Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Coach Wooden's Top 5 quotes

Below, our in my opinion, the 5 best quotes from John Wooden. Coach Wooden, the recently deceased college basketball coaching legend, is someone who has impacted many people, both that he coached and that he never met. His influence is one that at times goes unnoticed, but should be celebrated at this time. Coach Wooden spent more of his time educating his players on life than on basketball, and his words will continue to educate us beyond his years on earth.

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are."

Coach Cat's Thoughts:
This is the hardest thing that I see our players and recruits struggle with. They are so concerned with "being respected" that they often forget what that requires. What may make you popular on a Friday night, might not be the thing that makes you a better person. Likewise, in order for you to be true to yourself, you are at times going to have to "rub people the wrong way." This is what shows the true commitment to your values and morals.

"Never mistake activity for achievement."J

Just because you are doing SOMETHING, doesn't mean that you are doing the right thing. This can often be the case in off-season workouts. You are going to the gym, but you are just doing the workout. Are you challenging yourself with the weights you are lifting. Are you running to get a great time, or to just make the cutoff time? This small paradigm shift can be the difference between an adequate player and a great player.

"The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones."

As many people know, Coach Wooden read a book of poetry and the Bible every single day in the morning. As a fellow literature afficiando, I appreciate the wisdom and the commitment to broadening ones mind through reading. I am blessed to work at a school that can boast the second largest collection of football books in the country, behind the Library of Congress. Coach Dau has collected thousands and thousands of books, and I have the luxury of working with bookshelves that hold some of the timeless football wisdom and coaching philosophies of the past 100 years. I also read a lot of books that have nothing to do with football, when I am done, I try to think of a player on our team that may benefit from reading the book and pass it along to them. Currently, I can think of 15 players on our current roster who have had books the have read after I suggested it. With knowledge comes understanding and power, and often times, the same problems of today were handled a long time ago. There doesn't need to be a new spin on the same sage advice.

"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

Being concerned with what other people think, or how the express it, can be an overwhelming issue with many individuals. They get too concerned about what is being verbalized about them, either positively or negatively and this leads to them focusing on the applause as opposed to the task at hand. Some players strive on being told they did a great job, others strive on "knowing" they did a great job. That internal measurement of success is one that is critical to establish with honesty and integrity so that you can move beyond the cheers and jeers, and continue to accomplish things that will lead to success.

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

As many of our players will attest to, I am very big on community service. I think that it provides our players the opportunity to express themselves without words to a large group of people. I also feel that this exhibition of talent and ability can allow our players to have success even when their football progress maybe struggling. The attitude which I try to see our players have when doing service for others is one of excitement. I hope that this excitement comes from knowing that if it had not been for their efforts, that someone, or some organization would be that much farther behind from reaching their goals.

Coach Wooden continues educating us with this Rick Reilly interview