All-Star Spotlight: A moving movie speech

Every Tuesday and Thursday in “All-Star Spotlight,” members of the ESPNHS All-Star team tackle a hot topic in high school sports. Today, Samantha Dubreuil, a sophomore cheerleader at East Lyme (Conn.), shares her favorite motivational speech.

When we athletes get ready for our next big competition, there are usually several steps of preparation. Whether your team participates in pep talks, inspirational speeches or team bonding exercises, these activities eventually become exciting traditions that can lead your team to success.

Being part of an All Star cheer gym, my team has a variety of traditions we partake in together before a competition. At the practice before, we listen to Al Pacino’s speech “Peace by Inches” from the movie “Any Given Sunday.” Our coach sits us on the floor in front of the stereo and plays it for us, and we quietly take in what Pacino is saying. His speech talks about inches, and how the littlest error in sports can make a big difference in the outcome (and in life). A few days later, at the competition, we listen to the speech again before performing. After listening to it, we go into warm-ups with a better mindset.

Here is my favorite part of the “Peace by Inches” speech:

“Now I can’t make you do it. You got to look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes! Now I think you’re gonna see a guy who will go that inch with you. You’re gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows, when it comes down to it, you’re gonna

do the same for him!”

I think this is meaningful because on a team you have to trust that all of your teammates will put in as much effort as you are giving. I really relate to these words because on my team, each person has her own job to accomplish throughout the routine. The flier has to have trust in her bases, and the bases have to trust that their flier will do what she has to do while in the air. Every time I listen to this speech it reminds me how much my team means to me, and how over the years they have become family.