The best motivating coaches I've observed are great story tellers. And often, the utilize examples of other athletes or successful people in other walks of life to try and create and attachment in which to build from. The following comes from David Brown at Yahoo! Sports with an example of Nick Saban and what he utilized before the national championship game.
Alabama coach Nick Saban, in explaining the importance of keeping mentally focused against Notre Dame on Monday night, invoked New York Yankees' closer Mariano Rivera. One of the best pitchers ever — even if for an inning at a time — Rivera requires keen focus in order to ignore the distractions that come with finishing off a tight ballgame. The best athletes in the world tune out all sorts of distractions, Saban said:
"We just watched a video of Mariano Rivera, and he talked about when he struggled at some time in his career because he was trying to be a perfectionist. And that when he's in the bullpen, he sees the crowd, he hears the crowd ... but when he runs out and they hand him the ball, he's got one focus; he's not worried about the crowd, he's not worried about any of the external factors. One focus: Three outs. 'How am I going to get three outs?' I think a team's ability to do that, to stay focused on the things that are going to affect the outcome of the game, are critical in games like this."