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Sum It Up: 1,098 Victories, A Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective Hardcover – March 5, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 701 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"I have admired Pat Summitt for many years. To me, she epitomizes what it means to be a coach.  Not only has she molded championship teams, but she has helped her players grow as people and always done it with class and dignity. This book gives us tremendous lessons for winning on and off the court."  
-Tony Dungy, former professional American football player and NFL coach, and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Quiet Strength and Uncommon.

“Sum It Up” is absolutely incredible!  No one has coached the game any better than Pat Summitt.  Sally Jenkins has worked with Pat to produce a truly inspiring book that will benefit every reader.  Pat was a pioneer.  She has led women’s basketball over the last three decades.  As a result of her leadership, women’s basketball has achieved great heights.  I consider a true honor to call her a friend.”-- Mike Krzyzewski, Head Basketball Coach, Duke University

"Basketball legend Pat Summitt recalls her life in vivid detail, describing its triumphs, both on and off the court.... With her trademark honesty and grace, Summitt reveals her fears, her early anger and astonishment, her diminishing abilities, her decision to retire, and how her faith sustains her."—USA Today

Pat Summit was one of the best coaches ever, and one of the most enduring...She helped lift her sport out of an era in which high school girls didn't even play on a full court, saw the number of female college athletes rise from 16,000 to almost 20,000, won eight national titles, and gradduated 100 percent of the players who completed their eligibility. She did this through force of personality and, in her own telling, with a mix of love, fury and manipulation...As scandals and player lawsuits make college sports seem increasingly ruthless and suspect, Summitt is often held up as a rare example of dignity and class."
-Emily Bazelon, NY Times

Vibrant, sprightly."
-NY Times

"Pat is a remarkable leader, lady, and Coach. One of the best of all time." 
-Rick Pitino, Head Basketball Coach, University of Louisville.

"How many times have we heard a basketball fan utter that’s “the truth” when witnessing a great play or player?  This book IS the truth, capturing the reality of challenges, the blessings of friendship and teamwork, the exhilaration of achieving excellence, and the rewards of mentorship and leadership."
-Jody Conradt, University of Texas

About the Author

PAT SUMMITT became head coach of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers in 1974; since then she achieved an astounding .843 average and won 8 national championships. She was the first coach in NCAA history to reach 1,000 wins. She lived in Tennessee with her son, Tyler. SALLY JENKINS is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller It's Not About the Bike. Her other 8 books include The Real All-Americans: The Team That Changed a Game, a People, a Nation, and The State of Jones. Her work has been featured in Vanity Fair, GQ, and Sports Illustrated. A native of Texas, Jenkins graduated from Stanford and lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; 1 edition (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385346875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385346870
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (701 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought Sum It Up as soon as it came out and all I can say is if you are looking for an inspiring read, this is it. Pat Summit is a fascinating women with an incredible career and a lot of courage and grit. Her co-author Sally Jenkins has a great gift for bringing out interesting details that provide the story behind the story. 

While Summit has coached women's basketball, I found her ideas on what it takes to be a champion to be directly motivating to me in my work which has nothing to do with sports. I was also interested to learn about Summit's early life and how those experiences shaped who she became.  

Of course, this book is bittersweet because of Summit's diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's, yet again Summit's is inspiring us by reminding us to face and fight adversity as hard as possible as well as to treasure each moment.
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By Dawn on March 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always been the fan of the TN Lady Vols. I knew she was strong, intense and a great coach from afar. But after listening to this book. I admire Pat Summitt more than ever. What a role model but I wish I had when I was a teenager about to decide on a college. Heartfelt , truthful, and encouraging. This is a great read and needs a 10. Maybe I'll even try to get it signed . Go Pat!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is inspiring, fascinating, heart warming and it will touch your soul really deep. Pat Summitt is a remarkable woman, that put a stamp on women's college basketball as the best female coach at this present time. This woman is a legendary in women basketball. She recuited girls from all over and demanding respect and discipline. The book goes in depth about the relationship she had with her players both of and on the court and how she impacted their lives. Pat loved all her players and they all graduated. Summitt won 1,098 games and eight championship in her career that spanned over 38 seasons with the Tennessee Lady Vols (1974-2012).

When you hear the name Pat Summitt, who would ever think that she would be suffering from Alzhimers disease. She shared the story about when she was first diagnosed with the disease and how she felt. The story is so heart breaking that she is suffering from Alzheimers's, a disease of the brains with no cure. The Alzhimers's part hit home for me because I lost my grandma from this disease 3 years ago.

Pat talks about her childhood growing up in Henrietta Tennessee on a dairy farm. Her name growing up was Tisha Head and her dad also nick name her "Tall Man". She was vey athlectic since from a child shooting hoops with her brothers, drag racing on the country road and milking cows 5am in the morning. The book also talked about her college career and how she comes to be the coach at University of Tennessee, turning a team with no attention into superstars . She also talks about the fued she had going on with rival Uconn coach Geno Auriemma over recuiting issues. The books also talks about her marriage ending after 27 years.

Overall this is a great book into life of Summitt on the court and off the court.
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Format: Hardcover
Pat Summitt's autobiography is written in the same manner as she coached. When she learned that she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's she didn't let the disease knock her down. She was determined to keep coaching and while she privately wept, she kept up her work, her spirit and her life.

This book shows that this is typical Summitt. Whether it was her childhood on the farm in Tennessee with her parents and brothers, as a player at the University of Tennessee- Martin, on the 1976 Olympic team, or the head coach of Tennessee, she has always approached each task and challenge head on. The writing and recollections in this book illustrate this characteristic well.

I found the beginning of the book very interesting as she starts out with memories as "I remember" and other items that she doesn't have clear recollection as "I don't remember." It was sobering when the reader remembers why she is no longer coaching.

I also liked how Summitt addressed subjects that would be troubling to her personally and also how she addressed matters that would be considered controversial at the time. For personal matters, not only did she write about learning of her diagnosis with grace, she also wrote about the end of her marriage, her miscarriages and her other medical conditions without any anger or bitterness. She simply wrote about what took place, what she was feeling, how she dealt with it and what came next.

As for controversial matters, the best example would be her writings on the feminist movement in the 1970's. She never sounded bitter about being "in her place" especially as it related to her childhood. While she certainly worked toward the goal of women's equality, she was not a rabble rouser or radical when it comes to this issue.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Very well written and easy reading. Read the book in 2 days. That's how interesting it was. My prayers are with Pat .
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read other books about -and by- Pat Summit and really enjoyed them. As a basketball junkie I very much appreciate the details of coaching and playing in her very specific and passionate style. Her photo on the cover is a perfect replica of her death stare and it sets the tone of the book. The recruiting, teaching, disciplining, educating, maturing and - most important - the US NOT ME values she demanded of the players, are what made them the dominant team they were. The rest of the book covers her background and life away from the gym; and is very easy to read because it fits in perfectly with the games.

I bought this book more for her Alzheimer's Disease diagnosis than the Basketball, and it was very much worth the cost and time to have an understanding of how someone with so much drive would face such a looming barrier. Each chapter includes, sometimes brief and sometimes longer, Alzheimer's situations, facts and opportunities presented to anyone facing such an unknown future. How any one person handles this "future" is up to them, but holding it all inside is the worst possible response !!!

After going through the first set of tests two weeks ago ----------- I received my diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease TODAY at age 69.
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