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50 Pat Summitt Quotes on Teamwork, Competition, and More

Published on March 3, 2020 7:10 AM EST
50 Pat Summit Quotes on Teamwork, Competition, and More

From winning eight NCAA Division 1 Tournaments to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Pat Summitt is one of the most recognizable coaches ever. Today, we have curated Pat Summitt quotes that illustrate her endless wisdom.

What do you know about Pat Summitt?

Pat Summitt was an award-winning college basketball head coach. During her career as head coach for the University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball team, the team won 1,098 times.

50 Pat Summit Quotes on Teamwork, Competition, and More

Until her retirement, that was the most any college basketball team has ever won during a coach’s career. Summit is also an award-winning Olympian, winning the silver medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics as a part of their women’s basketball team. 

Check out these Pat Summitt quotes from the incredible coach. 

Inspirational Pat Summitt quotes

1. “Attitude is a choice. Think positive thoughts daily. Believe in yourself.” – Pat Summitt

2. “It’s harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb. Continue to seek new goals.” – Pat Summitt

3. “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.” – Pat Summitt

4. “Success is a project that’s always under construction.” – Pat Summitt

5. “Hard work breeds self-respect.” – Pat Summitt

6. “Winners are not born, they are self-made.” – Pat Summitt

7. “If it doesn’t bother you, it won’t bother them.” – Pat Summitt

8. “With attitude, you can determine your own performance.” – Pat Summitt

Need a change of pace? You might also like these additional basketball team quotes for players and coaches.

Powerful Pat Summitt quotes

9. “The willingness to experiment with change may be the most essential ingredient to success at anything.” – Pat Summitt

10. “Loyalty is not unilateral. You have to give it to receive it.” – Pat Summitt

11. “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.” – Pat Summitt

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

13. “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.” – Pat Summitt

14. “Nine-tenths of discipline is having the patience to do things right.” – Pat Summitt

15. “Setting up a system that rewards you for meeting your goals and has penalties for failing to hit your target is just as important as putting your goals down on paper.” – Pat Summitt

16. “Success lulls you. It makes the most ambitious of us complacent and sloppy. In a way, you have to cultivate a kind of amnesia and forget all of your previous prosperity.” – Pat Summitt

17. “In the absence of feedback, people will fill in the blanks with a negative. They will assume you don’t care about them or don’t like them.” – Pat Summitt

18. “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.” – Pat Summitt

19. “You can’t pick and choose the days that you feel like being responsible. It’s not something that disappears when you’re tired.” – Pat Summitt

20. “Belief in yourself is what happens when you know you’ve done the things that entitle you to success.” – Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt quotes on teamwork

21. “Teamwork is what makes common people capable of uncommon results.” – Pat Summitt

22. “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.” – Pat Summitt

23. “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.” – Pat Summitt

24. “Put the team before yourself.” – Pat Summitt

25. “Teamwork doesn’t come naturally. It must be taught.” – Pat Summitt

26. “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.” – Pat Summitt

27. “Responsibility equals accountability equals ownership. And a sense of ownership is the most powerful weapon a team or organization can have.” – Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt quotes on competition

28. “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.” – Pat Summitt

29. “You can’t always be the most talented person in the room. But you can be the most competitive.” – Pat Summitt

30. “There are some concrete ways to create a winning attitude. But nothing beats practicing it. When you prepare to win, belief comes easily.” – Pat Summitt

31. “It’s my experience that people rise to the level of their own expectations and of the competition they seek out.” – Pat Summitt

32. “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.” – Pat Summitt

33. “Competition got me off the farm and trained me to seek out challenges and to endure setbacks; and in combination with my faith, it sustains me now in my fight with Alzheimer’s disease.” – Pat Summitt

34. “A competitor continually sets new goals. He feels the need to keep raising the bar. If the first goal is to make the team, and he achieves it, he immediately resets the goal to: I want to be a starter.” – Pat Summitt

35. “If you want to be in the game you better shoot 75% from the line.” – Pat Summitt

36. “You spend more of the game preparing to win in the final seconds. And that is what separates winners from losers.” – Pat Summitt

37. “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.” – Pat Summitt

38. “Losing strengthens you. It reveals your weaknesses so you can fix them.” – Pat Summitt

39. “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.” – Pat Summitt

40. “I’m not a good loser. I get sick physically… I take it to heart. I hate it.” – Pat Summitt

41. “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.” – Pat Summitt

42. “There is nothing wrong with having competitive instincts. They are survival instincts.” – Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt quotes about coaching

43. “Most people get excited about games, but I’ve got to be excited about practice, because that’s my classroom.” – Pat Summitt

44. “Coaching is the great passion of my life, and the job to me has always been an opportunity to work with our student athletes and help them discover what they want.” – Pat Summitt

45. “I think that a lot of people would perceive my style as being intimidating. And although I don’t want to intimidate kids, I am very demanding.” – Pat Summitt

46. “I remember teaching a clinic to other coaches, and a guy raised his hand and asked if I had any advice when it came to coaching women. I leveled him with a death-ray stare, and said, ‘Go home and coach basketball.’” – Pat Summitt

47. “If I’m not leading by example, then I’m not doing the right thing. And I want to always do the right thing.” – Pat Summitt

48. “I want to go to practice. I want to be in the huddles. That’s me.” – Pat Summitt

49. “I want to continue to do is to help these young women be successful. .. You don’t just say goodbye at the end of their playing careers and end it there.” – Pat Summitt

50. “If I was renowned as a tough coach, I also wanted to be a caring one.” – Pat Summitt

How competitive are you? 

As the Pat Summitt quotes above illustrate, there is nothing wrong with being competitive. I’ve found that being competitive keeps me motivated as a writer. Competition pushes everyone competing to be better and do better whether they win or lose. 

Competition isn’t an obsession with winning. It’s more of an obsession with growth. Competition encourages us to evolve and accept change. Today, accept competition as it comes. Take it as an opportunity to grow within your craft and sharpen your skills. 

Is there a Pat Summitt quote above that you’re planning on sharing to social media? Let us know; we would love to hear your thoughts!

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