Pat Summit was a well-known, successful women’s basketball coach at University of Tennessee. Pat not only led the Lady Vols to 8 women’s basketball NCAA championships but she really is the pioneer behind the success of women’s basketball programs all over the country. Pat passed away last year after struggling with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Pat’s awards and accolades are too many to list. But it wasn’t about putting a notch in her belt that kept her going. It was about making each player a success not only in basketball but in life. She had a 100% graduation rate of her players. Many went on to play in the WNBA and many were very successful in life outside of basketball. I wrote a blog last summer after she passed away about her caring impact just on my life alone.
In Pat’s book, “Reach for the Summit“, she talks about the style of coaching she used during all of her years of basketball. It seems logical but not all coaches do this. She said she had to get to know each one of her players individually in order to coach them correctly. One girl may respond to being yelled at; another may play harder if Pat encouraged them by complimenting them; while yet another one may play harder by coming off the bench instead of being on the starting 5. She had to get to know them in order to know how to bring out the best in them.
Jesus is our coach and He is the same way. We have to have a relationship with Him and get to know Him and let Him lead us. We may not like it but He knows how to get the best out of us. He may have to make us work harder for our blessings. He may have to make us wait as we grow to where He wants us to be. He may have to allow the consequences of our sin to bring us closer to Him. He may have to experience heartbreak as He watches us hurt in order to use us to the fullest potential.
Just like Pat Summit getting to know her girls and her girls getting to know her, we have to do the same with God. And just like Pat’s girls, we will have a 100% graduation rate into heaven if we just listen and follow His lead.
I hope we can be teammates. It’s easy. Just believe in the Coach. Accept Him as the One who has all the answers. Listen to Him. Follow His lead and you will be a winner with guaranteed graduation into heaven. Start your climb to the summit today! Even if you’ve already started and fallen a bit, it’s okay to pick yourself back up and keep on climbin’!