that. Really. In my little universe, that's how I think about creating great content that stands the test of time. It's something that you get up every day and just ... do. 

But that kind of commitment isn't always easy. While I love creating something for a living, just like everyone else, sometimes I get writer’s block. Sometimes my team falls behind our goals. Sometimes I work long hours. If anything like that happens to you (come on -- don't deny it), I've put together a compilation of the best sports pep talks ever -- videos I turn to when I need a little pick-me-up to inspire different parts of my job.

When it’s the middle of the month and we don’t have enough leads ...

Al Pacino's epic speech in Any Given Sunday: "We can climb our way outta hell ... one inch at a time." (0:47) Note: This video contains strong language.

When I'm trying to plan a new A/B test variation ...

From Friday Night Lights: "To me, being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It's about you and your relationship with yourself ... It's about being able to look your friends in the eye, and know that you didn't let them down because you told them the truth." (0:27)

When I'm trying to convince myself to copy edit my work ...

From Vince Lombardi: "You don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time ... I've never known a man worth his salt who deep down in his heart didn't appreciate the grind and the discipline." (0:16)

When I try to convince my team we should spend the time to create lovable content ...

From Hoosiers: "Focus on the fundamentals that we've gone over time and time again ... If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don't care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game. In my book, we're gonna be winners!" (0:49)

When I'm getting ready to write a new, big-hit blog post ...

Knute Rockney: "Don’t forget, today is the day that we are going to win." (1:58)

When a new competitor enters our market -- and they make me nervous ...

From the movie, Miracle:"Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here, tonight. One game. If we played 'em 10 times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with 'em. Tonight, we stay with 'em, and we shut them down because we can!" (0:22)

When I'm working on a late night project with the rest of my team ...

From the great Mighty Ducks, the ultimate kiddie hockey movie, "Ducks fly together! ... And when everyone says it can't be done .. ducks fly together." (Oh it's only 58-seconds long. Just watch the whole thing. It's totally worth it.)

When I'm editing a partner's blog post ...

After Assistant Coach Yoast from Remember the Titans decides to do the right thing, he announces to his team, "You want to act like a star, you better give me a star effort." (1:41)

When my new ebook just isn't generating a good conversion rate ...

There are some days when no one seems to be downloading your work. Those days, don't you just want to yell, "Are you not entertained?!" like Russell Crowe did in Gladiator

When I'm just having an overall bad month ...

And finally, my favorite sports video clip EVER about the unlikely hero, Jason McElway, who is the autistic team water boy who came off his high school basketball bench and changed his fate -- and makes me realize that sometimes it's okay to be a little different ...

Despite the lackluster speech, my aforementioned dad managed to get out of that inning, make the team, and manage a respectable career. But I always wonder what would've happened if his coach had been a bit more like the inspirational leaders above. 

Image Credit: D.Clow - Maryland

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