In the Know Opinion
As in basketball, it takes teamwork to win against Alzheimer’s
You Win in Life With People By Pat Summitt
I was taught my foundational life lessons growing up on a dairy farm in Henri- etta, Tenn., under the tutelage of my
parents, Richard and Hazel Head, and as
you may know, cows never take a day of!
Growing up in the Head family, your actions always spoke louder than your words. I
learned to Make Hard Work Your Passion at
a very early age out of respect for my mother
and father. Additionally, I learned I was far
better o! if I not only worked hard but also
worked smart (Don’t Just Work Hard, Work
Smart). These are two of the principles of
the Definite Dozen that I crafted a number
of years later. The Definite Dozen has been
the backbone of the Lady Vols basketball
program and remains the blueprint of my
philosophy and definition of success.
My love of competition began in our hayloft when I played basketball with my brothers every night after our work on the farm
was done. My will to compete continued
to fuel me as I went on to play college basketball at the University of
Tennessee at Martin, and then later on for the U.S. Women’s National
Team. Soon after, I learned the joy of coaching. I have always valued the
concept of competition—the preparation needed to be ready for the contest and the strategy used to elevate strengths and conquer weaknesses.
Another Definite Dozen principle is to Be a Competitor.
My parents and my experiences trained me to seek out new challenges and
to endure setbacks, understanding that Change Is a Must. I have learned
that you cannot always control what happens in life, but you can control
how you handle it. You must Handle Success Like You Handle Failure.
You must always embrace learning, bettering yourself and maintaining a
positive attitude. You must Make Winning an Attitude.
My life experiences, combined with my faith, sustain
me now in my fight against Alzheimer’s disease. As
with everything in life, I play
to win. With the help of my
son, Tyler, I continue to take
on our newest opponent,
early onset dementia. We
are playing to win! We have
created the Pat Summitt
Foundation as a vehicle to
do just that—to compete on
a national level. We are recruiting a team of advisers, in
both business and science, who will powerfully fight
on the front lines of science and caregiving initiatives.
Whether competing on the basketball court or against
Alzheimer’s disease, it takes teamwork to win. Teamwork allows common people to obtain uncommon results (Put the Team Before Yourself ).
The defeat of Alzheimer’s disease
will be credited to doctors across the
globe who are investing countless hours exploring every
avenue to find a cure. It will be credited to caregivers
who are meeting the needs of Alzheimer’s patients each
day. It will be credited to every person who donates to
Are you ready to make a di!erence? We need your help.
Together we will win! ;
go to pat
Pat Summitt coached eight NCAA championship basketball teams at the University of Tennessee and is the
winner of AARP’s 2012 Andrus Award.
The desire to have a positive impact in the world
seems to grow stronger
with age, as if it were programmed into our
midlife DNA. It’s not hard to figure out why.
By this time in life, people have identified
plenty of things that need fixing. They’ve
also figured out that helping others is one
The Encore Career Handbook By Marci Alboher, encore.org
of the easiest ways to get a happiness boost.
Although for many it may finally be time to
play the flute or open a bakery, there is also
a compelling urge to make a mark in a way
that leaves things better for future genera-
tions. It’s this search for purpose, passion,
and a paycheck that coalesces into an en-
core career—continued work that combines
meaning with social purpose. You can expe-
rience the sense of renewal that comes with
doing something new and significant, and
help change expectations for what success
in and beyond midlife looks like.
—From The Encore Career Handbook by
Marci Alboher, Workman Publishing, 2012.