Pat Summitt Wins 1,000th Game — Lessons in Success

Anyone who knows me knows I am a crazy University of Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball fan since I was a kid.  This morning I awoke to the exciting news online that Pat Summitt won her 1,000th game and sits alone at the top as the winningest coach in the sport, men or women.   In the post-game video she exhibited once again the sheer level of class and excellence she brings to what she does.

This woman demonstrates what it means to be comfortable in your own skin and sustain success.  In her speech to the crowd last night she talked about the importance of having a vision and talking about that vision.  What inspires me most is knowing that back in 1975 when she won her first game and it wasn’t popular to be a champion of womens’ athletics she had a similar strength of vision.  Over the decades she has committed to doing the work it takes to develop herself, her players, and all the people around her into better human beings first as well as excellent basketball players and coaches.  How many schools can boast a record of 100% graduation rate of its players who complete their eligibility?  A holisitic approach to excellence that shines on in those she has touched on and off the court.

So whether you love womens’ basketball or not and even if you don’t like Tennessee (as my friends who razz me when I’m decked out in my orange), take a moment and listen to the lessons driven home in her speech:

  • You succeed because of the people you surround yourself with (so surround yourself with high quality people).
  • Be grateful and show it.
  • Express how you feel to those who have impacted you (she thanked family, fans, players, coaches, and so forth).
  • Bask in your vision and tell everyone about it.
  • Work hard, consistently. Be committed to doing the work to make your vision a reality.
  • See the bigger picture and set a strong foundation.
  • Savor the moment.
  • Never compromise who you are. Show up fully and passionately and do it with high degree of integrity and class.

That’s what I’ve seen and heard not only in this momentous video but from watching interview after interview over the years. From the first time I heard her speak in the early 80’s in the dark basement of my parent’s home when the networks broadcast only a few games a year to today when you can catch games live on the Internet and bask in your favorite team’s stories.

So, what is your vision?  Are you spreading the news?

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