Getting it right 80 percent of the time is pretty impressive, especially when that average is over the span of 26 years. It's especially impressive if that percentage reflects an athletic team's ability to win under a particular coach.
In her 26 years of coaching field hockey at Fallston High School, Alice Puckett amassed a winning record of right around 80 percent, a number that's even more impressive when the percentage of losses is at around 15 percent (the rest were ties). She retired from coaching four years ago because she wanted to attend all of her daughter's college field hockey games.
That was four years ago, but it wasn't a desire to get back to winning that seems to have driven her decision. Asked about her return to coaching at Fallston, Puckett said: "Nobody else wanted the job, so I'll just come back."
There have been two other coaches, and the program has continued to sport a winning record, taking a state title just last fall.
Possibly, the reason for Puckett's success, and by extension the success of the Fallston field hockey program, has nothing to do with a desire to win.
There's more to it than just playing ball and demanding performance. As Puckett put it: "Well, you know, teaching is one thing, but coaching is the ultimate way to really work with teenagers and get to know them and maybe give something to them that you can't in the classroom."
It appears winning games, at least with Fallston field hockey, is little more than a by-product of a winning attitude.