Christy Winters Scott: How I Make it All Work
The women’s basketball legend joins SLAMonline.
Christy Winters Scott is widely known as a legend in the women’s basketball community. In November of 2006, Winters Scott was inducted into the University of Maryland’s Athletic Hall of Fame, and in May of 2006, she was inducted into the first class of the South Lakes High School Hall of Fame along with the Phoenix Suns’ Grant Hill. During his induction speech, Hill said, “It feels good to be recognized as the male Christy Winters.” An analyst for ESPN, CSN, and Fox TV, Winters Scott also coaches high school basketball and raises three young children. Below, she shares with us how she makes it all work. – Ben Y.
By Christy Winters Scott / @ChristyWScott51
I have been asked several times, by other moms, coaches, and even my own mother, “How do you do all of the things that you do?” While I have a moment, I thought that I would take some time out of my hectic schedule to find out the answer for myself!
As a D1 student-athlete, you are required to manage a whirlwind schedule. During my career at Maryland, (like every freshman), I had to adjust to a new schedule, lifestyle, and culture in terms of time management. Thinking back, my schedule was laid out to the minute. My coach, (Hall of Famer Chris Weller) always gave us great time management tips. Her tips included making a weekly calendar on Sunday evenings at study hall, and developing a daily list of assignments/goals for both academics, and basketball. Since that time, I have always been an “over-writer.” My daily list, (and iPhone calendar app!), really keeps the peace for me in terms of getting myself, and my family, where we need to be throughout the week.
My husband and I have three children: two sons (10 and 5) and a daughter (8). They are active with baseball, basketball, dance, and scouts but we find a way to juggle our schedules to make it work. We are grateful to have my parents close by to help when we have to go in five different directions. I was recently sharing lunch with our older two children at school, and one of my daughter’s friends asked me, “How many jobs do you have?”
My daughter chimed in, “She has, like…ten jobs.”
“She coaches basketball, talks about basketball during games on TV, is the Camp Director for the Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics, has her own basketball show, and…a few other things,” said my daughter, giving up towards the fifth job. For a moment, I had to make sure that she was describing me!
Her friend said, as she shook her head, “And that’s not counting having three kids!”
As most parents understand, you make the adjustments to your schedule when you have a family. Just as I had to do as a freshman in college, you have to understand the challenges that the new lifestyle and culture presents; you embrace them and adapt to a new schedule.
At first, that was easier said than done for me.
Prior to our oldest son’s birth, I had been coaching at George Mason University for four years and at the University of Maryland for five years. He was born in December, right in the middle of the season, (I know, I know, nice planning!). Needless to say, that made it difficult for me because with your first child, you are semi-paranoid about EVERY little thing. Did he sleep too much? Is he breathing right? My mom was telling me to sleep when he sleeps, but I would just have to have him close by and watch him sleep while I got things done around the house. Certainly, hindsight is indeed 20/20 because I was much more easygoing with our second and third babies.
The decision to go back to college coaching was a great one (or so I thought at the time). Our oldest was two and our daughter was ten months when I accepted a position with Terri Flournoy in her first season at Georgetown. She and her husband had two children that were about the same ages as ours, and I was excited to work with her and her staff. What I was not prepared for were the tears falling from my eyes as I saw the faces of my babies in the window as I pulled off for a four-day road trip. (I’m supposed to have a tough, athletic mindset here! NOT!) That was, by far, the toughest thing to do. I was so excited to be back in the fold with coaching but I was not prepared for that emotional pull of motherhood.
As the season ended with Georgetown, the South Lakes High School job had opened up. When they offered me the position, it took me some time to make a decision. My heart was saying, “You will be able to be with your babies more and coach basketball.” But my head was saying, “You just finished your 10th year of collegiate coaching, and you had been out for two years; you need to build your way back into the business.” Looking back to when I made the decision to leave Georgetown and return to my alma mater, South Lakes High School, it turned out to be a defining moment for me. As a mom, Terri knew that it had been tough for me during the season but completely understood. Since then, I have been assigned to be the television color analyst for the Washington Mystics as well as NCAA women’s and men’s basketball games. The dominoes have continued to fall in the world of basketball, and the blessings continue to flow.
I hope in sharing some my experiences gives you the courage to follow your heart. Those of you who know me well, know that I am an avid reader of quotations. Here is one for you to write down on your daily list of things to do…
“Break the rules and stand apart, ignore your head, and follow your heart.”
I’m so glad that I did.
- Christy Winters Scott