Pam Bustin

Head Coach
Field Hockey
Duke University

Get to know Pam:

If you could have dinner with anyone living or not, who would it be?
Eleanor Roosevelt.

Where would you take her?
New England, to a seafood restaurant called, The Back Eddy.

What is something that is on your bucket list?
To visit Greece. I love food, wine and the Olympics, which has been a big part of my life. To me, Greece is a combination of all those things.

What was your childhood dream job?
A Major League Baseball player.

What is your greatest accomplishment in your career?

My greatest accomplishment is when players graduate with a degree and still love the sport of field hockey. I love when they want to be a part of the sport in some way, whether it’s following Duke forever, still playing or coaching.

What is your favorite part of being a part of Team USA?

I love representing our country in a unique way. Only 16 people in the world are putting on the USA jersey at this moment.

That is a big responsibility, and you work every day to earn it. The responsibility is to be really good at it. You always want to represent the USA by being the best.

There is a certain passion that has to be associated with it. The people that I played and coached with were there for the same reasons, which made it very special. I’ve been very fortunate.

How did you transition from being a successful player, to a successful coach?

It was a natural transition for me. I played for so long, which helped me get into coaching, and my experience was very positive.

I found a way to still be involved with the game I love and also share all my amazing playing experiences with student-athletes.

I’ve been influenced by so many incredible people; mentors, coaches and players. I love sharing the lessons I have learned with the players I coach.

What was the most impactful lesson you learned during your career?

Years ago, a college teammate of mine from when I played at UMASS shared this saying with me: “It’s all about the journey, not the destination.”

I believe that is true because you can work so hard for a destination, and if you don’t get there, that doesn’t mean you failed. Maybe there’s a different destination for you that’s even better than what you set out for.

The journey teaches you so much, so embrace every day of it.

That idea has stuck with me, and I still keep the quote handy. Because of that, I’ve appreciated all the people around me along the way.

You have to love the process. You have to dig in and not skip any steps. People want to skip steps all the time, but you’re missing out on important lessons when you do that.

What is your coaching philosophy?

My coaching philosophy centers around being team-first. Being a part of something bigger than ourselves allows us to accomplish great things.

I believe in preparation and commitment. If you fully invest yourself into something good, the prize of your investment makes it impossible for anyone to take it away from you.