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The 3 Parts of Levelheaded Self-Evaluation

The 3 Parts of Levelheaded Self-Evaluation

When Coach Wooden was asked if he thought he had lived up to the “Seven-Point Creed” his father had given him, he would often reply that he is more like the person who said: I am not what I ought to be, not what I want to be, not what I am going to be, but I am...
How You Can Influence the Future

How You Can Influence the Future

“Earn the right to be proud and confident.”–John Wooden Coach Wooden’s teams won 10 national championships in his last 12 years of coaching. This was accomplished with essentially five different groups of players. A key element in Coach Wooden’s consistency was to...
Why Complacency and Success Cannot Coexist

Why Complacency and Success Cannot Coexist

“Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” –John Wooden This popular quote from Coach Wooden summarized the key component of his continuous success. He commented on the idea in an interview in 2005: Some people change when they acquire...
The Purpose of Discipline

The Purpose of Discipline

You discipline those under your supervision to correct, to help, to improve—not to punish. Coach Wooden felt strongly that discipline was essential for any group, whether it was a business, family or sports team, to be successful. In his book Wooden with Steve...
The Value of Self-Analysis: Self-Improvement

The Value of Self-Analysis: Self-Improvement

There is value in self-analysis: self-improvement. Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher, was quoted as saying: “He who gains a victory over other men is strong; but he who gains a victory over himself is all powerful.”  “He who knows others is wise. He who...
How to Build a Foundation of Honesty

How to Build a Foundation of Honesty

“The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention.” ―John Burroughs This quote reflects the way Coach Wooden approached life and leadership. He described the person he admired most, his father Joshua Wooden, as consistent in word and deed, a model of the...
You Are Only a Failure When…

You Are Only a Failure When…

The man who is not afraid of failure seldom has to face it. This a version of one of Coach Wooden’s favorite quotes: “The man who is afraid to risk failure seldom has to face success.” It was a reflection of the way he lived, coached, and the way his teams played:...
It’s Courage That Counts

It’s Courage That Counts

“Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” Coach Wooden used this famous quote, most often attributed to Winston Churchill, as the epigraph to introduce Chapter 17 of his book They Call Me Coach. In that chapter, he discusses his years...
Why Pride Is a Better Motivator Than Fear

Why Pride Is a Better Motivator Than Fear

Pride is a better motivator than fear. In his book Wooden with Steve Jamison, Coach expanded on this idea: Pride is a better motivator than fear. I never wanted to teach through fear, punishment or intimidation. Fear may work in the short term to get people to do...
The Importance of Good Role Models

The Importance of Good Role Models

Young people need good models more than they need critics. This was a cornerstone of Coach Wooden’s approach to coaching and teaching. In his book Wisdom of Wooden, Coach explained the idea: In the 1940s, I wrote this reminder to myself of the responsibilities I...