169+ Best Pat Summitt Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Patricia Susan Summitt was an American women’s college basketball head coach who accrued 1,098 career wins, the most in college basketball history upon her retirement. Profoundly inspirational Pat Summitt quotes will brighten up your day and make you feel ready to take on anything.

Famous Pat Summitt Quotes

I think I can help others just by my example. – Pat Summitt

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

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. – Pat Summitt

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

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

Class is more important than a game. – Pat Summitt

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

Hard work breeds self-respect. – Pat Summitt

Coaches who start listening to fans often wind up sitting next to them. – Pat Summitt

We communicate all the time, even when we don’t realize it. Be aware of body language – Pat Summitt

Put the Team Before Yourself. – Pat Summitt

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

I have a love-hate relationship with losing. I hate how it makes me feel, which is basically sick. But I love what it brings out. – Pat Summitt

Value those colleagues who tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear. – Pat Summitt

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

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,’ – Pat Summitt

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

The ultimate goal of discipline is to teach self discipline. – Pat Summitt

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

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

Sit up straight, listen and participate. – Pat Summitt

I was a little concerned about it when State Farm approached me because, you know, I’ve never done a commercial by any means, but I tried to look at it as something that would be good for our game. We’ve never had a women’s basketball coach represented in that fashion and I love State Farm for the fact they really support the women’s game. – Pat Summitt

I think you can challenge people, but you don’t want to break people down. But you’ve got to sometimes just pull them aside and say, you know, you’re OK but you could be better. – Pat Summitt

We do not win championships with girls. We win with competitors – Pat Summitt

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

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

If I aint happy, nobody’s happy. – Pat Summitt

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

Teamwork does not come naturally. Let’s face it. We are born with certain inclinations, but sharing isn’t one of them. – Pat Summitt

Make Winning an Attitude. – Pat Summitt

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

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

Discipline yourself, so no one else has to. – Pat Summitt

Anyone can quit, but it takes a strong, committed person not to quit when times are tough. – Pat Summitt

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

You’re wondering what a bale of hay has to do with success. Well, there’s a trick to loading hay. You have to use your knee. What you do is, you put your right knee behind it and half kick it up in the air. That way you get some lift on it. … My point is, there are certain ways to make a hard job easier. – Pat Summitt

Change equals self improvement. Push yourself to places you haven’t been before. – Pat Summitt

Individual success is a myth. No one succeeds all by herself. – Pat Summitt

There is an old saying: a champion is someone who is willing to be uncomfortable. – Pat Summitt

Success is all a matter of perspective. It depends on where you start from, and where you want to end up. – Pat Summitt

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

Sometimes you learn more from losing than winning. Losing forces you to reexamine. – Pat Summitt

The greatest strength any human being an have is to recognize his or her own weaknesses. When you identify your weaknesses, you can begin to remedy them – or at least figure out how to work around them. – Pat Summitt

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

You can’t have any quit in you if you want to be successful. – Pat Summitt

Bringing together disparate personalities to form a team is like a jigsaw puzzle. You have to ask yourself: what is the whole picture here? We want to make sure our players all fit together properly and complement each other, so that we don’t have a big piece, a little piece, an oblong piece, and a round piece. If personalities work against each other, as a team you’ll find yourselves spinning your wheels. – Pat Summitt

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

Silence is a form of communication, too. Sometimes less is more. – Pat Summitt

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

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. – Pat Summitt

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

I love teaching I think more than anything. It’s the opportunity to just teach young people and teach the game. You teach more than basketball. You teach life skills. The teaching part of it is something that I am passionate about. I look forward to every practice. A lot of people say well, I enjoy coaching, but I see myself as more as a teacher. – Pat Summitt

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

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

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

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

It is what it is. But, it will be what you make it. – Pat Summitt

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

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

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. – Pat Summitt

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

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

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. – Pat Summitt

Discipline helps you finish a job, and finishing is what separates excellent work from average work. – Pat Summitt

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. – Pat Summitt

Offense sells tickets, defense wins games, rebounding wins championships. – Pat Summitt

Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you’re never wrong? – Pat Summitt

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

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

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. – Pat Summitt

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

If you don’t want responsibility, don’t sit in the big chair. To be successful, you must accept full responsibility – Pat Summitt

