Ten To Three

It was recently reported that the inspirational Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been inviting members of his squad to deliver the motivational team-talk prior to kick off. This is an astute move by Mourinho. The benefits of this strategy are that it causes his players to have to think about their personal motivation. It also makes them consider their colleague’s motivation. It creates instant leadership. It builds trust. It empowers his players. It increases personal confidence. It makes the team-talk fun.

So, if your manager invites you to address the team next Saturday, here are some key ingredients to draw on to help deliver a memorable ten to three moment moment.

Confirmation – Remind your colleagues of their individual and collective strengths and qualities, trophies won, internationals selected for, quality opponents they have overcome. Build an aura of confidence around your colleague’s achievements.

The Fans – Tell a real life story about your fans; the jobs they do, the types of lives that they lead, their struggles, hopes and dreams and what the football club means to them. Remind the team that this is who they represent. Lets do it for them!.

Inspirational Stories – Tell an inspirational story of someone such as athlete Jane Tomlinson, swimmer Eric Moussambani or cyclist Lance Armstrong who has succeeded in the face of adversity. If they can do it, so can you.

Key Phrase – Find a key phrase that captures the spirit of the mission. For example George Graham told his Arsenal team once before they played at Carrow Road,’Lets leave this country town with the points’. This reminds all of the task in hand and also creates a feeling of superiority. It’s the mark of a good communicator.

Quotes – Use quotes that others have made famous to add breadth and gravitas to the team-talk e.g. from Winston Churchill,’I may not be the lion, but it was left to me to give the lion’s roar’ or ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has’. Enjoy the power of language.

Past Triumphs – Tell a story or recount a past triumph, especially one where you have succeeded against the odds, or of a time when you have put today’s opponents to the sword. We’ve done it before; lets do it again.

Expectations – Remind your colleagues of what you expect of them. Let them know that the person next to them won’t let them down. Leave the team in no doubt. This technique is especially effective coming from a quieter member of the team. Inspire them with your passion.

Vision – Create a vision for how you see the game being played out. Make the imagery rich and memorable with powerful mood music playing in the background. Win the game before you’ve even left the dressing room.

At The Water Cooler – What will the fans be saying about the game on Monday morning around the water cooler? Describe their feelings, emotions, positive comments about the experience you have provided for them. Be the talk of the town.

Dedication – Dedicate today’s game to a long serving club member who has devoted hours of selfless effort into the club. Talk about their devotion to duty and what the club means to them. Maybe invite them into the dressing room before the game to say a few words themselves. Alternatively talk about the players families and the sacrifice they make to support the team. Perhaps do as Gary Megson did before West Brom’s vital promotion game v Crystal Palace a few years ago and invite all the families into the dressing room. This game is dedicated to you.

Posted in Football Psychology, Sports Psychology Blog.