Pat Summitt was a legend. She won eight national championships as head coach of the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team. Her 1,098 victories are the most of any women’s basketball coach ever.

Pat Summitt expected full effort from her players

Coach Summitt was a tough coach on her players, but she clearly got the best out of them. Her reaction to a loss to an inferior opponent provides a terrific lesson about putting in your best effort that we can apply in sports, but also use in school or in our jobs.

Tennessee loses to Vanderbilt, and Summitt teaches her players a lesson about effort

Early one season, Summitt’s Lady Vols lost a game at Vanderbilt. The Commodores were, quite frankly, not a good team. Tennessee had never lost to Vanderbilt. Summitt was not happy with the team’s effort. When the team bus arrived back on the Tennessee campus around 2 A.M., the players started to walk back to their dorms. Summitt instead called them into her office in the athletic building.

She gave them paper and pencils, and they wearily watched the film of the game. Summitt had her players write down every instance in the game when they did not ran as fast as they could or hustle for a ball they way she had taught them.

By 4 AM, the team finished watching the game footage. Now Pat Summitt had them put on their uniforms, the same sweaty, dirty uniforms they had worn hours earlier in the loss to Vanderbilt. She lined her players up on the baseline at one end of the court and had them run suicide drills. Each player had to do a suicide run for every time they did not hustle in the game. Some players had to run 15 suicide drills.

The impromptu “practice” ended at 6 AM, and Summitt still required her players to attend their 7:50 A.M. classes.

Pat Summitt on losing

How can you give your best effort in every area of your life?

What bothered Pat Summitt was not the loss itself. She didn’t accept the poor effort from her players in that game. That is the aspect we can apply in everything we do at school, in sports and exercise, and in our jobs.

In this video, I explain how we can give our best effort in every aspect of our lives to become a champion in sports, business and life.

Ready to win in every aspect of your life?

I’ve created a checklist of 12 qualities of the world’s best athletes and coaches that will help you win in your work and life. If you adopt these traits, you will succeed in every aspect of your life, every single day.

Get the checklist here!

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Source: Sum It Up: 1,098 Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective by Pat Summitt with Sally Jenkins