When life throws you challenges, you have to fight forward. That’s what Sylvia Hatchell, head coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, did when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2013 at the age of 61.
The cancer battle gave Hatchell a new perspective on life and coaching which are detailed in her new book, Fight! Fight!: Discovering Your Inner Strength When Blindsided by Life.
“I just want it to be something that would help other people when they went through difficult times, whether it’s disease or another part of their life,” said Hatchell. “I walk them through what I had done, what worked and how hard it was.”
The book goes in detail regarding three things that helped Hatchell get through the battle: mentality, exercise and support system.
Hatchell talked about how during the treatment, she’d exercise frequently, pushing herself. And she was bolstered by a huge community of coaching friends she’d made over the course of her 40 years in women’s basketball.
“I’d have former coaches and even referees call me asking how I was,” said Hatchell. "Pat Summitt would call me every day for a bit then she started to do once a week. The basketball community is truly an amazing thing.”
Since basketball is her expertise and not publishing, she knew that she would need great partners to see her book become a reality. Starting last fall, she worked closely with co-author Stephan Copeland to craft the book and make sure her personality came through on every page. One of the more most challenging aspects was finding the right fit for the publisher; she eventually found a home with The Core Media Group out of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Hatchell hopes her simple message in Fight! Fight! will resonate with anyone who is going through hard times to just keep fighting. You can purchase Fight! Fight!: Discovering Your Inner Strength When Blindsided by Life on Amazon.com.