When the New York Giants gathered for their first team meeting after the lockout last year, Coach Tom Coughlin introduced their 2011 theme: "Finish." The Giants had struggled the previous few years to finish games strong, even to finish their season strong, and while Coughlin had long preached improvement in those areas, he decided he needed something specific to bring the idea into sharper focus.
He chose the story of a female high school cross-country runner -- not the usual choice to motivate a bunch of professional football players -- but from the first time Coughlin showed his team Holland Reynolds' story, they were spellbound. They used the video to motivate them throughout the 2011 season, and into the Super Bowl.
And even now, as they try to repeat as Super Bowl champions, they refer to Holland Reynolds and what she taught them ... as they showed again in their 25-point fourth quarter against Tampa Bay on Sunday.