https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIT9LE_eIFo

The Texas Longhorns suffered a devastating loss in September to the Brigham Young University Cougars, getting beaten 41-7. It was the second year in a row that the Longhorns got smashed by BYU–and the players swore this year would be different. But it wasn’t. Coach Charlie Strong said he believed his team “kind of gave in a little” during the second half of this year’s game. With the team left wondering what exactly went wrong, Texas alum and Oscar-winning Matthew McConaughey showed up at practice hoping to lift the team’s spirits. After all, he once played a real-life coach in We Are Marshall, so might as well give it a shot.

Matthew admitted he always asks himself, “Why do I do what I do? Why am I an actor?” And then he asked the players to ask themselves why they play football. “And in there you’re going to find the answer…whether you win or whether you lose.” He then spoke about how he motivates himself. “I’ve found that when I’ve done my best work as an actor, it was only when I pushed myself to be better than I even thought I could be,” McConaughey said. “I’m pretty self-confident with how good I could be. But I didn’t do my best work–and I still don’t think I’ve done my best work–until I pushed myself further than even I think I can be.”

He then led the team in his chest thump and hum inspired by a technique he uses when he finds he’s overthinking things; he also incorporated the thump into his role in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Did McConaughey succeed in lifting the players’ spirits? Maybe. The Longhorns went on to beat Kansas 23-0.

Do you, dear Thespian, ever wonder why you work so hard, and struggle, and strive for a goal that can seem as far away as Mars? Do you sometimes question why you even embarked on such a crazy journey in the first place? And do you wonder if you’ll ever fulfill your potential? Well, maybe it’s time to join Matthew and look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself why you are pursuing the career of an actor. If you get clear on why you embarked on this beautiful quest, and why you’ve stuck with it, you’ll better understand how to navigate forward. And then move ahead without any hand wringing or tail dragging or apologies. Come on, do it with me: Thump, hum, thump, hum, thump, hum …

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