remarketing tag for google adwords
Coach John Wooden Pyramid of Success

17 Famous “Woodenisms”John Wooden was a philosopher without even realizing it. His perfectly succinct and simple sayings inspired many thousands of young college basketball players at UCLA and many more individuals far and wide—many of whom never stepped foot on a basketball court to hear the words straight from his mouth. That’s how powerful his words were.

John Wooden’s own favorite saying was “Make each day your masterpiece.” But everyone has their favorite “Woodenism,” as many fans of the humble philosopher call his motivational quotes. Here are 17 of John Wooden’s most famous “Woodenisms.”

'It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.'Click To Tweet

'Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.'Click To Tweet

'Happiness begins where selfishness ends.'Click To Tweet

'Never lie, never cheat, never steal.'Click To Tweet

'Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.'Click To Tweet

'Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.'Click To Tweet

'Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.'Click To Tweet

Related: 27 Quotes by John Wooden to Motivate You to Be Better

'If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?'Click To Tweet

'Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.'Click To Tweet

'Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.'Click To Tweet

'Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.'Click To Tweet

'You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one.'Click To Tweet

'It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.'Click To Tweet

Related: Coach John Wooden Taught the Game of Life

'Be quick, but don’t hurry.'Click To Tweet

'Never mistake activity for achievement.'Click To Tweet

'Winning takes talent; to repeat takes character.'Click To Tweet

'Make each day your masterpiece.Click To Tweet

Did we leave your favorite “Woodenism” off the list? Share with us in the comments below.

Explore for more blogs and videos about John Wooden’s legacy.

Craig Impelman
As Coach Wooden’s grandson-in-law, Craig Impelman had the opportunity to learn Coach’s teachings firsthand and wrote about those lessons for his site, He is a motivational speaker and the author of Wooden’s Wisdom, a weekly “e-coaching module” that is distributed to companies nationally.