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Brian Flores: ‘If you’re not motivated to play, you’re in the wrong business’

There is always a debate about the importance of coaches, whether in this aspect or another. While it’s important, of course, that players know how to do their job and play in a structure with 10 other players, overall they have to provide a lot of their own gear that they need to use to be successful. .

Like a musician in a chamber orchestra without a conductor, it is up to everyone to guess their own needs and responsibilities. And especially when it comes to a competitive setting, that motivation has to be internal, says senior defensive assistant Brian Flores.

“When you’re playing this game, if you’re not motivated to play, you’re in the wrong business,” he told reporters. through the team website Last week. “I think all the guys are motivated to compete, improve and improve. I don’t think it’s hard at all. It’s a competitive game. Guys like to play, like to compete. We feel this energy, and in the stadium it’s not at all difficult to motivate ourselves.

Mostly, I buy this. At least to some extent there is a required level of intrinsic motivation to perform that a player must have, that a coach cannot put into him. Coaches can certainly motivate their players, but it’s hard to imagine excelling in the NFL without having a competitive spirit.

It’s something you hear all the time. Former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was infamous for being highly competitive at any task, whether it was on a potentially game-winning drive or shooting bin hoops in the locker room. Outside linebacker TJ Watt is supposed to be cut from the same competitive cloth, as is defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, and no doubt countless others.

If you don’t hate losing, I have a hard time betting on your chances of succeeding in a highly competitive, high-performance environment. That’s what fuels these athletes. Not a pregame ritual in a huddle or a halftime talk. These are superficial compared to what you have to bring yourself to the table.

That’s not to diminish the value of a good coach – and the Steelers’ numbers or desirability are certainly debatable. There’s a reason they get paid to do their job, but at the end of the day, the cheerleading aspect of it is a tiny element.

It’s more about the culture and broad vision environment you establish than any type of pep talk you might deliver, ultimately. And, of course, the actual coaching component, giving players the fundamental and technical tools to get the most out of their competitive juice.