50 Best Coach Pat Summitt Quotes On Basketball, Leadership and More

motivational quotes Nov 06, 2023
coach pat summitt quotes

 Inspirational quotes from legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt was a legendary coach in the world of basketball. She was the head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers women's basketball team for 38 years.

Coach Summitt has an incredible list of achievements including 1,098 wins, the most in NCAA Division I basketball history.

She also led her team to eight national championships and 16 Southeastern Conference titles.

Beyond her numerous accolades on the court, Coach Summitt had a major impact on her players off the court and on the game of basketball itself.

She was a trailblazer for women's sports, a mentor to countless players, and an inspiration to aspiring coaches.

Here are some of the top motivational Pat Summitt quotes about basketball, leadership, teamwork, hard work, winning, accountability, and life.

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Pat Summitt Leadership Quotes

Coach Summitt was known for her exceptional leadership abilities. One of the main characteristics of her leadership style was leading by example.

Coach Pat wanted to walk the walk so that her players had an example to follow. She was big on achieving excellence and so she put it on herself to exhibit that excellence every day.

Summitt also believed that there was always something to teach to her players. Whether it was practice, a win, or a loss, she always looked for ways to share a lesson with her players.

1. "I think I can help others just by my example."

2. "If you don't want responsibility, don't sit in the big chair. To be successful, you must accept full responsibility."

3. "If I'm not leading by example, then I'm not doing the right thing. And I want to always do the right thing."



4. “Every moment is a teaching moment.”

5. “In order to grow, you must accept new responsibilities, no matter how uncertain you may feel or how unprepared you are to deal with them.”

6. “Silence is a form of communication, too. Sometimes less is more.”

7. “The ultimate goal of discipline is to teach self discipline.”

8. “The best way to handle responsibility is to break it down into smaller parts. Take care of one small thing at a time.”

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Pat Summitt Quotes About Life

Coach Summitt was all about perseverance and never giving up.

Whether it was on the court or off, she emphasized work ethic, resilience, determination and a "never say never" attitude.

She believed that having this type of attitude was a choice and that it was important to make that choice if you want to succeed on the basketball court and off it.

9. "Quit? Quit? We keep score in life because it matters. It counts. It matters. Too many people opt out and never discover their own abilities because they fear failure. They don't understand commitment."

10. "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. It gives you vision. But you can't acquire it if you're afraid of keeping score."

11. "The game is never over. No matter what the scoreboard reads or what the referee says, it doesn't end when you come off the court."

12. "God doesn’t take things away to be cruel. He takes things away to make room for other things. He takes things away to lighten us. He takes things away so we can fly."

13. "The absolute heart of loyalty is to value those people who tell you the truth, not just those people who tell you what you want to hear. In fact, you should value them most. Because they have paid you the compliment of leveling with you and assuming you can handle it."

14. "Attitude lies somewhere between emotion and logic. It's that curious mix of optimism and determination that enables you to maintain a positive outlook and to continue plodding in the face of the most adverse circumstances."

15. "It is what it is. But, it will be what you make it."



16. "Attitude is a choice. Think positive thoughts daily. Believe in yourself."

17. "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."

18. "Attitude is a choice. What you think you can do, whether positive or negative, confident or scared, will most likely happen."

19. "My parents taught me a long time ago that you win in life with people, and that's important, because if you hang with winners, you stand a great chance of being a winner."

20. “It’s harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb, Continue to seek new goals.”

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Teamwork Quotes From Coach Summitt

Coach Pat knew that basketball is a team sport and to be successful would require teamwork and chemistry.

She compared being part of a basketball team to being part of a family. It isn't always easy, but it will lead you further than you could go on your own.

21. "Teamwork is what makes common people capable of uncommon results."

22. "To me, teamwork is a lot like being part of a family. It comes with obligations, entanglements, headaches, and quarrels. But the rewards are worth the cost."

23. “But the truly ambitious teams find relief in honesty when they’ve lost, because it’s the diagnostic tool that leads to a solution—here’s what we did wrong and let’s fix it, so we don’t ever have to feel this way again. Great teams explain their failure; they don’t excuse it. Then they pay a visit to Charles Atlas and get stronger. When you explain a loss aloud, it’s no longer a tormenting mystery. I believed in that brand of honesty my whole career, and I knew at least one other coach who believed in it too.”

24. “Teamwork is really a form of trust. It’s what happens when you surrender the mistaken idea that you can go it alone and realize that you won’t achieve your individual goals without the support of your colleagues.”

25. “Individual success is a myth. No one succeeds all by herself.”



26. “Teamwork doesn’t come naturally. It must be taught.”

27. “Group discipline produces a unified effort toward a common goal.”

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Pat Summitt Quotes About Hard Work

Coach Summitt didn't win over 1,000 games in her career out of sheer luck.

She understood the importance of work ethic and she earned every one of those wins by working hard to be the best at what she did.

As she mentions in the quotes below, not only does working hard lead to success, but it allows you to feel more confident in yourself as a result. You'll feel more confident because you know that you put the time in and you deserve to be successful. 

28. "When you grow up on a dairy farm, cows don't take a day off. So you work every day and my dad always said, 'No one can outwork you.'"

29. "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."



30. "By doing things when you are too tired, by pushing yourself farther than you thought you could - like running the track after a two-hour practice - you become a competitor. Each time you go beyond your perceived limit, you become mentally stronger."

31. “Confidence is what happens when you’ve done the hard work that entitles you to succeed.”

32. “I'm going to outwork you. Simple as that.”

33. “Hard work breeds self-respect.”

34. “Belief in yourself is what happens when you know you’ve done the thing things that entitle you to success.”

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Pat Summitt On Winning

Summitt expands on the idea that winning and being successful comes as a by-product of working hard, staying disciplined, and never giving up.

She mentions that success is not necessarily something you achieve and then that's it. Instead, it's something that you're constantly working for. 

With over 1,000 career wins and 8 national championships, Coach Summitt knew a thing or two about what it takes to be a winner. 

35. "Winning is fun... Sure. But winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point. Never letting up is the point. Never being satisfied with what you've done is the point."

36. "You can't always be the most talented person in the room. But you can be the most competitive."

37. “Winners are not born, they are self-made.”

38. "I won 1,098 games, and eight national championships, and coached in four different decades. But what I see are not the numbers. I see their faces."

39. "When you choose to be a competitor you choose to be a survivor. When you choose to compete, you make the conscious decision to find out what your real limits are, not just what you think they are."

40. “Success is a project that’s always under construction.”



41. "The willingness to experiment with change may be the most essential ingredient to success at anything."

42. “There is an old saying: a champion is someone who is willing to be uncomfortable.”

43. “Sometimes you learn more from losing than winning. Losing forces you to re-examine.”

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Pat Summitt Quotes About Accountability

As a leader, Coach Summitt didn't just discipline her players, she taught them how to discipline themselves.

She emphasized having self-discipline and being accountable to your actions and decisions every day.

44. "Accountability is essential to personal growth, as well as team growth. How can you improve if you're never wrong? If you don't admit a mistake and take responsibility for it, you're bound to make the same one again."

45. "Responsibility equals accountability equals ownership. And a sense of ownership is the most powerful weapon a team or organization can have."

46. “Discipline yourself, so no one else has to.”

47. "Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you're never wrong?"

48. “Change equals self improvement. Push yourself to places you haven’t been before.”

49. "Discipline helps you finish a job, and finishing is what separates excellent work from average work."

50. “Anyone can quit, but it takes a strong, committed person not to quit when times are tough.”

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