Motivation by Coach Hays
Half the battle in strength and conditioning (and coaching, for that matter) is motivating people to work harder and more efficiently than they want to. Here are a few of my “tools” I used over the years.
A. 6:30 AM
We always had summer conditioning at 6:30 AM sharp. We did this for several reasons. One, my real job is a 40 minute drive from town, so we had to start early enough to allow me to still be able to get to work without ticking off too many folks there.
Second, what the heck else is going on at 6:30 AM?
And finally, I made this promise to myself when I first started coaching. If the kids were willing to get up and get themselves to the weight room from all over the county (and we have a BIG county), I would make their effort worthwhile with a tougher than hell workout. Every day.
I liked this one a lot. Usually on the first day of summer conditioning, I would have all the boys sit on the floor. I would ask for all 6’5″ offensive lineman to please stand up. Nobody would stand up. I would ask for all 6’3″ 215 lb. safeties who hit like a cannon shot to please stand up. Nobody would stand up. Finally, I would ask all running backs who run 4.4 second 40’s to stand up. Nobody would stand up.
The boys would laugh a nervous laugh, there would be a few snide remarks concerning the mental stability of their coach, then I would deliver the goods in my outside voice, “We don’t have those physical attributes here in our town. We don’t have those physical attributes sitting here on this floor. But, I know what we do have. We have a lot of bad ass SOB’s sitting right here. We have kids who will fight and compete until somebody makes them stop. IF, and I say, IF, you listen to me and do what we ask you to do, this strength and conditioning program will turn you into a human weapon. You will hit people harder than they have ever been hit. You will play with such intensity and fire you will wreck havoc and create chaos. We may not be big, we may not be fast, but we can be Human Weapons!
Usually around the fourth of July, some of the initial enthusiasm would die off and effort would suffer. Motivation time. Time to light the spark again for the second half of the summer conditioning period. Here is a synopsis of one speech.
“Gentlemen, when you’re lying in bed and the alarm goes off at 6 AM, you don’t really want to get up, do you? In that moment of indecision, think about this. There are 9 teams on our regular season schedule. Let’s say, there are about 60 kids per team. That is 540 people that want to kick your ass. Write that number down on paper then tape it to the ceiling and walls around your bed. See it first thing when you open your eyes. If the thought of 540 people wanting to eat your lunch doesn’t drive you to get up and come workout or drive you to work your ass off while you’re here, then go back to sleep. I don’t want you here and we don’t need you here.”
That drop some jaws.
Motivation. I love it. The energy. The adrenaline rush. The engine clicking on all cylinders. Motivated athletes get it done.