Exclusive:  Listening is the Key For Mel Tucker, Michigan State Staff

Hondo S. Carpenter

East Lansing, MI—In my private discussions with players since Mel Tucker and his staff took over Michigan State Spartan football, every one of them using different verbiage has told me that what sticks out to them is how Coach Tucker and his staff listen. In this exclusive interview, I asked Tucker if that is intentional.

 "Players don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. That is not just players, I think that is anyone, and so communication and over-communicating is a big part of my philosophy. I think one of the key components to communication is listening. As we go about learning our players, getting to know each other, building trust, and building confidence and having authentic relationships, it is important that we are very intentional about connecting with our players. Connecting with our players, whether it is text messages, a phone call, a zoom meeting, listening, is part of being interested in our players. There is a difference when having a conversation in being interesting to them or actually interested in them. We are very intentional, and we really do care, so we are interested in our players. A big part of that is listening. That is how we are going to connect, how we are going to build relationships, and build trust. Trust is what we need to build our program."

The Spartans kick off the season on September 5, 2020. They will be hosting in the Northwestern Wildcats with a rare, season-opening Big Ten game.

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