What Watson Can Learn From Pacino

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson will have to address his team many times during the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland later this month. He’ll need from-the-heart inspirational speeches, ones that’ll rally his underdog team to a resounding victory. Because coaches are coaches, not speakers, here’s where Hollywood can help. Tom, check out these eight classic pep talks from football movies and TV.

U.S. Ryder Cup captain probably has not received any advice today on winning the 2014 Ryder Cup later this month at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, so here’s a tip: Practice your speeches.

People think comedians are naturally funny because they make it look so simple as they smoothly make us laugh. They may be gifted, but they practice, practice, practice their deliveries. Inspirational speakers are the same; they work hard on getting to our well-protected hearts.

So Tom, I know you’re used to dealing with people and the press and can speak very well. But don’t wing it when it comes to inspiring your troops from the deficits they’re bound to be in as underdogs. In the two-plus weeks between now and when play begins, practice, practice, practice your rah-rah.

Keep in mind, Tom, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Two tips:

  1. Use clichés. Athletes don’t mind clichés; heck, they expect them. Try to use them sparingly in your speeches, but use them. A good cliché is like a good play in football or basketball: You know it’s coming but when it’s executed well, it’s still too good to stop. So pick a few good clichés, and execute them well.
  2. Use Hollywood. That’s what they do out there in Hollywood, Tom. They inspire like no other, and they do it especially well with sports movies. Football movies seem to be the most popular and inspirational, so study them, Tom. Study Al Pacino’s pep talk in Any Given Sunday.

If you like that, Tom, here are seven more football speeches to study. Take some notes, practice the clichés and make them your own. You’ll do fine.

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