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Unforgettable life lessons from the man ESPN named its “Coach of the Century”
“A good teacher or coach must not only understand others, but himself or herself as well.”
In this captivating book, beloved basketball coach John Wooden reveals the educational journey he took throughout his legendary life, from his earliest days on a small Indiana farm to the glory of his historic record-setting UCLA dynasty. Throughout My Personal Best, Coach Wooden introduces us to the men and women who shaped him and the many important life lessons they taught along the way.
You’ll meet his father, Joshua, the honest, straight-shooting farmer who urged his son, “Don't try to be better than somebody else, but never cease trying to be the best you can be.” His mother, Roxie, a hardscrabble survivor who taught her children the value of faith and sacrifice. And his wife, Nellie, the high-school sweetheart (and ukulele virtuoso) who inspired him courtside through many games and who continued to be his inspiration throughout his life.
You’ll also meet Coach’s own coaches, such as Principal Earl Warriner, the feisty disciplinarian who guided Wooden through his first games and left him with the lesson that “no player is bigger or better than the team.” High school coach Glenn Curtis, otherwise known as the Ol' Fox, who taught Wooden the poetry of basketball. And Purdue’s Piggy Lambert, whose unbending principles and love for his team became Wooden’s model of what a great coach and teacher could be.
Last but not least you’ll meet many of the students and players who became, in the end, Coach’s greatest teachers of all.
This treasure trove of all things Wooden also includes rare, never-before-seen photos from Coach’s private collection. Pairing these priceless photos with evocative personal stories, this modern sports classic encompasses the arc of Wooden’s achievements and the spirit of his All-American experience, one that will serve as inspiration to anyone who aspires to be a coach--not only on the court but in every arena of life.
"John Wooden is a living legend because he practiced what he preached--the code of ethics which created America's strength."
--Phil Jackson, head coach, Los Angeles Lakers
"Most of what I know, what's made me a smart man, has come from John Wooden."
--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer
"A man of John Wooden's accomplishments and integrity would stand out in any era, but now, almost three decades after he coached his last game, he is in some ways an even more striking figure."
"John Wooden is a 'philosopher-coach' in the truest sense: a man whose beliefs, teachings, and wisdom go far beyond sports and ultimately address how to bring out the very best in yourself and others in all areas of life."
--Bill Walsh, three-time Super Bowl champion coach
"John Wooden's teaching is timeless."-
-Bill Walton, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, NBC analyst
“Whether it be on or off the court, John Wooden has been the personification of class and intellect as player, coach, and person for over seventy years. This book is a treasure.”
--Howard Garfinkel, codirector, Five-Star Basketball Camp
“There has never been a finer coach in American sports than John Wooden. Nor a finer man.”
--Rick Reilly, Sports Illustrated
John Wooden and his life have been an inspiration to me for many years. I have read this book to my son a number of years ago and he recently did a presentation on the book in... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jim Young
This book by John Wooden is a must-read! I borrowed it from a friend and a year or so later decided I needed to own my own copy so I could re-read multiple times.Published 8 months ago by Nathan Wiegand
After reading this book, I bought a copy for my son and son-in-laws. While reading about John Wooden, it caused me to stop and reflect on how I could do better in all of my... Read morePublished 9 months ago by William Lopotko
It really shows the real meaning of success. This book was a good book with a lot of meaning. I would recommend this book to people that play a sport or something like that.Published 9 months ago by Shelly McCarthy
John Wooden never fails to provide wise and appropriate advice for individuals needing encouragement and guidance in navigating life and work situations and decisions.Published 11 months ago by Dolores J. Mann
John Wooden's personal best is an insight into his beliefs, and the reasons for his success after years of struggling, both as a coach, and as a young man with a family to support. Read morePublished 16 months ago by audie w.
Superb book. It explains Coach Wooden's attitudes, motivations, ways of working with his players and the University's Administration. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Gray Ghost