(this football speech can be adapted to any sport. You could also have the players begin this thought process several days before the game. Have a sign-up sheet where they list their honoree.)
Most of you have been playing football for a good number of years now. I want you to take a moment, take a quiet moment to yourself now, and think about all the people who have helped you in your football journey through the years. Think of all those people who have influenced you... your parents, siblings, and family; your different coaches, your teachers, your friends, neighbors, and relatives; the people in the community, the fans, and the supporters. Take this time to remember all of them.
Remember the coach who taught you how to tackle for the first time. Remember the others who played with and against you to make you who you are today. Remember the fans and supporters who raised monies to fund your equipment thru the years. Remember the adult who played catch with you after you learned to walk. Remember the family member who encouraged you to go on when you wanted to quit. Remember your parents who bought your shoes, your Under Armour®, and dropped everything to take you to practices and attend your games. Take this time to remember all of them.
Now, I want you to pick one person, one special person who in your mind sticks out above the rest. Someone who has helped you more than the others. That person who is most responsible for you being here in this locker room today. You are going to dedicate your performance tonight (today) to them. This is your day to honor them, to repay them for all that they sacrificed for you!
Keep that person in your thoughts as you go all out on each and every play, so that when the final whistle blows, you will be satisfied that you honored them with a total sacrifice of yourself... from your mind and from your body!! Let's Get It Done!
(permission granted to reproduce this speech as long as author and website are sighted. Thanks! - author - Mike Sellers, website - PreGameSpeeches.com)