The Best Dressing Room Act: Pep-Talk that Put Fire on the Feet of Players - Try It!


I saw the dressing room as a war room, where the coach reads out each players performance score card and then the blaming game begins. At the end, the coach make some tactical changes as well as replace some under-performing  players, then the team is out again to play.

I never knew the power of the dressing room, as a place the team manager can turn-on like a switch the booble that fire up the players to do what they could not ordinarily do.

 It matters what you do or say to your players in the dressing room. You can win or loose the match from the dressing room, especially if you make it a place where you trade blames and run down players.

 I never knew this, not until I read what the dutch tactician Johnnes Bonfrere told Nigeria's Dream team, during the semi finals of men soccer event at the Atlana 96 Olympic games. I heard the story from Mobi Oparaku

"It was halftime in our semi finals game against a star studded Brazilian team; name them: Ronaldo Lima, Rivaldo, Bebeto, Da Silva....And we were losing 1 - 3, wth our knees planted in the grass, the Dream team was quietly huddled, drenched in sweat and defeat. We all knew the game was over.


That’s when Bonfrere Jo  (Our head coach) bursted through our circle and shattered our pity party, delivering one of the best motivational speech I’ve heard to this day." Oparaku said.

"I can’t directly quote him because he said some things that were mind boggling and I was so fired up railing to go. I could only remember his first few words that has replayed in my mind severally:

"Great moments are born out of great opportunity. And that's what you have here today, that's what is before you tonight. One Game! If we play again and again they will win, but not this match!

"You cannot miss this opportunity. It's your time! It is our opportunity to write our names in the history book for all times and we cannot miss this opportunity. We will go back there, we will play, we will fight we will die, but we will not loose this match, we cannot afford to loose this game, it is our lifetime opportunity..." he said.

The point is, he harnessed the power of words to rejuvenate a physically and emotionally drained team. And then, the Nigerian Dream team came back bold, running, shooting until they equalized and eventually won the semi finals game in extra time.

 Bonfrere may have studied the Pep talk of the 2004 USA Cricket team manager Kurt Russell: “This is Your Time”  one of the greatest motivational talk of all time. Watch the video

Now, you can use this dressing room Pep-talk when your team is playing a bigger team or in dare need of a win.

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