John Wooden

Every once in a while a person comes along who cuts a wide swath. And makes a big difference in the lives of others. To me, John Wooden (1910-2010) was one of those special people.  Wooden was the winningest basketball coach (UCLA) in NCAA history – winning 10 national titles in a 12 year period. Coach Wooden was known for his short, simple inspirational messages which helped players succeed in basketball but more importantly in life.  

I’ve previously had posts on the virtue of character (e.g. 1/26/12).  The words of Coach Wooden fit right in.

Make each day your masterpiece.

Never cease trying to be the best you can be.  That is in your power.

Young people need role models, not critics.

Never mistake activity for achievement.

Today is the only day.  Yesterday is gone.

Never measure yourself by what you have accomplished – but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.

The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.

You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.  

Seek opportunities to show you care.  The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.   

Interestingly, Coach Wooden never mentioned “winning” to his players.  He always stressed effort.  Doing one’s best was key. . . .