Team GB athletics team captain and world 400 metres hurdle champion Dai Greene used a captain’s speech to inspire his team this week.
His speech, at the team’s training camp in Portugal, was given on the eve of the London 2012 opening ceremony.
He’s had a mighty hard slog to get to where he is right now in athletics and this sacrifice was evident in the words and personal story he used in the speech.
The speech made clear that all the athletes should count themselves fortunate to be fit for the home Olympics. He used the example of runner Steph Twell who will miss the Olympics through injury:
Use Steph’s story to appreciate what you have and think about how she would give anything to be in your shoes when you get to the start line and use that to inspire you.
You’d expect his speech to be littered with athletics metaphors and he duly obliged:
Set the bar high, don’t be content with making the team. Don’t look back in 10 or 20 years and think you wish you’d done things differently. Aim for your own gold medal, whatever that may be.
Excellent motivating stuff on the eve of the Games.
He managed to mix some good self-deprecation with an easy nod towards the redoubtable head coach, Charles van Commenee:
When Charles van Commenee called I thought it was bad news … then I thought he had picked me because I was like him … handsome, with charisma and I also can be hard work.
This was good public speaking technique in action. Lets’ hope that technique will stay with him as he clears the hurdles in the days ahead.