(A tragedy can take many forms leading up to a sporting event... an injury of a key player, a death in the organization, a punishment against a teammate, or the suspension of a coach. Times of tragedy are times filled with emotion and passion. As head coach it is your responsibility to re-focus and re-channel this emotion and passion into positive energy and adrenaline to create peak performance.)
"Adversity... it's that feeling in the pit of your stomach right now. It's that ache inside of you that wants to cancel tonight's game and take you elsewhere to suffer. You have to fight it! Do not let it take you away from this contest. They (the person(s) in question) wouldn’t want that to happen. They would want you all to play tonight's game and they would want you to play the best game of your life tonight! Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Picture yourself where they are. Would you want to have affected tonight's night in a negative way? Would you want the team to suffer because of what has happened? No, you would not want that to happen and neither do they! They would want this game to happen. It's up to you to make this game happen! Dedicate your effort tonight to them, play your heart out, and make them proud!
In times of adversity true athletes perform! In times of tragedy true athletes overcome and persevere!
(permission granted to reproduce this speech as long as author and website are sighted. Thanks! - author - Mike Sellers, website - PreGameSpeeches.com)