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John Wooden

This tag is associated with 25 posts

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 […]

Wooden Wisdom

John Wooden thought of himself as a teacher. If you want to be a great coach, you must be one, too. Here is a poem that Wooden recited from memory. It underlines your value as a coach: No written word, no spoken plea Can teach our youth what they should be Nor all the books […]

Learning from Losing

By falling to Dallas over the weekend, the New Orleans Saints lost a streak but gained a chance to fix what is wrong with them. Every team has problems, but victory has a way of hiding them. And losing has a way of spotlighting those problems. “You can learn a line from a win and […]

Not a Positive Experience

What a blue Christmas in the world of sports! Tiger Woods, with his image in tatters, faces a public divorce. Chris Henry, a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, is reported on life-support after a domestic dispute with his fiancee. Kansas football coach Mark Mangino resigns amid allegations he mistreated his players. One after another […]

Total Investment

We’ve called in an expert. Trying to coach our middle school basketball team as best we can, we got an instructional video starring John Wooden. Wooden, legendary coach at UCLA, did not disappoint. Before mentioning even one word about dribbling or shooting, Wooden defined success. He said that to him, success means being able to […]

Controlling What You Can

Yesterday Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals hit two more home runs, prompting a reporter to ask Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa if Pujols deserves to be voted this year’s Most Valuable Player. Answered LaRussa, “Those kinds of questions are distractions, and I don’t answer them.” Though the reporter probably didn’t appreciate LaRussa’s response, it […]

The Urgency of Today

A friend of mind loves to recall his favorite example of a call to sports talk radio. He was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike at 3 o’clock on a Sunday morning, when someone called the radio station and asked this question: “How do you think the Portland Trail Blazers will do this season?” My […]

Getting a Life

At the coaching camp we’re attending in New Hampshire, the instructors begin with a fun little game: Who came the farthest distance be to here? The game ended quickly when a young woman raised her hand and said, “Japan.” It turns out that there also is a woman here from Frankfurt, Germany. And a man […]

Journey of Discovery

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” ~ Albert Einstein Today a space shuttle is scheduled to take off for a maintenance mission to the Hubble telescope. This will mark the final trip to the Hubble, which was launched in 1990. Years ago astronomer Carl Sagan spoke beautifully of the telescope and what it said […]

How to Have Great Practices

“It’s not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; it’s what you put into the practice.” ~ Hockey player Eric Lindros ”John Wooden warned against mistaking activity for achievement. Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, was pointing out the difference between just doing something and doing the right thing in the […]