Dabo quotes Mahatma Gandhi in showing why his program thrives


by - Senior Writer -
Swinney says his program has blossomed from the inside-out.
Swinney says his program has blossomed from the inside-out.

CLEMSON – Dabo Swinney quoting Mahatma Gandhi? Welcome to another day in Clemson.

Clemson’s head coach doesn’t mind protecting his players and his program from outside influences, and he doesn’t want people walking through his mind with dirty feet.

Swinney was asked about how he insulates his program from all of the outside noise and expectations, and he said the key is living your life from the inside-out.

“I don't even think about it. The Bible says, 'As the man thinketh so is he,' so we control things from the inside-out,” Swinney said this week. “If you try to live your life from the outside-in, and a lot of people do that whether it be individually. What do people think of me? How's my hair today? I've got a pimple on my cheek. They're always feeling judgment. Or you're a team and you're affected by the outside, you're never going to be great. Individually - the Bible says, 'As the man thinketh so is he,' so that means it's about how I think.”

Swinney then quoted Indian political activist Mahatma Gandhi.

“We always say, 'Don't let anyone walk between your ears with their dirty feet.' You control that,” Swinney said. “You've got to focus on the things you control and when you focus on the things you don't control, those things control you. Let's don't focus on the things we have zero control over. I have no control over what (motioning to writers to his left of the podium) David or Gene write or say and I'm not worried about it. They have a job to do and I respect their job. If I'm worried about what other people say, then I'm distracted and I'm not inside-out.”

Swinney has built a program that is now considered to be among the nation’s elite, and it’s a program built from the inside-out.

“I think that's very important - to think the right way. When you're dealing with young people, I think that's very important,” Swinney said. “Our program blossomed from the inside-out, not from the outside-in. One of the first things I said when I got the job, I came in and wrote down all of the things we had never done, all of the things we hadn't done in forever and all of the things that people said we could never do. I said, ‘You know how we change that? From the inside-out. Go to work, one day at a time, do your best, be about the right things and don't get distracted by stuff that doesn't matter.'

“Everybody has an opinion. Most people really don't understand or really don't know so don't sit around and judge those people. It just doesn't matter. You just focus on the things that you control. You blossom from the inside-out and that's just what we try to focus on and not be affected by that. It's the world we live in. You don't harness, you teach. I think you teach, you educate, you communicate every single day.”

When it comes to the varied opinions espoused by the national media, Swinney doesn’t mind. Why? Because they’re still talking about the Tigers.

“You've got 120 young people who have families and friends and social media and all these things. It's just part of it but I like it,” Swinney said. “I'm glad that we've got people that have an opinion on Clemson. I think that's great. That means we matter. Our program matters. It's good that people are talking about Clemson, good or bad, 'Ah, they stink, or oh, they're great.' It doesn't really matter. What matters to us is just playing well. It's fun, too.”

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