Oct. 1, 2009
`Finish.' `Play with 11 on the field, but like there are 13 or 14 out there.' `Remember what got you here.'. `Focus on the task at hand.' `Be mentally tough.' Those are just a few things San Francisco 49er head coach Mike Singletary told the Santa Clara women's soccer team tonight in its lockerroom prior to the match between No. 2 Stanford and No. 11 Santa Clara.
Singletary, who is long-time friends with Bronco women's soccer strength and conditioning coach Greg Marshall, was invited to give an inspiration speech to the team by Marshall and Bronco head coach Jerry Smith earlier in the week.
First, Singletary told the team it was a real honor to speak to them. He said the Bronco women's soccer team and the 49ers were similar to each other in their histories, pointing out both had been very successful in the past and had struggled setbacks in the last couple years. He was quick to point out what separates winning from losing is confidence.
"I talked about some of the same things I talk to our players about. Have mental toughness, expect to win and believe you are going to win; and always finish," said Singletary afterwards.
Was it different talking to a college soccer team than talking to his own 49ers team prior to a game and Singletary shook his head no. "It's all about motivation, inspiration and the desire to be great," said Singletary. Acknowledging Santa Clara is the underdog vs. Stanford he pointed out one of the most important things is not to focus on the statistics and who you are playing.
"Certainly you need to know who you are playing, but it is much more important to focus on what you have to do to be successful, the details, the little things that help you win the game," added Singletary. "That should be the focus and as long as that is the focus, you have a chance to win the game."
"Everybody has great athletes," Singletary said. "Growing up there were so many guys that were better than me, but I made the decision that I wanted to be successful. Everyone wants to be successful, but not everyone wants to pay the price."
At the end of his pre-game speech with the team, Singletary told the Broncos, with a smile, the talk he just gave them was the same one he would give his own 49ers team tomorrow.