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

She taught me that it’s ok to let down your guard and allow your players to get to know you. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. – Pat Summitt

I’ve got a great staff and great support system, and I’m going to stick my neck out and do what I always do. – Pat Summitt

I don’t want to sit around the house. I want to be out there. I want to go to practice. I want to be in the huddles. That’s me. – Pat Summitt

I’d wake up in the morning and I would think, ‘Where am I?’ I’d have to gather myself, – Pat Summitt

I hate to sound this way but, ‘Why me? Why me with dementia?’ – Pat Summitt

I can remember trying to coach, trying to figure out schemes, and it just wasn’t coming to me. – Pat Summitt

There are some coaches who believe you just let the best players get all the points they can and stop everybody else. Others limit the best player and make other people beat you. For us, we want to guard everybody. But we really want to make sure that we make it hard or at least difficult for that player to continually make the plays. – Pat Summitt

There is no question that (Army is) very well-coached and Maggie has done a great job. – Pat Summitt

We remembered that. They had the ball and every opportunity to beat us in the last seconds. You want your team to respect every opponent regardless of record. Our team really respected this team. – Pat Summitt

We’re facing a new opponent and trying to learn as much as we can about Army at this time and get ready for March Madness. – Pat Summitt

LSU is playing better since their loss at Connecticut. That’s what great teams do — they learn from their losses. That’s what we have to do. – Pat Summitt

Losing the way we lost is unacceptable in this program. We will learn from it. – Pat Summitt

Losing is one thing. Losing the way we did tonight is unacceptable. – Pat Summitt

She was tough. She’s a freshman, but I thought she played more like a veteran tonight. – Pat Summitt

She’s come a long way. We’ve all come a long way. – Pat Summitt

She’s like me. We’re extremely competitive. But we’re good enough friends so that we’ve been able to compete knowing that when you do, you know there’s a winner and loser. But the friendship goes beyond basketball. – Pat Summitt

She got a concussion. She was out today. We’ll evaluate her to see if she’ll be back tomorrow. – Pat Summitt

She gives our basketball team a lot of energy. She helps us improve our early offense, our transition, with her ability to push tempo. From that standpoint, it was good. I thought she tried to do a little too much (Tuesday) night. I think she?s still trying to get back in the groove. – Pat Summitt

She has played a key role for us this season. Now, it’s time for this team to step up and find out what they are made of. – Pat Summitt

She has more poise and more composure than any of us, and it shows up on the court. She has really matured as a leader and understands how to impact and communicate with her team in a way that does bring calmness. She even calms me down. – Pat Summitt

She responded maybe even better than I had anticipated. I thought it was important for her to get some quality minutes and as things played out, I wanted to give her more. I had gone in thinking maybe 12 minutes, and she played 17 minutes. – Pat Summitt

She reached out at a time that meant a lot to me. – Pat Summitt

She made playing basketball fun due to her ability to connect with her players. Personally, I am going to miss her tremendously and I know the game is going to miss her. – Pat Summitt

Monique is playing with a great deal of confidence. She’s shooting the ball extremely well, getting to the free throw line, playing aggressive and rebounding the ball. I don’t see a weakness in her game. – Pat Summitt

Obviously, we are devastated by the loss of Alexis. – Pat Summitt

Obviously, this was a tough battle for both teams. A great basketball game I’m sure to watch, a challenging one to play in and coach. – Pat Summitt

Obviously it’s always good to get a win. We have to get better. You don’t fix it in one game. – Pat Summitt

Obviously I’m very pleased with the intensity, the enthusiasm on the bench and everyone who got on the court. We played well together. – Pat Summitt

Obviously it was a win, but I didn’t see a lot of things that were favorable out there tonight. Our bench play was poor in the first half. – Pat Summitt

Obviously Candace wanted the ball in her hands. She’s a player that can see over people as well as go around people. – Pat Summitt

If this team doesn’t understand that is has to rebound, then someone is going to drill them and they’ll figure it out. – Pat Summitt

I don’t know what we did wrong. You have to look at the strength of schedule. We’re No. 1 and if I’m not mistaken Ohio State is No. 21. And their conference is No. 7. Those two things don’t add up. – Pat Summitt

