BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is an editorial from WBRC FOX6 Sports Director Rick Karle:
The numbers are astounding: 1098 career victories (most ever by a male or female), 16 SEC titles, 22 Final Fours, 8 national championships and 7 national Coach Of The Year awards.
An average of 16,565 fans per game in 1999. An Olympic gold medal as the coach of the 1984 U.S. team. A Naismith Hall of Famer (2000). A Medal Of Freedom Award in 2012. Author of three books. Yet as we honor Pat Summitt for what she accomplished in 38 years as the Tennessee Vol's women's coach, we remember what she did best: Teach. And as she leaves us, we can also take time to learn from her.
Successful people are driven. Successful people are competitive. And successful people can offer some superb motivational advice. Pat Summitt seemingly had a zillion memorable quotes, but I've picked 25 of them that I have taken to heart. I hope you do too!
- "Here's how I'm going to beat you. I'm going to outwork you. That's it. That's all there is to it."
- "Success is a project that is always under construction."
- "I won 1,098 games and 8 national championships. But what I see are not the numbers, I see their faces."
- "If you don't admit a mistake and take responsibility for it, you're bound to make the mistake again."
- "Attitude is a choice. Think positive thoughts daily. Believe in yourself."
- "You can't always be the most talented person in the room, but you can be the most competitive."
- "Offense sells tickets, defense wins games and rebounding wins championships."
- "If you don't want responsibility, don't sit in the big chair."
- "A guy raised his hand and asked if I had any advice when it came to coaching women. I gave him a death-ray stare and said, 'Don't worry about coaching women, just go home and coach basketball'."
- "Everyone thinks we may curl up and die. I don't think it's going to happen, so put away your hankies."
- "God doesn't take things to be cruel, he takes things away to make room for other things."
- "When a player makes a mistake you always want to put them back in quickly. You just don't berate them and sit them down with no chance for redemption."
- "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts the most."
- "Most people get excited about the games, but I get excited about practice because that's my classroom."
- "Silence is a form of communication. Sometimes less is more."
- "When you grow up on a dairy farm, cows don't take a day off. So you work every day so no one can outwork you."
- "I remember every player who wore Tennessee orange, a shade that our rivals hate. But to us the color is a flag of pride."
- "I remember how many of them (her players) fought for a better life for themselves. I just met them halfway."
- "No one feels strong when she examines her own weakness, but in facing weakness you learn how much there is in you."
- "A champion is someone who is willing to be uncomfortable."
- "Teamwork doesn't come naturally, it needs to be taught."
- "See yourself as self employed."
- "I don't give out compliments easily."
- "Handle success like you handle failure. You can't always control what happens, but you can control how you handle it."
- "Change equals self improvement. Push yourself to places you haven't been."
There you have it. Take one of these quotes to heart each day for the next three weeks and you will be a better person for it. A talented coach has left us, but an amazing teacher, humanitarian and philosopher has left us with some sound advice.
Let's all thank Pat Summitt for making every one of us better!
*Quotes collected from Associated Press, Tennessee archives, WATE TV, Wikipedia