11/4/11 – Coach Pat Summit

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“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”

-George Washington Carver

Every morning while I get ready for my day I have Good Morning America on in the background. Some days I just listen in passing, some days I turn it off when it comes to celebrity news because I honestly don’t care and then there are the days that I’m so into it I stop and watch.  Today was one of those days.

Robin Roberts went to Knoxville, Tennessee to interview Pat Summit, the head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team. She is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history of either a men’s or women’s team in any division and has led the Lady Vols to 8 National Championships (second only to the record 10 titles won by UCLA men’s coach John Wooden.) Many of you know these facts, but not all do and if you don’t know of her, you need to.

In August, Summitt announced that she had been diagnosed three months earlier with early-onset dementia at the age of 59. Rather than stop coaching, she plans to continue on. Well this morning, when asked why she made this decision she said, “Because I want to keep cutting down nets…win that 9th Championship…there are no excuses.” I froze!

I sat there for a few minutes, thinking of excuses I know that I make and I was disappointed in myself. What an amazing woman Coach Summit is and a role model for all of us. I had the honor of meeting her and speaking with her at a camp in 1997 or 98, can’t remember. Her presence of leadership and power and courage is unlike that of any one I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and I hope that I can be as courageous and determined as her one day.

She does not fail because she does not make excuses and I CANNOT wait to watch her cut down her 9th net!

Stop making excuses!


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