I don’t think you can say that a coach that hasn’t won a championship isn’t a great coach. You have to have breaks along the way, and you have to have a dominant player. – Pat Summitt

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it to the players one time, – Pat Summitt

Her wheels — the spokes sometimes seem to come out. I always look to see what she grabs. – Pat Summitt

We lost the ball game in the first half. I don’t have any excuses for this team. I don’t know when they’re going to show up and play. – Pat Summitt

I think it inspired the team so much. You could feel it in the gym. – Pat Summitt

I think their bench is probably a little more productive at this point in time than ours has been. We’ve been very inconsistent there. That’s where we have to be better in terms of matching their depth in being able to put up numbers off the bench. – Pat Summitt

I think with the players who have been here, regardless of whether they’ve been in that No. 1 position, that’s what we’re always trying to be — the best team. – Pat Summitt

I thought we played very well together and got the ball inside. We played an efficient game overall, if you just look statistically. – Pat Summitt

I thought she was tremendous when she settled down. – Pat Summitt

I think we’re a better basketball team now than when we played them. I feel good that we can go inside against them. – Pat Summitt

I think Wendy plays a tougher schedule than I do. – Pat Summitt

I think they understand there is a lot of tradition here, and there’s a lot of players that are upset. I’ve had phone calls. That just speaks volumes to what they’ve invested in this program. Still, they are like family. When we lose, they lose. – Pat Summitt

I think they took ownership of what did or did not happen. Obviously there was a glaring lack of leadership during the game, which was I thought a real factor in how we responded and our lack of being able to pull together during some adversity. I think we’ll learn volumes from this loss. Now we understand how much better we have to be at that level. – Pat Summitt

Our philosophy has always been you better pack your defense and your board work on the road. Because those ugly nights and those poor shooting nights you just have to grind games out. Today, we just had to grind it out. – Pat Summitt

Our team responded coming out of halftime. I never even imagined coaching 900 games and it is just wonderful. – Pat Summitt

Our team respects Texas. They have beaten us four in a row and beat us by 10 last year in Knoxville. We were not surprised. – Pat Summitt

Parker has been handling the ball and bringing it up the floor, running some point as well. Ideally we’d like her closer to the basket, but it’s not like she has to stay on the perimeter. – Pat Summitt

I think overall Candace had a solid game, … I was pleased with her defense. – Pat Summitt

I think for the most part in our program, we’ve had a lot of success just through how we’ve gone about recruiting and making decisions not to recruit kids on the front end that we didn’t think would be a good fit. But obviously, we’ve had our mistakes, too. – Pat Summitt

I thought it was a game where we developed a lot of character from beginning to end. We were very nervous offensively, but it didn’t affect how we played on the defensive end, fortunately. – Pat Summitt

Management wanted to go into a different direction. – Pat Summitt

I think this team knows what they have to bring. – Pat Summitt

I think this team has had two tough lessons. We’ll see if we learn from it. – Pat Summitt

I think this team deserves a No. 1. Now, whether we’re going to get it or not, that’s up to the committee. – Pat Summitt

That was one of the better 40 minutes we have had on the defensive end. In the second half, we got into a better rhythm offensively. At one point, they were right there with us. Then we separated out with our defense and board play. – Pat Summitt

That’s two of the best (players) that we’ve had in this league. Both made a lot of big plays. – Pat Summitt

I was pleased that we managed to make some adjustments because they were getting good open looks against us and we weren’t communicating as well defensively. – Pat Summitt

We’ll continue to do a lot of teaching and skill work in the next few weeks, … but this already feels more like a veteran team. – Pat Summitt

We were more committed and more aggressive defensively. We opened the game running a switching man, and that allowed us to keep constant pressure on the basketball. We just kept pressure on them. – Pat Summitt

We really wanted them to try to make a lot of outside shots. I thought we did a nice job of limited Humphrey’s touches. … We thought we had to guard her with a guard and a half. – Pat Summitt

We have to learn to handle better. We have to do it by committee when we don’t have a point guard on the floor. – Pat Summitt

We have a mutual respect for this game and working with young people, not just on the basketball court but to see these young women become confident and successful in career opportunities beyond basketball. – Pat Summitt

We have to win that basketball game to have a chance to win the league, and that’s still our goal. – Pat Summitt

We were frustrated, but we did not have any quit in us. – Pat Summitt

We know it’s going to be a pretty hostile environment, but our team has been exposed to that. All the players that have played here understand that we go on the road. – Pat Summitt

When a team takes ownership, good things happen. – Pat Summitt

We can take this and get focused and get ready and earn our respects as we get ready to play Army. – Pat Summitt

We’ve built this fan base not on scheduling patsies. We’ve built it on bringing in the top opponents throughout the country from a lot of conferences and our fans deserve that. We also think that to be the best you have to play the best. – Pat Summitt

You have to control the defensive boards if you want to win at this stage. I’m concerned about ball control and being on the boards. That’s a way you can control the tempo of a game. – Pat Summitt

You have to believe Duke and North Carolina and Maryland are all going to be teams in the postseason that are going to be very successful. They’ve proven themselves throughout the season. – Pat Summitt

What she’s found is that you give these post (players) the basketball, they’re very unselfish. If they don’t have a good 1-on-1 opportunity, they’re kicking it out. – Pat Summitt

What she did is unacceptable in our program. I’ve never approved of players talking smack or taunting. You let your game do the talking. If you want to get excited, you get excited for the team. – Pat Summitt

We’ve just been a very poor defensive team in a lot of games. – Pat Summitt

We’d been working on it since we played them in Knoxville. But we hadn’t used it. – Pat Summitt

When she took off, I thought she’s going to try to dunk the ball. I was good with it. I thought she just committed to it a little too early. – Pat Summitt

We’re Tennessee. It’s not like anyone is going to feel sorry for us. We have yet to buy into defense. We have to bring that every possession. – Pat Summitt

We have a different agenda. But she’s a very dear friend of mine. I’m really proud of the year she’s had. She’s done a great job with her basketball team and with the North Carolina program. – Pat Summitt

We have a chance to learn volumes from this. I’ve said before, this is a talented, but young, team. Hopefully we can learn from this. It’s a long season, and I have to believe these players will respond. – Pat Summitt

This team should not have lost back-to-back games. Kentucky was better tonight. This team has to understand that they just can’t go out there and play. They have to execute a game plan and be mindful of one possession at a time on offense and defense. – Pat Summitt

We were on defense, and I heard ‘Defense’ so loud, it was like a home game. I can’t believe they’re yelling ‘Defense,’ so obviously they feel the way I do about the weakness of our team right now. – Pat Summitt

We weren’t good in any aspect of our game tonight. – Pat Summitt

We were pleased we are able to get the tempo up at times. You have to control the paint and we did that. – Pat Summitt

We wish them success in all of their future endeavors. – Pat Summitt

We feel like we get everybody’s best shot because we’re Tennessee, but we have to learn how to give everybody our best shot. – Pat Summitt

You don’t win a basketball game in the first half, but you certainly can lose one. – Pat Summitt

This one is a tough, tough bracket. But if you’re going to win a national championship you are going to have to beat the best teams along the way. Sometimes you have to do that in a regional instead of a Final Four. – Pat Summitt

Everyone thinks we might curl up and die, both programs. I don’t think it’s going to happen, so put away your hankies. – Pat Summitt

And we talked Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday … we talk all the time. But did we talk about playing each other? No, because we had a different agenda. – Pat Summitt

Emotionally, this is a great boost for Alexis and our entire team going into the NCAA tournament. We recognize what Alexis has meant to our team this year. – Pat Summitt

First was our lack of commitment to making stops on the defensive end. I think they (UT players) had another lesson handed to them on defense. – Pat Summitt

I’ve talked to her about our team. (I talked to her) when I wasn’t really happy with them and she’s talked to me about her team and we probably figured we’d see each other in the end. – Pat Summitt

I’ve watched her build this team and this program over the last three years and I think she’s done a remarkable job. She had her team ready. – Pat Summitt

It was very apparent Duke wanted this game and they went after it in a much more aggressive way. – Pat Summitt

Our defense and ball handling killed us. Probably what bothered me most is that we went into overtime and mishandled the ball and didn’t execute. – Pat Summitt

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