Top motivational speaker who isn’t Wolfman Jack speaks to the Pack

Wow. This really is powerful.

From 24/7:

Motivational speaker Eric Thomas addressed the NC State football team on Monday night.

One of the most passionate speakers in the world, Thomas energized and inspired Dave Doeren’s coaching staff and the entire Wolfpack program.

Thomas is a native of Detroit. He is a one-time high school dropout, once homeless who is now pursuing a PhD at Michigan State.

One of his messages….

Thomas said, “People ask ‘Why do you grind so hard, E?’ I might not be the No. 1 motivational speaker in the world five years from now. I got to get everything I can get right now, every book I can write. Listen to me… my school is being paid for by the athletic department. I’m hot right now.”

Listen in for six minutes as Thomas talks about realizing the opportunity, grinding, starting at the bottom, and falling in love with the process.

When reading this, the ‘more seasoned’ SFN readers might reminisce alittle about the use of a motivational speaker by former NC State Head Coach, Mike O’Cain back in the late 1990s.

As O’Cain’s tenure wore on and the Wolfpack football program was quickly slipping into obscurity after advancing to 8 bowls in a 9 year period from 1986 through the 1994, the Wolfpack’s Head Coach chose to outsource the motivating component of his duties to a professional motivational speaker named Ray Pelletier. Of course, the simple fact that a head coach had to outsource the motivational part of his job for an ENTIRE SEASON was a pretty large red flag about what was going on with the program at the time. As an example, the Daily Press framed the situation as follows in an August 1997 article:

It almost sounds like the last act of a desperate man. In truth, North Carolina State coach Mike O’Cain seems to agree the whole thing is, well, a little silly.

But when you’re in charge of a fading-fast football program that is coming off back-to-back 3-8 seasons, you don’t eliminate anything as a potential remedy. So, last Sunday, O’Cain had a motivational speaker from Miami named Ray Pelletier address the team.

If you want to be really sad, take a look at the rest of that article for a walk down ‘memory lane’ of the late 1990s (while remembering that we went TEN CONSECUTIVE years without making an NCAA Tournament appearance in basketball).

Pelletier was a hulky guy with a head full of hair and a beard that helped accentuate his resemblance to ‘Wolfman Jack’. I was unsuccessful in finding some pictures of Pelletier in his NC State football attire, but all you need to do is google Wolfman Jack and photoshop him in red & white and you’ll have it.

Ultimately, Pelletier was able to help O’Cain sneak into the 1998 Micron PC Bowl and prolong the inevitable by another year. Well, it was only ‘inevitable’ because of the grace of God that Marye Anne Fox was NC State’s Chancellor at the time…because, without her the NC State ‘lack of leadership brigade’ would’ve probably given O’Cain a lifetime contract because he was a great guy and he did things (like lose) ‘the right way’. (It is fascinating to me that other than Randy Woodson in recent years the only actual athletic leadership our school experienced for 20 years came from two women.)

While I was writing this entry I obviously googled Pelletier and ran across the following sad news to share:

In May 2007, motivational speaker Ray Pelletier, Sr. died from a blood clot following hernia surgery. The operation was considered “routine.” The outcome was a shock to family, friends and business associates. Ray overcame a lisp as a child to be one of the top speakers in the country. He worked with college and high school teams, Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations. He was innovative, confident and generous. He was my friend for nearly 30 years. Each year, since he died, I’ve done a video in his memory. This one is based on an unreleased promotional clip produced by Mick Rizzo that was being developed when Ray died. I did a little reworking. The audio features Ray, along with comments from three of his clients.

With that said I’ve incldued the following video:

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

'14 Football

Home Forums Top motivational speaker who isn’t Wolfman Jack speaks to the Pack

This topic contains 25 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  StateRed44 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 26 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #54274

    StateFans
    Keymaster

    Wow. This really is powerful. From 24/7: Motivational speaker Eric Thomas addressed the NC State football team on Monday night. One of the most passio
    [See the full post at: Top motivational speaker who isn't Wolfman Jack speaks to the Pack]

    #54283

    PackFamily
    Participant

    Great speech and didn’t once have to say “the sands of times”

    #December1998gradsknowwhati’mtalkinabout

    #54285

    john of sparta
    Participant

    sorry.
    this looks bad to me.
    the last three motivational speakers hired
    by the companies i worked for at the time,
    presaged the problems to come. bottom line:
    motivation is within. to quote Yoda:
    “do. or do not. there is no try.”

