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Coaching Tips

How to Make Today a Masterpiece

On a day like today, when Butler and UConn play for the national title, what would UCLA legend John Wooden say?

Wooden, after all, won 10 of these games in a 12-year span, including seven in a row. He died in 2010, but coaches all over the world look to his words for help and guidance. So what would he say?

He might say the same thing he said all the time, namely, make each day a masterpiece. No advice could be simpler yet more difficult. We have a habit of letting days go by, thinking that they are infinite in supply. Wooden didn’t do that, and he wouldn’t let his players do it, either.

How do you make each day a masterpiece? Start by doing two things.

The first, according to Wooden, is to do something for someone else. Doing for others fills our lives with generosity, teamwork and purpose.

“Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights,” Wooden said.

The second is to do everything well. Wooden never talked about winning; he talked about quality. He wanted things done right in practice. He wanted full effort.

“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability,” he said.

Doing for others and putting full effort into details will point everyone toward a masterpiece of a day.

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Mike Tully speaks to sports, business and educational groups. He also works with coaches, athletes and teams to make their practice time more productive and efficient. He and Gary Pritchard are co-authors of “Ten Things Great Coaches Know.” To see Coach Tully and Coach Pritchard discuss “Seven Ways to Prepare for Adversity,” click here.


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