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How to Deal With Adversity in a Positive Way

How to Deal With Adversity in a Positive Way

“Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.” This favorite quote of Coach Wooden’s has been attributed to Samuel Johnson, a famous English author of the 18th century. The wonderful phrase...
Knowledge + Preparation + Attention to Detail = Skill

Knowledge + Preparation + Attention to Detail = Skill

Preparation and attention to detail that is not preceded by knowledge results in activity without achievement, not skill. As Coach liked to say, if you’re a great teacher and don’t have any knowledge, what are you going to teach? Knowledge is based on personal...
Effective Leadership Starts With Effective Listening

Effective Leadership Starts With Effective Listening

You must listen to others if you want others to listen to you. This idea reflects the way that Coach Wooden chose to interact with other people. He was an extraordinary listener, in part because he knew each time he listened he would learn something. A wise old owl...
The Best Way to Destroy an Enemy

The Best Way to Destroy an Enemy

The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend. This was a key idea of Abraham Lincoln’s that Coach Wooden mentioned often. In his book A Game Plan for Life with Don Yeager, Coach describes the president’s impact on him: At the end of the Civil War,...
How to Live a Perfect Day and a Worthwhile Life

How to Live a Perfect Day and a Worthwhile Life

“You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone without thought of repayment.” This was one of Coach Wooden’s favorite quotes. It represented his daily approach to life. He eagerly approached each day with the goal of trying to help as many people...
Worthwhile Results Come From Careful Planning

Worthwhile Results Come From Careful Planning

“There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning.” –John Wooden This quote by Coach Wooden represents the cornerstone of his approach to coaching and life. In his book The Essential Wooden with Steve Jamison, Coach listed...
Why You Shouldn’t Seek Revenge

Why You Shouldn’t Seek Revenge

“Revenge is always the weak pleasure of a little and narrow mind.” –Juvenal This favorite quote of Coach Wooden’s is attributed to Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, known in English as Juvenal, a Roman poet active in the late first and early second century A.D. and author of...
Physical Strength vs. Spiritual Strength

Physical Strength vs. Spiritual Strength

“Physical strength is measured by what one can carry; spiritual strength by what one can bear.” This famous quote was a favorite of Coach Wooden’s. It reflects what he learned from his father: the importance of spiritual strength. The sixth item in the Seven-Point...
The Simple Truth of Serving Others

The Simple Truth of Serving Others

Forget the favors you have given; remember those received. This proverb was a favorite of Coach Wooden’s. It reminded him of two valuable lessons he had learned from his father’s Seven-Point Creed: Help others and give thanks for your blessings each day. The many...
The Key to Peak Performance: Attention to Detail

The Key to Peak Performance: Attention to Detail

“Big things are accomplished only through the perfection of minor details.” –John Wooden This quote defines what Coach Wooden thought the key to peak performance was: a lot of little things done well. In the book Wooden on Leadership, Denny Crum, former Louisville...