Browsing Tag: johnwooden


    There are No Words to Describe How Much I Love This

    February 16, 2012

    The McGee Four were in the local library a couple weekends ago when right there on a big display was a coffee table-sized book about John Wooden. And it was a new one that I’d never seen before. Turns out it was the official UCLA retrospective (available on published after Wooden’s death.

    It’s mostly a photo book, interspersed with about 15 essays from former Wooden players and coaches. But the scan below, and another one I’ll post later, is from the inside cover.

    This is the list of basketball practice rules that Wooden gave to each of his players. But it speaks to so much more than basketball. After I read it, I thought it should be given out to every child entering the sixth grade. And to every employee at any company that wants to be great. Read it and maybe you’ll agree.



    John Wooden Quote #20

    November 30, 2010

    We played ten times for the national championship while I was coaching at UCLA. Each time we were fortunate enough to win. And each time near the end of the contest when I felt we had the game in hand, I told the team during a time-out, “Now, remember when this game is over to behave in an appropriate manner. Do not make fools of yourselves. Let the alumni and student body do that if they choose. Don’t you do it!”

    Your reaction to victory or defeat is an important part of how you play the game. I wanted my players to display style and class in either situation — to lose with grace, to win with humility.

    That lesson has been one of the toughest things to teach for me as a parent. Sometimes kids tend to overreact to both successes and failures.

    If you don’t know what this post/series is about, see the John Wooden tag and specifically the first quote I posted.


    Pete Carroll: Why Didn’t You Just Say That?

    October 29, 2010

    I was pretty skeptical when the Seahawks hired Pete Carroll as head coach, and as much as I enjoy watching his enthusiasm on the sidelines, the jury is still out for me on whether he’s gonna last long-term in Seattle. I want to like the guy, and I kinda do … but still just “kinda.”

    And now I’ve read this profile and it includes this little bit in the middle:

    Still, Carroll is always looking to give them something more. He subscribes to the philosophy of the late John Wooden, the UCLA college basketball coaching legend who believed that creating the strongest internal competition possible was more important to success than preparing for what an opponent would do during a game.

    He’s a John Wooden guy? Like me? Well, fer cryin’ out loud … why didn’t you just say that on the first day?


    John Wooden Quote #19

    October 27, 2010

    Never did I want to call the first time-out during a game. Never. It was almost a fetish with me because I stressed conditioning to such a degree. I wanted UCLA to come out and run our opponents so hard that they would be forced to call the first time-out just to catch their breath. I wanted them to have to stop the running before we did.

    At that first time-out, the opponent would know, and we would know they knew, who was in better condition.

    Been a while since I’ve posted from the John Wooden book I got for Christmas last year. It doesn’t have a lot of basketball-related stuff, but I love this part. It’s under a heading called “Psychological Warfare” and Wooden says this was the only mindgame he ever used during games. For all the (deserved) legend of John Wooden as a teacher, leader, and motivator, it’s also good to remember that he was a helluva competitor and basketball coach.

    If you don’t know what this post/series is about, see the John Wooden tag and specifically the first quote I posted.


    John Wooden Quote #18

    August 29, 2010

    Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn’t mean treating everyone alike. That’s unfair, because everyone doesn’t earn the same treatment.

    Love this one. It’s the start of a section of the book called “A Leader Is Fair.” And it’s very true. I know it’s true in parenting. Kids always want to be treated the same way as their brother, sister, or friends. But sometimes they don’t earn the same treatment. It also applies quite often to us grown-ups, too.

    If you don’t know what this post/series is about, see the John Wooden tag and specifically the first quote I posted.