Google+ Followers

Sunday, November 22, 2009


From Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune comes a good artcile on some of the motivational ploys of New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton:

Motivation is weekly challenge for New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton. In addition to compiling a game plan for the upcoming opponent, he spends time each week preparing a mission statement to mold the minds of his players and hone their focus. He delivers it in a power point presentation to the team on Wednesday morning to set the tone for the week ahead. The message typically highlights a few simple keys to success in the upcoming game and sets the tone for the week of preparation ahead.

Last week Payton reached deep into his bag of motivational tricks for a game against the St. Louis Rams. The Saints were coming off a pair of emotional wins against NFC South Division rivals Atlanta and Carolina. The Rams were 1-7.

So as he does every week, Payton tasked his football operations staff to mine relevant statistics about St. Louis. They found a doozy: NFL teams coming off a bye week have won 62 percent of their games.

Forget that the statistical sample only covered the past three seasons or that it didn't factor in the success rate of one-win teams.

Payton had effectively seized the attention of his team as it prepared for a two-touchdown underdog. By the time the Saints kicked off at the Edward Jones Dome they were convinced they had only a 38 percent chance of winning the game.

"Yes, 62 percent winner, " Brees said this week. "That number still sticks in my mind."
Payton spent three years studying under Coach Bill Parcells in Dallas before joining the Saints and he admits he borrowed a few motivational tricks. Like Parcells, he's not afraid to use props if necessary.

In previous years, he littered the locker room with mouse traps to warn players to "not eat the cheese" during a winning streak. He left empty gas cans in the lockers of veterans Joe Horn and Hollis Thomas back in 2006. He also brought baseball bats to the facility before a game to encourage players "to bring the wood" on Sunday.

"If it were every week it might come across as gimmicky, " right tackle Jon Stinchcomb said. "But he knows when to pick his spots."

Two weeks ago players found leaflets in their lockers with a photo of the Superdome beneath shots of Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme and coach John Fox and a message: Who's house is it: Theirs or ours? The reference was to Carolina's then six-game winning streak against the Saints in the Superdome, which the Saints snapped with a 30-20 victory.

Linebacker Scott Shanle sees a lot of Parcells in Payton. He said Parcells was a motivational master. He knew exactly what buttons to push for each of his players. Payton, players said, similarly pricks the egos of his players. And no one is spared.

He's gigged Jon Stinchcomb about his pre-snap penalties, Jammal Brown for his weight and Shanle for his ability to cover the tight end.

Earlier this season he even picked on Darren Sharper, who, at 34, is enjoying arguably the best season of his 13-year NFL career. After a win against the Detroit Lions in which Sharper intercepted two passes, the coach chided the veteran free safety that he couldn't return a pick for a score unless all of the players on the opposing offense were blocked or fell to the ground.

"That gets everybody laughing, " Brees said. "It's funny. It's humorous. But I guarantee you Sharper being the competitive guy he is walks to his locker and is like, I have to prove that I can take one back."

The ploy worked. A week later Sharper returned an interception 97 yards for a touchdown in a win at Philadelphia.

"He knows little ways of motivating you, " Sharper said. "And it's motivation you can understand. It's not B.S. motivation."

Read the entire article: