THE GREATEST COACH --- JOHN WOODEN

John Wooden had a record-breaking coaching career in basketball at UCLA.  Every coach would be well-advised to study and model his principles.  The following are some quotes from his book, They Call Me Coach:

"Over the years I have become convinced that every detail is important and that success usually accompanies attention to little details.  It is this, in my judgment, that makes for the difference between champion and near-champion."

"Coach Lambert never gave you a demand route.  He might say, "The first two times you hit the center, fake right and go left.  The third time reverse it.  You must outthink, outmaneuver, and out-condition your opponent."

"The last law of learning -- repetition -- is the most important."

"Three things are vital to success in basketball -- condition, fundamentals, and working together as a team."

"The work that you do each and every day is the only true way to improve and prepare yourself for what is to come.  You cannot change the past and you can influence the future only by what you do today."

"Physical balance is controlled by the extremities of the body -- the head, feet, and hands.  A player must be alert constantly to keeping his feet just wider than his shoulders.  His head must be directly above the midpoint between the two feet."

"The proper execution of fundamentals can become instinctive if taught properly, just like breathing or walking.  The crucial factor in basketball is that most of them must be done while running at full speed.  When they become instinctive under these circumstances, you're tough."

"Coach Lambert was one of the first men I knew who stressed how important the right mental attitude is to the success of a player on a team.  This emphasis was part of his three fundamentals: (1) conditioning -- getting a team in the best possible physical and mental shape to play; (2) quick and skilled execution of the fundamentals in an uncomplicated series of offensive and defensive plays; and (3) the development of strong team spirit that included consideration at all times for one's fellow players."

"It always seemed that more games are lost than are won.  We seldom introduced new patterns -- but we tried never to lock ourselves into doing the same thing in the same situation.  We were not too concerned about opponents knowing what we were gong to do as long as they didn't know when."

"Talent is God-given; be humble.
Fame is man-given; be thankful.
Conceit is self-given; be careful."


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