Motivational cues, however, aren’t exactly the same between the 49ers head coach and starting quarterback.
Both men are driven to succeed out of their unbridled passion for the game. But Kaepernick thrives on the negative words being directed to him on Twitter. Harbaugh, on the other hand, hasn’t been on the social media network since he was coaching at Stanford.
Kaepernick has added negative tweets to his “Favorties” throughout his NFL career. It’s part of his routine. Harbaugh supported his quarterback's use of the social media network.
“I don’t know why it’s a big deal, this is not the first time I’ve done it,” Kaepernick said after San Francisco’s 35-11 win in St. Louis. “You can look back on my timeline, it’s not the first time.”
Kaepernick made those comments when he was joined by
Kaepernick explained why he paid attention to them.
“When they say they still have faith in me and believe in me, that’s all I need.”
Kaepernick said he didn’t mind the comments. He actually encouraged more feedback after his solid performance against the Rams.
“That’s alright, they can tweet to me tonight,” Kaepernick said.
On Friday, Harbaugh said he had no issue with his quarterback being motivated by social media.
“Energy is energy,” the 49ers coach said. “There’s positive energy, there’s negative energy. Sometimes a person can get more energy from negative energy. Sometimes that can be a gift, thank you very much.”
In terms of his own stance on motivational cues, Harbaugh went on to paraphrase a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“If all that is written is said against us, you feel a certain assurance of success,” Harbaugh said. “When people are heaping flowery words of praise upon you, then you feel more exposed before your enemies.”
Harbaugh stressed that his prime focus is on coaching the team and avoiding negative commentary.
“Personally, I really don’t hear the noise,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t hear the screaming and the yelling.”
So while the 49ers quarterback is using social media to propel his on-field performance, Harbaugh is declining a return to the world of Twitter.
“Found it to be a drain of time,” Harbaugh said of his entertaining run on the social media network.
“It was stressed that we as coaches needed to be on Twitter to communicate with recruits, fan base, etcetera. I tried it for eight or nine months and found it way too time consuming.”
When a reporter remarked that Harbaugh was good at tweeting, the 49ers coach grinned and said, “Well, anything you try to be good at, you know?”