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Elon Football Team Pregame Speech April 16, 2011

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Ray Lewis delivers an epic pregame speech to the Elon football team complete with dramatic thunder. He encourages them to be thankful for their God-given gifts and inspires them to keep mastering their craft every day through a strong work ethic for their own success and God's glory.

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There's something - there's a spirit that grabs me, right? And it's in every one of you guys. But the question is - how much time are we wasting? I just came out of the gym for three hours this morning. I got five hours of sleep. That's it. Every day of my life I'm trying to find a different way to get better.

Now coach didn't tell me to do this. Remember we on lock-out. So I ain't training for football - I'm training for a lifestyle. I'm training because I say to something that I want to be the greatest to ever do it - and I'm not done yet. That's inside of each one of yall - right there (points to player's heart) - each one of you. But the question still remains. How much time will you really waste? If I looked at my clock; you looked at your phone - time never stops for no one! It's the one thing God don't give us. [Thunder Strikes; Elon points upward] And it's your time. It's your time. And now the question is what will you do to make sure it's your time? When your time is ready, will you be ready?

That's what I do man. That's all I do. That I believe every time I step on that I never cheat one of my teammates - ever. I never let one of my teammates take a break on me, and I never take a break on them. But man you guys got an opportunity to do something right now. And when you wake up in the mornings don't let your alarm clock be the only thing that wakes you up. Makes sure you wake up with God on your mind. Make sure you fall to your knees with your face on the floor and say 'thank you for another opportunity' - not just to wake up, but to be a top athlete. 'Cause some people can't see, some people can't walk, some people can't hear - but you're gifted. Strap on some shoulder pads, put on your cletes, we all know what that feeling feel like - there's no feeling in the world like it. So now how thankful would you give back to that? Every single day you got to master your craft. That's what it's about!

Millions of kids across this country man - this one shot - harsh reality: one percent makes it. One! I heard from everything that I was too small, I couldn't do this, I couldn't do that - okay and. But nobody's ever stepped in that room with me to get it done. That's what I'm challenging each one of you men today - don't let coach always have to tell you what to do! Find a way to do it yourself! So that he gets ready to text you and when he get ready to question you about what a defense should be or what an offense should be, you already got the answers! [Thunder Clap] That's when you start having a real meeting. That's when the coach appreciates coming in a meeting. When before you play your next game you know your opponent better than your coach knows the opponent. It's just competition, right? So when someone says 'oh are you ready to beat them?' Why!? I ain't found a man that will out work me. You might out run me on the fourth, but you ain't going to fine to out root me for 60 minutes. I doubt that. Ain't because I got anything nothing special - the only thing I got special on me is my mind to be special.

Greatness is a lot of small things done well, stacked on top of each other. School work. Yes ma'am, no ma'am. Pants pulled up over my waist. Small things that make greatness. So when someone finally sees you, they represent you as a King, because you walk as a King. And until you set your mindset to think like a King, then you stay where everybody else is at. And that's a place I didn't want to stay. I wanted to go way beyond that. And that's what I'm still chasing to this day. That's the only reason I was in the gym earlier this morning. That's the only reason I was - whatever it is; I don't know what it is today, but if I can change one life today, just by telling you to be different, do something different, and take God with you I don't know wherever you go, then do it! Then do it! And when you do it, let your name be worth more than your bank account. When you're finally ready to go home, make sure your footsteps are remembered. That's the only reason you guys respect me the way y'all respect me. That's it. Because I made up my mind to chase Him, and really nurture my craft. Really nurture my craft. I've never been the biggest, the fastest, the strongest or nothing. Nothing! All I had was work. All I ever had was my work ethic.

At nine years old, I took a deck of cards - which is now three decks of cards - and I took a deck of cards and I'd flip over a card, and I'd do six; flip over another card if I get a Jack, Queen, King, I'd do ten. If I get an Ace, I'd do twenty-five. Flip over a Joker, I'd do fifty. I mastered that. At nine years old! That deck of cards has now turned into three decks of cards. If I brought my bag in here, I'd show you those same three decks of cards that I travel with every day of my life. 'Cause the only thing I know is that I can't take a break. Don't ever let a day go by that you waste, cause that's a day that you'll never get back. These are the moments we're talking about.

I just want to say to you guys, thank you for letting me come speak to you, because there's some spirit that drives in this room that one of you guys, one of these days is going to go back and say 'I remember our conversation, and now I'm there', because the next man will be that next man. Knowledge is to be gained, and passed along. That's all I'm trying to do today. I'm trying to pass some type of knowledge to somebody else, that's going to grab it.

I grabbed it differently. I love my Father with every inch of my heart, but I grabbed it because I didn't have a Father, so all I could grab onto was my relationship with God. My Mom worked three jobs, my Mom was never home. So mine was different. My grime, my taste in my mouth was different. I ain't never have money - never!

Now is the time; I started that at nine. You guys are way older than that, so ya'll can't waste no more time. You gotta make up your mind to do anything you want to do. And don't let nobody - nobody - tell you what you can't do.

You can look at my story - you can look at Michael Jordan's story - and when the coach said you're not good enough, he went and made himself good enough, simply by work.

So I'm not here to tell you no secrets, I'm here to tell you the only thing I know how to do is work. And the only reason I get up and work everyday the way I do is to honor God blessing me to be able to do it. That's why I keep grinding and that's why I want to spread...

I really wanted to see you guys play today - of course, you know it's basketball season and we gotta watch basketball - and don't want to disrespect basketball, but there's something different about when you put a helmet on and strap up a chin strap - it's a different type of contact, and that's what I was waiting to see today. Of course we can't do it right now, but...

But man, I just wanted to tell you guys 'thank you for the opportunity', you know and uh, I'm an open book. Coach will have some way to get in contact with me before I leave, and I'm an open book to tell you guys, don't ever walk through life alone. Don't ever do it alone. That's the longest walk you'd ever take, is by yourself. Take someone with you. Take somebody with you... Aight? Thank you. [Applause]

Champions on three! Champions on three!

One, two, three 'champions'!

Courtesy of Ray Lewis
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Elon Football Team Pregame Speech- April 16, 2011

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