The Spartan Podcast


Suzy16sp.jpg Hear the Conversation 24:43 – 14.1 mb mp3

Spartans women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant makes her annual visit to MSU Today and begins the discussion talking about the changing dynamics of today’s players and how that has changed coaching over the years.

“In the last five years alone, coaching has transcended to a place where we’re all trying to figure out the best way to coach and how to communicate, connect and motivate,” Merchant tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis.

Social media and our texting society have led to changing dynamics in interpersonal relationships.

“All the kids we recruit – even if they’re very engaged in their social media – are still thirsty for personal relationships,” says Merchant.

Coach Merchant talks about the gift she and her husband Gary recently made to MSU and Spartan Athletics and what motivated the generosity.

“It’s about appreciation and gratitude for what Michigan State University represents,” Merchant says. She hopes her visibility will help motivate others to give back, too.

On the rules changes implemented last season in women’s college basketball, Merchant says “I thought the quarters would bother me more than they did – they didn’t. I actually enjoyed them and thought the games moved a little quicker.” She would like to see the one-and-one return to the game, though. “For the most part, I liked most of the rules changes.”

She says Aerial Powers “was a pro player in the college game. We’ll definitely miss her, but I also think our team is ready for a challenge and a new identity.”

Simon, Hollis and Merchant talk about the enhancements and upgrades to Breslin Center that are underway, the challenges and opportunities associated with growing the popularity of women’s basketball, and the value of study abroad opportunities for student-athletes.

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