The wisdom of John Wooden

Born in 1910, John Wooden is the first person to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame both as a player and coach. ESPN ranks him as the greatest coach of all time, across all sports, as he won 10 NCAA men’s basketball titles — including seven straight — and had winning streaks of 47 and 80 games. In his 40 years at UCLA, he mentored legends such as Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. His career has been illustrious to say the least, and he has created a model, the Pyramid of Success, and authored several books to impart his insight on achievement to others.

Wooden wanted his players to be victors in life and not just on the court, so he treated them as an extended family and emphasized that winning was more than scoring. Indeed, most of his inspiring theories were born from conversations with his father, as a boy on their farm in Indiana. One that sums up his ideology quite well is his often quoted definition of success: “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

There is much to be gained from the wisdom of a 98-year-old man. Below is video of a talk Wooden gave in 2001. It would also be worth your while to check out his Web site and some of the wisdom contained there.


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