    #54287

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    I am in favor of Yoda as the next motivational speaker.

    I am even more in favor of more and better talent, which is hopefully on the way.

    We gonna suck again this season.

    #54289

    tjfoose1
    Participant

    Try not… do, or do not. There is no try.

    Would never make it in the movie if made today.

    #54290

    ruffles31
    Keymaster

    The speaker is making me pumped up.

    #54291

    Wufpacker
    Keymaster

    The speaker is making me pumped up.

    The speaker is making me annoyed.

    #54292

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    Whatever it takes to get the kids going….

    But just for the sake of argument…
    Is it not true that anything that needs that much ‘pumping up’ is fundamentally flawed over the long term?

    Is it not true that external motivation has certain addictive qualities…. such as the need for more and more frequent doses to achieve the same results?

    Is it possible to just be good at what you do and take care of business without a lot of external rah, rah, rah?

    #We_GOTT_dis.pack!
    #54293

    Wufpacker
    Keymaster

    Whatever it takes to get the kids going….

    But just for the sake of argument…
    Is it not true that anything that needs that much ‘pumping up’ is fundamentally flawed over the long term?

    Is it not true that external motivation has certain addictive qualities…. such as the need for more and more frequent doses to achieve the same results?

    Is it possible to just be good at what you do and take care of business without a lot of external rah, rah, rah?

    I dunno about all of that, but I do know that predators are good at hunting because they have to be, not because they ‘want’ to be. Plus, they eat things that have already been wounded all the time. Easy meal = Good meal.

    Mr. Thomas ain’t no Marlin Perkins.

    #54294

    TheCOWDOG
    Participant

    ” Watch as Jim runs a 7 yrd slant into the territory of an aggressive dropping linebacker.”

    #54295

    pakfanistan
    Participant

    Whatever it takes to get the kids going….

    But just for the sake of argument…<br>
    Is it not true that anything that needs that much ‘pumping up’ is fundamentally flawed over the long term?

    Is it not true that external motivation has certain addictive qualities…. such as the need for more and more frequent doses to achieve the same results?

    Is it possible to just be good at what you do and take care of business without a lot of external rah, rah, rah?

    I think that’s true to an extent, but I also think that getting pumped up is a skill, and one that can be taught.

    Naturally there will be variation from individual to individual, but the successful athletes I know (and marines) have an internal switch they flip when it’s go time.

    "I want my ten dollars!" -Abraham Lincoln
    #54296

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    As a “services” professional, I’ve been lectured by many client development people about sales/marketing jargon. So anytime I hear anything of the sort, my flesh crawls.

    #54298

    wolf2003
    Participant

    Sometimes outside motivators other than coaches or teammates you see on a daily basis can be helpful long term. You never stop learning on a daily basis. New ways to deal with adversity or obstacles. I agree that majority of motivation and desire should come within.

    I disagree that having Eric Thomas to come in and speak to your team is a bad thing. If so, I guess Auburn, Ohio State, or Alabama are flawed as well for having Thomas come in and speak.

    #54299

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    hey guys… don’t take my questions too far…

    Those ‘motivational gigs’ can be good for both the speaker and the audience… it all depends…

    But if you’ve ever been to one of those Big National or Regional Sales meetings in some fancy resort..
    and noticed the differences in the attitude, attentiveness and the responses between the young guys sitting up front and the ‘old pros’ on the back row…..

    you kinda understand … the ‘motivational guy’ is rarely a long term solution that leads to a successful organization.

    That said… if that what it takes to build the program… go for it!

    #We_GOTT_dis.pack!
    #54300

    Hungwolf
    Participant

    Sad to see you used the topic to bash Mike O’Cain. He does not bash our program? He did have some success with a difficult job at the time. Sheridan and our Ad Valvano both agreed the football facilities were in need of upgrades to enhance recruiting. Remember the flowers by Jimmy V to Sheridan when he agreed to stay and not take the Georgia job. Well V was forced to step down as AD and the upgrades never happened until Amato got the job. Remember the shooting incident, that wiped out a large portion of our defense? Since we were coming off the V problems, these players were not allowed to play, hurt us on the field, but O’Cain bounced back and put us in a bowl. Remember O’Cain being named as one of the up and coming coaches in America? O’Cain had about as much success as our last two head coaches and never went winless in conference play. He won at Texas, beat FSU, and won at Syracuse, was a man of integrity, and stood by his staff when he could have fired them and saved his own neck. I am one Pack alum this is proud to say Mike O’Cain was our football coach!

