Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 12/28/11

Successful motivational tactics are hard to come by. Sometimes when you are a coach at the professional level, you have to dig deep to get your guys to play hard. Professional athletes are getting paid millions of dollars whether they win or lose. It can be easy to lose sight of the importance of winning, and that’s why new Raptors coach Dwane Casey came up with the most unique motivational symbol he could think of: a 1,300-pound boulder.

The massive rock currently sits inside the the Raptors dressing room as a reminder that they need to pound the rock all season in order to succeed.  In fact, “Pound the Rock” has become Toronto’s new motto.

“I knew we were going to be a work in progress,” Casey said. “Every time we walked on the floor we were going to have to have something to get us to think about — how we have to get better, we’ve got to work to get better. It’s from a story about a stonecutter. Every time a stonecutter hits a rock, it may not break. You may have to hit it 100 times, but on that 101st time you hit it, now you crack the rock.”

The rock is there for the players to touch each time they pass by it, and as the Raptors break from their team huddles they now yell, “Pound the rock!”

“That’s our motivation this year,” forward Jamaal Magloire said. “As you know, rocks are hard to break, and our goal is to break that wall and to persevere. Everybody gravitated to it right away. I just think you’ve just got to remember it and always persevere and break through that wall — or break through that rock — as we say.”

And you thought motivational tactics like this one and this one were weird? A+ for creativity.

H/T to I Am a GM for the story.

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