Feb. 4, 2013
It’s the last week of The Morning Perk before the 2012-13 season begins Friday with the GT-Kennesaw Invitational. The Yellow Jackets open the season against Eastern Michigan at 3 p.m. then play Butler at 5 p.m.
TMP: You’ve won three out of the last four ACC Championships and the team continues to be successful each season, what’s the key?
CP: Although we have been graduating great players, we continue to bring in even more great players. It’s not easy to do what we have done over the years. We are aware of our strengths and weaknesses. We focus on our preparation against our opponents and always seem to find a way in the end.
TMP: Now that we’re just five days away from the season opener, what do you work on in practice?
CP: We will do one more day of game play, but other than that, we will just continue to work on small things individually. Different days will have a different focus. Some days it is defense, some days more offense.
TMP: This season you’re playing 15 teams that went to an NCAA Regional last year, four that advanced to the Super Regionals and one WCWS team – what’s the motive behind the tough schedule and would you say this is one of the toughest schedules you’ve had since coaching at Tech?
CP: We believe that it is important to play as many high RPI teams as possible and we like the challenge. We consider ourselves a national program. Playing nationally strong teams, and having success against them, not only helps our team in ACC play and getting an NCAA tournament bid, but it also helps our stature in recruiting.
TMP: Do you have a favorite song that you have to listen to before a game or do you do anything before a game ritually that gets you ready for the game?
CP: My favorite all time song is Dixieland Delight. But it’s not one I listen to prior to every game. In season I typically listen to some old school rap – something from back in my playing days. Haha! The players like to laugh about how some of the songs were before they were born.
TMP: What’s a little known fact about yourself?
CP: I taught myself how to slide head first when I was about 10 years old. It had just rained and I had been wanting for somebody to teach me. For some reason, nobody wanted me to – probably the combination of my age and being a girl. I got a pair of my brother’s baseball pants and went out in the front yard. I was able to slide pretty well right away. But I must have stayed out there a solid 30 minutes, all by myself, just doing different slides. Let’s just say the front lawn had seen better days …
TMP: Who was your role model growing up?
CP: My dad. I am the spitting image of my dad. I walk like him, talk like him, act like him… He is an electrician and growing up I would help him fix or build whatever project he had going on. He’s the hardest working person I know with a great sense of humor. Yet he always takes the time to stop and talk to people. That is definitely where I got my sarcasm from.
TMP: Do you have any favorite Georgia Tech traditions? What are they?
CP: I like The Whistle because you can even hear it at our stadium and you know it is five minutes before the next hour. But my favorite is The Ramblin’ Wreck song. #THWG
TMP: What is your favorite quote and why?
CP: Tough times never last, tough people do. – Robert H. Schuller
Athletics has ups and downs. When you play hard and at a high level, it can be tough. You cannot be discouraged. You need to keep your focus and continue to work hard toward your goals.