5 Times Pat Summitt Inspired Us
Just a few of our favorite quotes from the legendary coach.
On Tuesday, the world lost legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, when she passed away from early-onset Alzheimer's disease at age 64. Summitt is well known for her influence on college athletics, especially women's basketball. The Hall of Famer guided the University of Tennessee Lady Vols to eight NCAA titles in her 38 seasons as coach. She achieved more wins (an incredible 1,098) than any other Division I basketball coach, male or female.
Summitt had an impressive ability to lead. All of her players who completed their eligibility graduated from the university. Many of the young women she coached went pro, winning titles in the WNBA and medals at the Olympics. But it wasn't just her own players Summitt inspired. After her death, President Obama (who awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012) released this statement: "[Pat's] legacy, however, is measured much more by the generations of young women and men who admired [her] intense competitiveness and character, and as a result found in themselves the confidence to practice hard, play harder, and live with courage on and off the court."
Summitt's legacy will live on through those she coached, and through her words. Here, a few of her unforgettable quotes:
“There is always someone better than you. Whatever it is that you do for a living, chances are, you will run into a situation in which you are not as talented as the person next to you. That's when being a competitor can make a difference in your fortunes.” —â€‹Reach for the Summit, 1999
“I'm someone who will push you beyond all reasonable limits. Someone who will ask you not to just fulfill your potential but to exceed it. Someone who will expect more from you than you may believe you are capable of.” â€‹—â€‹Reach for the Summit
On not giving up
“Quit? Quit? We keep score in life because it matters. It counts. Too many people opt out and never discover their own abilities, because they fear failure. They don’t understand commitment. When you learn to keep fighting in the face of potential failure, it gives you a larger skill set to do what you want to do in life.” â€‹—â€‹Sum it Up: 1,098 Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective, 2014
On finding strength
"No one feels strong when she examines her own weakness. But in facing weakness, you learn how much there is in you, and you find real strength."
On aiming high
“It’s harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb. Continue to seek new goals.” â€‹—â€‹Reach for the Summit