COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s latest motivational tactic is quite the knockout.
The video board in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center indoor field has been home to many different themes this year. There have been snarling wolves fresh off a kill and the more to the point “Beat Northwestern” message.
Fresh off a 62-3 beating of Maryland, players now have a new weekly message overlooking them all week. “At All Cost. Make. It. Count.” The mantra revealed itself over several screens, with videos of vicious MMA knockouts blaring between each word.
The message is designed to keep the Buckeyes from looking past Michigan State. The Spartans have traditionally given Ohio State trouble but are 1-6 in conference play this season. On top of that, a game against Michigan with playoff implications comes one week later.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is making sure his team knows exactly what’s at stake with a trip to East Lansing coming up.
“His motivational talk this week has been, ‘You have one swing.’ We’ve got one swing at this game to get to where we want,” center Pat Elflein said. “We have to have a flushed square hit on this one, a knockout blow. We have one shot to win this game, and we have to prepare like we only have one shot. It’s about placing immediacy and importance on preparation because we only have one shot.”
The videos are new this season. Ohio State only returned six starters from last season, and it’s been an effective motivational tactic.
“We have a young team, so it makes sure we focus on the task at hand,” right guard Billy Price said.”If you start looking at all these other elements that are around us in the big, huge picture of things, you lose focus on what really matters in this moment. Right now, we only have one shot to take care of Michigan State. After that, we have one shot to take care of That Team Up North. It’s a two-game season. We have to go out there and make sure we can play.
“You’ve only got one shot. It’s 3 minutes a round, and you’ve got to make sure you go out and execute. It’s nasty. You’ve got one shot. You better hit that guy right square.”