Quotes from the Summitt – a little book that packs a lot of wisdom.

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“Left foot, right foot, breathe” is my favorite quote from the University of Tennessee iconic Women’s Basketball Coach, Pat Summitt. Over her 38 year career at UT, Coach Summitt led the Lady Vols to 8 National Championships, 18 NCAA Final Fours, and 32 SEC Championships while having a 100% student-athlete graduation rate. At the time of her retirement in 2012, Pat Summitt was the winningest NCAA Basketball Coach in history among men and women (she still holds the title for Women today). These accomplishments led to the creation of a leadership model called “The Definite Dozen” which highlights what she feels are the twelve values one must have for success. She said, “The Definite Dozen is ultimately about paying attention to basics, those things that enable you to achieve a larger, more profound goal.”

  1. Respect yourself and others
  2. Take full responsibility
  3. Develop and demonstrate loyalty
  4. Learn to be a great communicator
  5. Discipline yourself so no one else has to
  6. Make hard work your passion
  7. Don’t just work hard, work smart
  8. Put the team before yourself
  9. Make winning an attitude 
  10. Be a competitor
  11. Change is a must
  12. Handle success like you handle failure
Courtesy of the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Text and cover design by 828Marketing, Nashville, TN.

These values can be implemented in all areas of life – from the basketball court to the boardroom. Quotes from the Summitt, produced by the Pat Summitt Leadership Group, is filled with numerous pearls of Pat’s wisdom. Many of them written in her own handwriting. According to the founders, “THE PAT SUMMITT LEADERSHIP GROUP was created to inspire and educate individuals on leadership and success using the wisdom and principles of the iconic ‘Coach of the Century,’ Pat Summitt through her ‘Definite Dozen’ model.”

Courtesy of the Knoxville News Sentinel

Over her career, she received numerous awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Arthur Ashe Courage Award from ESPN, U.S. News & World Report “Top 50 Women Leaders in the U.S.,” and is the only person to have won Olympic medals as a player (Silver: ’72 Olympics) and as Head Coach (Gold: ’84 Olympics). Below are a few more of Coach Summitt’s wise words for your little league team, classroom, or even around the kitchen table.

  • Sometimes, saying nothing can be just as powerful.
  • You meet the same people on the way down that you met on the way up.
  • It’s important to learn to laugh at yourself.
  • It is important to love what you do.
  • Find your passion and never let go of it.
  • Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
Courtesy of the Knoxville News Sentinel
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