    #54301

    PapaJohn
    Participant

    1. Wolfman Jack would be a terrible motivational speaker!!!!
    2. I like bringing this guy in. It exposes the guys to new ideas; gives them a shared, bonding experience. And if the major football powers are utilizing these guys, we want to be perceived as doing comparable things.
    3. The “old guys sitting in the back of the room” are missing out on a chance to improve.

    How can you criticize trying any method available to get an under skilled team to play over their heads? The worst that could happen is a little time wasted. The best, maybe some guys buy in?

    Kudos Coach!

    #54302

    PackerInRussia
    Participant

    Sorry, but when I hear “motivational speaker” all I see are dark-rimmed glasses, slicked-back hair, a green tie and checkered blazer clothing a man badly in need of a job in order to escape the dietary consequences of government cheese and the doldrums of living in a van down by the river.
    “Heard ya got a nice football team here, Dave. Really heading places. Fresh new quarterback. Bright future. Well I’m here to tell you that this year you won’t amount to jack squat!”
    Long live Matt Foley.

    #54303

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    My initial thought too, Ruskie!!

    #54304

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    Sorry, but when I hear “motivational speaker” all I see….

    …Dr. Lou Holtz…. all 135lbs of him…

    just saying…

    #We_GOTT_dis.pack!
    #54306

    PapaJohn
    Participant

    Matt Foley – “living in my trailer down by the river”

    #54308

    StateFans
    Keymaster

    Hungwolf — Based on all of the things you choose to remember (the excuses & only the godo stuff) every college in America should’ve been scooping O’Cain up as their next head coach. What do you think was their issue? It’s weird that MOC was such a fabulous coach that he never sniffed another Head Coaching job and even spent a couple of years selling telephones in between assistant gigs at Clemson and Virginia Tech. But, what do Athletics Directors know about football coaches!?!

    I’m sorry for any confusion or miscommunication on this topic. I would’ve thought that everyone naturally understood the obvious difference between having someone come speak with your team vs having to turn to a permanent human resource who was with the team at all times. Hust so that I am very clear I will be more direct —

    (1) I am not criticizing our staff in any way for having Eric Thomas speak to the team.

    (2) I think it makes total sense to have outside speakers come address all teams on a myraid of topics and it looks like Thomas was as super selection.

    (3) I do think that if the staff had to turn to an outsider to effectively outsource motivation for two seasons would be a topic worth exploring.

    (4) In Mike O’Cain’s case, the fact that he needed help by way of a PERMANENT HIRE with this particular shortcoming was an indication of a larger structural deficiency in his coaching ability. There was CLEARLY an issue with his ability to deliver consistency both from the coaches and the players. Just as Hungwolf so optimistically pointed out a few of the highlights of MOC’s 7 years, she/he omitted an 0-7 record vs UNC despite being favored in 4 of the 7 games, a losing record vs ECU, and an inability to beat a middling Georgia Tech amidst strange losses to the likes of Purdue, Baylor, Virginia and others.

    #54310

    MrPlywood
    Participant

    Sounds like a lot of poorly enunciated berating to me. And I surely know that I’m not as good as Eric since I had a relatively comfortable childhood.

    #54312

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    … I’m not complaining, explaining or retaining…
    just a slow news day…

    It’s great for the kids… just trying to keep it all in ‘perspective’…
    Mr. Thomas… as good as he may be… translates into zero impact on our W-L at the end of this season.

    #We_GOTT_dis.pack!
    #54314

    Wufpacker
    Keymaster

    ” Watch as Jim runs a 7 yrd slant into the territory of an aggressive dropping linebacker.”

    LMAO. Now THAT’S funny. :D

    #54645

    Tuffy2
    Participant

    Could you imagine TOB bringing in this guy to speak to the team. Not in a million years.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 26 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.