Coaches often resort to unique lengths to motivate their players before a big game. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But when it does, the coach can be hailed as a genius.
Count Jim Harbaugh as one coach who hopes his latest motivational ploy will make him look like the genius. The 49ers coach during the wild card weekend had placards made to hang above each locker, displaying the player’s high school photo and ranking according to scouting services at the time. (That’s Patrick Willis’ above.) From the L.A. Times:
The scene was like the day high school yearbooks are distributed, with players going from locker to locker, checking out what their teammates looked like as kids, comparing notes on who had a higher national player ranking, or who was ranked higher in his particular state.
The belief is that the tactic should help the players remember goals or aspirations they had in high school (ie, maybe winning the Super Bowl?), like how Donte Whinter interprets it: