Pat Summitt Uses Psychology, but With Some Fizz – NYT
Pat Summitt is one of those people, that even though I am not into sports, I’, facinated by some of the stories about her coaching. This article from NYT written by Karen Crouse
January 24, 2009, 2:49 pm Pat Summitt Uses Psychology, but With Some Fizz By Karen Crouse KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — To players who express an interest in becoming a basketball coach, Tennessee’s Pat Summitt offers a simple piece of advice: major in psychology. “I wish I had,” she said last week. “Because you’re always trying to figure out the best way to motivate each individual.” Despite having no formal training in the science of human behavior, Summitt has become a master motivator through 35 years of practical experience. The way she recruited Candace Parker provided a window into her genius. Summitt said that Parker, a schoolgirl legend in Chicago, was initially interested in attending Tennessee, but that as the official signing period approached, her enthusiasm waned. “Candace seems confused,” Summitt recalled thinking. “Something has colored her thinking.” The day before Summitt was to fly to Chicago for her formal home visit, an idea popped into her head. She dropped two packets of cherry-flavored Alka-Seltzer tablets into her purse. When she met the family, Summitt asked Parker what had happened to cloud her thinking on Tennessee. Parker hemmed and hawed and finally shrugged. She said she did not know. Summitt excused herself, disappeared into the Parkers’ kitchen and returned with a clear glass filled with water. She dropped the Alka-Seltzer into the glass, turning the water red and fizzy. “What are you doing, Coach?” a wide-eyed Parker asked. “Just look at that,” Summitt said. “The water was clear. Now something has colored it. Candace, Tennessee has always been very clear to you. Now something or someone has colored your thinking.” Parker said, “Coach, that’s pretty awesome.” The rest, as they say, is history. In the three seasons Parker played before the Los Angeles Sparks drafted her No. 1 in the 2008 W.N.B.A. draft, the Lady Volunteers compiled a record of 101-10 and won their seventh and eighth N.C.A.A. championships.