Sports coaches are a typically superstitious bunch. Their teams could be world-beaters, but just try to get them to talk about playoff appearances or championships and you’ll usually be—in most cases quite abruptly—told to cease and desist.
But not Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio. The Spartan coach clearly understands that our thoughts create our realities and goes against the grain by encouraging talk about his team beating Wisconsin in this coming Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game and thus winning an automatic invitation to the Rose Bowl.
Here’s an excerpt from an article by Greg Johnson of The Grand Rapids Press that appeared Tuesday on Mlive.com that goes into detail about this coach’s philosophies and positive outlook:
EAST LANSING — The Rose Bowl will not be the elephant in the room this week at Michigan State.
Mark Dantonio, the head coach, said it will get talked about and has been talked about, even as he expects his team to first focus on Wisconsin, the opponent in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis.
The winner, of course, goes to the Rose Bowl.
“It’s behind our message,” he said during his weekly press conference Tuesday. “I believe if you want a dream and you dream big, you’ve got to talk about it. You can’t ignore the fact and say well, we didn’t go, we didn’t talk about it enough or I didn’t want to put our guys out there.
“There is risk and reward in everything that we do, whether it’s a particular play or blitz or whatever there is. I would say the same thing when you’re challenging your players and talking with them. There is risk involved in talking with them about dreams as big as a Rose Bowl or dreams as big as a National Championship. But if you don’t do that, who will?
“Certainly nobody sitting in this room did five years ago, but here we’re all sitting here talking about it. So somebody had to step out and talk about it from within.”
I love Dantonio’s outlook on life and his propensity for wearing his heart on his sleeve. It’s no wonder his Spartans are 10-2 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten and looking forward to playing for a trip to the Rose Bowl. The team obviously takes after their coach.
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