Jim Harbaugh and Patrick Willis conducted a clinic with local high school football coaches on Monday, all part of Visa’s “Make It Epic” campaign for the 2012 season.
Two dozen coaches visited 49ers headquarters to have their own private Q&A sessions with the NFL’s reigning Coach of the Year and five-time Pro Bowl linebacker. Both men also discussed their roles in a humorous national Visa commercial that depicts an energetic 49ers Faithful giving the team a passionate pregame speech just as Harbaugh entered the locker room.
The commercial was hardly realistic, but both men enjoyed the process of filming the commercial, mostly because it was done with nearly 30 players involved in the shoot.
“The best part about it,” Harbaugh said, “we did it as a team.”
“What made it fun, even though it was long hours, we had a lot of our teammates there. We had the opportunity to have fun together and anytime you get together with your team, it’s fun to be able to do things like that with one another.”
Fans will have the chance to experience the 49ers pregame locker room atmosphere themselves.
One fan will win the opportunity to watch Harbaugh’s pregame speech before a 49ers home game this season by visiting Visa.com/makeitepic. Once fans enroll in Visa’s Fan Offers program, exclusive offers and epic experiences, like the 49ers locker room visit, will be available for fans.
“We’re giving a chance for fans to come into our locker room on gameday and see what we’re all about,” Willis said.
Harbaugh doesn’t look at his speeches as being filled with energy, but rather information.
“I’m not a big motivational speech guy, more of an information-giver,” the 49ers coach explained.
But in the case of the national TV commercial, Harbaugh enjoyed the process of being with his players, a group he affectionately refers to often as, “the fellas.”
“It was a neat team experience,” Harbaugh said, later referring to the shoot as a, “unity of purpose.”
“As far as what happens before a game,” the 49ers coach continued, “it’s certainly not how we do things, but all of us getting together and looking into each other’s eyes before we play – that’s real.”
In addition to discussing pregame speeches, Harbaugh and Willis answered questions from the high school coaches in attendance. For the 49ers linebacker, the exchanging of information was more than enjoyable.
“I was very fortunate to have some great high school coaches and that’s where it starts for a lot of us,” Willis shared. “Hopefully those coaches can take some of what Coach and I talked about and touch one of their kids in that kind of way.”
Tags: Jim Harbaugh, Patrick Willis
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