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Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin | Circle-Up Reflection Questions

For the second week in a row, Deion Sanders has gone on First Take to talk about his team’s performance the previous week. Last week, they won their first home game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

You can watch the entire interview here:


Before their game with the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nebraska coach Matt Rhule gathered his entire Nebraska team at mid-field on the Buffalo logo. Deion said that during the game after his son and quarterback took his helmet off and got a penalty for taunting, his son Shaduer said, “Dad, it’s personal.”

Before each of the first two games, Deion had a specific message for his team. Before this second game, the message was, “It’s personal.”

Michael Irvin said before the game in the locker room, Deion told his team, “This is our house and it’s personal.”

Irvin said Shaduer repeating that message on the field shows that your athletes all your messaging gets to these kids and they take it in at the highest level. Irvin asked him, “How do you get your messaging internalized and regurgitated and repeated by your athletes?”

Deion said he has ‘know-ability,’ the ability to recall important facts and information about his athletes at important moments.

Dylan Edwards is a running back for Colorado. Deion coached him when he was 4-6 years old, and Deion says he can tell him when they aren't working hard, “You know how we started this, and you know how we are going to end this.”

Kavosiey Smoke is another running back for Colorado. Deion tells him, “You know your mom is trying to get out of the hood. We are going to rescue her.”

He says that these small, intricate things resonate with his athletes.

He said, “Those little details are what gets us to the next level.”

In the most intense, emotional moments, our athletes default back to their inner voice. Deion has become their inner voice by repeating things to them that he knows are meaningful and inspiring to them. He can do that because he has gotten to really know his athletes and their families.


1 - What is your biggest takeaway from the video?

2 - How can knowing these little details about your athletes help you motivate, inspire, and connect with them? 3 - Who is someone you need to learn about so you can better connect with them, motivate them, and inspire them?

4 - How can you find out what key facts motivate and inspire your athletes?


At the 5:55 mark, Michael Irvin says, “The greatest example of a championship team is a team that meets and beats all challenges, and you guys have had different challenges, but you never gave in.”

Deion said he is most proud of his team’s resiliency and their understanding of the importance of the moment. His athletes know that everyone is watching, so that pushes them to work harder.

When Irvin asks Deion about the potential for them to compete for a National Championship, Deion then says they take one day at a time and are just trying to stack up great practices. To be great, you have to practice like an animal, so when the game comes, you already know what to expect. They are trying to establish the expectations of how to practice. The guys who ball out in the games are the same guys who ball out at practice. They are trying to get more guys on that page.

He said everything we see in games, they see in practice. Practice with purpose and practice like it’s a game, so when it’s a game, it resembles practice.


1 - What do you expect from your athletes in practice?

2 - What does a great practice look, feel, and sound like?

3 - Who is the best practice player you have? What do they do that makes them the best?

4 - How do you get more guys to practice like it’s a game?

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