80 Best Pat Summitt Quotes from American Women’s Basketball Coach

Pat Summitt, born on June 14, 1952, in Clarksville, Tennessee, was a legendary women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee from 1974-2012.

Achieving 1,098 wins, the most in NCAA Division I until 2020 and eight NCAA championships.

Her basketball journey began in a hayloft and she won gold at the 1975 Pan-American Games and silver in the 1976 Olympics.

As a coach, her demanding style garnered her seven NCAA Coach of the Year awards.


She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. Diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2011, she stepped down in 2012 but advised the team.

Summitt authored motivational books, including her memoir, “Sum It Up”.

I have listed below some of the most inspiring quotes by Pat Summitt.

Best Pat Summitt Quotes


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


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


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


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


Losing strengthens you. It reveals your weaknesses so you can fix them. ~ Pat Summitt.


I want to go to practice. I want to be in the huddles. That’s me. ~ 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.


Teamwork doesn’t come naturally. It must be taught. ~ 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.


I don’t give out compliments easily. ~ Pat Summitt.

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

Famous Pat Summitt Quotes

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.


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

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.

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

Discipline yourself, so no one else has to. ~ 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.


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

Handle success like you handle failure. You can’t always control what happens, but you can control how you handle it. ~ Pat Summitt.

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.

Put the team before yourself. ~ Pat Summitt.

Silence is a form of communication. Sometimes less is more. ~ Pat Summitt.

Hard work breeds self-respect. ~ Pat Summitt.

Top Pat Summitt Quotes

There is nothing wrong with having competitive instincts. They are survival instincts. ~ Pat Summitt.


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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts the most. ~ 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.

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.

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.

Popular Pat Summitt Quotes

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.

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.

When you grow up on a dairy farm, cows don’t take a day off. So you work every day so no one can outwork you. ~ Pat Summitt.


Success is a project that is always under construction. ~ Pat Summitt.

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

Nine-tenths of discipline is having the patience to do things right. ~ 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Inspiring Pat Summitt Quotes

If it doesn’t bother you, it won’t bother them. ~ Pat Summitt.

God doesn’t take things to be cruel, he takes things away to make room for other things. ~ Pat Summitt.

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.

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

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

With attitude, you can determine your own performance. ~ 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.

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.

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

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

Powerful Pat Summitt Quotes

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.

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.


If you don’t want responsibility, don’t sit in the big chair. ~ Pat Summitt.

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.

Offense sells tickets, defense wins games and rebounding wins championships. ~ 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.

I remember every player who wore Tennessee orange, a shade that our rivals hate. But to us the color is a flag of pride. ~ Pat Summitt.

If you want to be in the game you better shoot 75% from the line. ~ 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.


Discipline is the only sure way I know to convince people to believe in themselves. ~ Pat Summitt.

Plan your work, and work your plan. ~ Pat Summitt.

You’re never defeated unless you give up. ~ Pat Summitt.

The really coachable ones are those who correct their mistakes. ~ Pat Summitt.

Confidence is what happens when you’ve done the hard work that entitles you to succeed. ~ Pat Summitt.

Dementia robs you of so many things. Don’t let laughter be one of them! ~ Pat Summitt.

Labels are as confining as a corset. ~ Pat Summitt.

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

So these were the 80 top Pat Summitt quotes on teamwork, winning, losing, life, coaching, accountability and leadership.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Mellody Hobson quotes and Tory Burch quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar