It wasn't long into my extreeeeemly feeble high school football career I realized our outcomes on Friday nights was decided well before our cleats actually hit the field. After Monday installs, a good Tuesday practice -- the heaviest workday of the week -- typically set us up to perform well on Friday. A bad Tuesday practice, more often than not, could not be overcome by good Wednesdays and Thursdays.
In front of 1,000 campers last night, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney relayed the same message, telling the small group of future Tigers and large horde of future Tiger fans that results are decided long before the scoreboard lights pop to life.
"There is no shine without the grind," he said. "Champions are made when the stands are empty. Make sure you understand that. All of you here, most of you are on teams. That's when you get better -- when nobody's looking. Teams are made when the stands are empty. When they're full, that's just hard work paying off. I love that.
"Got a bunch of guys here that don't have to be here. You could be sitting around playing video games, out getting in trouble, whatever, and you guys are all in here working on your craft. It's about each one of you guys getting better. It's about each one of you being the best that you can be."
See for yourself below.
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) June 15, 2016