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The Time to Prepare Is Before an Opportunity Arises

The Time to Prepare Is Before an Opportunity Arises

I will get ready and then, perhaps, my chance will come. Coach Wooden learned this idea from Abraham Lincoln, who said, “I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come.” In his book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court...
Why You Shouldn’t Worry About the ‘What Ifs’

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About the ‘What Ifs’

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” –Muhammad Ali The message is clear: Don’t worry about all the “what if” things that might happen. Concentrate on what you’re doing right now. For Coach Wooden, the focus was on the practice at hand, not the possible outcome...
The Joy of Giving Without Expectation

The Joy of Giving Without Expectation

“Be more concerned with what you can do for others than what others can do for you. You’ll be surprised at the results.” –Coach John Wooden This quote of Coach Wooden’s reveals the attitude he used to approach every day of his life, reflected in this story: Tony...
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...