When Tragedy Strikes

(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)

Are Pre Game Speeches Beneficial?

If you have been fortunate enough to have experienced an emotional, from-the-heart pre game speech in your lifetime, then you know the answer to the question. Of course pre game speeches are beneficial. Even if a speech only resonates with the players for 5 minutes into the game, that is five minutes at peak performance that they might not have had otherwise. There are many studies, writings and testimonies on the internet to support the benefits of pre game speeches.

In the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Supplement for Fundamentals of Coaching for Colleges and Universities, Lesson Plan 28 states: "Through movies, television and tradition, we all have experienced the magical powers of a pregame pep talk. In fact, research has shown that most coaches believe that giving their team an emotional message before a game is a “must” (Mack, 1999)." The lesson goes on and provides tasks for coaches to do to prepare them for pre game talks.

In "An Exploratory Study of the Effects of Pregame Speeches on Team Efficacy Beliefs" by Tiffanye M. Vargas-Tonsing and John B. Bartholomew the researchers found that: "a possible explanation for the benefits of pregame speeches is that they result in enhanced performance efficacy. Self-efficacy is defined as a person's belief in his or her ability to perform a specific task."

"According to efficacy theory, efficacy perceptions are based on four principal sources of information: performance accomplishments, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and emotional arousal (Bandura, 1977). Of these, verbal persuasion is perhaps the most convenient and readily available method for coaches, especially in the moments immediately prior to a game. Not only is verbal persuasion important for its convenience and availability, but athletic teams also consider verbal persuasion to be one of the most effective methods coaches use to build efficacy feelings."

"In summary, the results of this study indicate a coach's potential to increase athletes' feelings of team efficacy and confidence prior to competition through the effective use of a persuasive pregame speech. The further exploration of this efficacy-enhancing technique would benefit coaches in that verbal persuasion is an easily altered and readily available tool."

Yes, pre game speeches are beneficial, necessary and valued. Fire up you team for their next game with what you've learned from the website and many others.