With Michigan State about to start another football season (with basketball not far behind), what makes a great halftime speech? What can be said to inspire teams to rise to the occasion and play their hearts out? According StudyFinds.org, researchers in Berkeley, at the University of California's business school, decided to find out. They listened to over 300 halftime speeches from 23 high school and college basketball teams, then tracked how the teams did in the second half. What worked? If you said, "a coach riding in on a unicorn and softly explaining 'whatever happens out there, I still love you?'"

Um. No.

What works is anger and negativity.

The Berkeley study shows, "players seem to perform better after a harsh, more negative halftime speech from their coach. In fact, researchers discovered a significant relationship between the level of negativity a coach projects during a halftime speech and second-half scoring outcomes."

However - the study also showed that "Whenever coaches displayed “extreme” bouts of anger, frustration, and negativity, it ended up hurting their players’ performances." So, there is a limit to the screaming.

I think Tom Izzo's found the sweet spot. Here's the story.

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