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Inspirational Coaches in Sports History

January 10, 2011

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With the release of Disney's Secretariat on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 25, we wanted to take a look at some inspirational coaches! One of the most important jobs a coach has is to motivate the athletes. Whether it’s delivering a pep talk right before the big game or just getting the athlete out of bed early in the morning and making a nice breakfast, there’s many different ways to motivate. Let’s take a look at some of the most inspirational coaches in sports history.


Lucien Lauren

Sweet Success for SecretariatSweet Success for Secretariat

What made the horse named “Secretariat” win the impossible Triple Crown in 1973? This horse won the three major American Horse races: the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Preakness in 1973 and it has been labeled as the greatest accomplishment by one horse ever. So what did the horse’s trainer Lucien Lauren do to overcome all odds and guide this horse to victory again and again? Lucien was known as a creative coach who did unique training methods that no other coaches did. Sometimes the best coaches are the ones who try different methods to achieve beyond the best.


Disney came out with a movie recently called "Secretariat". It's about this amazing story! If you like horses and enjoy a happy ending... you have to see this movie!


Rudy Ruettiger

Rudy's RoadRudy's Road

Rudy Ruettiger is a football coach and motivational speaker who has walked the walk so now he can talk the talk. His story gives me goosebumps every time I think of what he accomplished. He was the smallest football player at only 5 foot 6 and 160 pounds, but he ended up making the Notre Dame football team based purely on heart. He only was allowed to play during practices, but his teammates forced the coach to allow him to suit up for one game, the last game of the year in his senior year. At the end of the game, the coach put him in for one play and he made a sack. His teammates picked him up and carried him off the field in joy… the only time anyone has ever been carried off the field in Notre Dame Fighting Irish history.


Rudy’s story is so motivational that he has become the most famous football speaker ever.

William Earnest Henley

Pride of South AfricaPride of South Africa

A poet by the name of William Earnest Henley has become one of the greatest motivational icons for rugby players. The South African National Rugby team hold his poem “Invictus” as a sacred ritual to learn as the words create one of the most inspirational feelings about the game of rugby. Here is the poem:


Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeoning of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.


Herb Brooks

Herb's HockeyHerb's Hockey

Herb Brooks was the coach of the 1980 American National Hockey Team that won the Gold Medal at the Olympics. Herb not only led the team to beating all of the big favorites, but he somehow motivated them to beat the Soviet Union in the final game. The Soviets were undefeated winning gold medals every Olympics since 1964 prior to 1980, and USA shocked the world with the biggest Cinderella Story victory ever beating the Soviets 4-3.


Have Your Say: Have you had an inspirational coach in your life? Let us know by leaving a comment below!


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