Swinney says he won't let anyone's criticism steal his joy


by - Senior Writer -
Swinney says he won't let anyone steal his joy.
Swinney says he won't let anyone steal his joy.

Dabo Swinney is not immune to the criticism and the hurtful words thrown his way. After all, he’s still a man with real emotions, real fears, and he cares deeply about everything that his life touches.

But don’t think the criticism can get him down. No way that is going to happen. No one is going to steal his joy.

Clemson’s head coach recently participated in a Chum Chat with Tanner Tessmann on YouTube, and he was asked about the downside of his fame and riches.

“There are so many blessings about my job. It's unbelievable. I could spend all day listing the blessings. But there are blessings, too,” Swinney said. “And that is what a lot of people don't see. Everybody sees game day and all these types of things. The wins. But man, it is so much more than that. The amount of work that it takes. The amount of time. Even though I feel like we have a good balance with our families and that is the environment that I try to create at Clemson. But it was a grind to get to this point.

“The biggest thing is constant criticism. When you have a platform - when you have had so-called success in a lot of people's eyes - a lot of scrutiny comes with that. And a lot of criticism. You have to have thick skin. It doesn't matter what you do. what you say, they are going to hate you. They are not going to like you. It just doesn't matter. And so you have to accept that and not let that steal your joy.”

Swinney also knows that everything he says will make headlines.

“But every word you say is going to be magnified. But I look at that as a positive,” Swinney said. “It's a negative in that there is that aspect of it - the constant criticism, constant manipulation of your words or the intent of your words and so forth - it's just constant. But I also look at that as a blessing because you know that you have an opportunity with your platform to use it in a positive way. But that is probably one of the biggest negatives is just unwarranted criticism.

“And a lot of time people will ask you a question and you try to answer it in an honest and transparent way, and then they don't like your answer and they will blast you in your answer. You just tried to be honest. Or they will just attach their agenda to what you wanted to say. So there are some negatives, but I love my job and I love what I do and love competing.”

If he can’t play the game of football, he wants to do the next best thing: coach.

“It's the next best thing to playing, what I get to do, because I couldn't play anymore,” Swinney said. “I still love being a part of a team and I love being able to compete. I feel like I had a lot of knowledge that I could give and offer and help. That is what helped me be a good player coaching gave me clarity of life, if you will. It helped me make sense of my life. I love it and I wouldn't want to do anything else and there is way more good than bad. And when I got into coaching, I didn't get into coaching to make money.

“I made a very clear decision when I got into coaching - coaches didn't make a big amount of money then - and my wife was a school teacher and I was going to coach football because that is what I love and wanted to do and I knew we would make a good living. But I never in a million years never believed I would have the financial blessings that I have been able to have. And that is what I tell people - do what you love and what you're passionate about and all of those things will take care of themselves.”

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