Toronto Raptors head Coach Dwane Casey took an unusual tack motivating players to improve their performance.
Teams often employ certain themes across a season to harness long-term motivation, and “pound the rock” is the Raptors theme for their current series of games. But Casey took the rallying cry a step further than locker room shouting- he brought players a 1,300 pound rock to remain in their space as a “stark” reminder of the motivational cry. It’s a drawn out metaphor, so stay with us. Casey explains:
“I knew we were going to be a work in progress, 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.”
Okay, but maybe a 200 pound rock could have sufficed? The 1,300 pound rock set the NBA team back $500, but Casey believes that not only will it serve as a worthwhile motivator- others should take the message to heart as well. He says:
“Every day we walk into practice it may not end up in a ‘W’, it may not end up in a great game, but we’ve got to keep pounding, we’ve got to keep hitting the rock, and eventually it will crack… That’s why we work every day to get better. And you can use it in any walk of life, whether it’s as a journalist, or in a lawyer’s profession, doctor, whatever it is, we all have to pound the rock.”
Players have said that the message of the 1,300 pound rock has resonated with them. Are you feeling it?