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A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring Hardcover – October 13, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Coach Wooden is the most respected mentor I've ever met. He's had a powerful impact on my life and now, through this book, he'll touch you as well. Get ready for a life-changing experience.” ―Pat Williams, Sr. Vice President, Orlando Magic, author of Extreme Dreams Depend on Teams

“All of us need to read John Wooden's tips on mentoring and build them into our lives. There is no better person to give you A Game Plan for Life.” ―Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University basketball coach

“There is no coach or former coach, in the U.S.A., more admired by his peers than John Wooden. When someone asks me who is the best athletic coach ever, my vote is John Wooden. A Game Plan for Life speaks loudly about the importance of learning and teaching for a lifetime. Coach Wooden's message is one reason I keep coaching!” ―Bobby Bowden, Head Football Coach, Florida State University

“My time learning from Coach Wooden--sitting and asking him questions, soaking up his answers--has provided some of the most significant lessons in my life. Any way that you can be mentored by a giant like him, including reading A Game Plan for Life, will provide great lessons for you, too.” ―Pat Summitt, Women's Basketball Coach, University of Tennessee

“Few coaches have effected their player's lives so fully as John Wooden, so here's a natural question: Who mentored the mentor? Well, John Wooden is glad we asked…” ―Bob Costas

“Who better to learn you all his experiences than John Wooden? This is a positively great book by a great man.” ―Yogi Berra

About the Author

John Wooden is the most successful coach in NCAA history, having led the UCLA Bruins to 665 victories and ten championships in the years leading up to 1975. Since his retirement, he has become a mentor to dozens of athletes, journalists, and writers, and the author of eight books.

Don Yaeger is the author or coauthor of sixteen books, including Never Die Easy, with Walter Payton, and Running for My Life, with Warrick Dunn.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596917016
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596917019
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When it's all said and done and the maker calls us home, the real measure of a successful life has to have a lot to do with how much you improved the lives of those around you. With that in mind, few people come close to the life of John Wooden. There are untold vast numbers of people who have become better people and lead better lives because of the coach. Through his books, many of those people, like myself, never even met him.

In his newest book, and quite possibly his last, A GAME PLAN FOR LIFE, Coach Wooden teaches about mentoring. I really like the way the book gives mentoring from two different approaches, but giving and receiving. The first half of the book profiles seven people who mentored Coach Wooden. The last half profiles seven people who were mentored by him, either directly or indirectly.

I found the mixture to be very interesting, and yet probably very similar to most other people. Among his mentors, coach lists his father, 3 former coaches and two people from history he never met but spent hours reading about. Among the mentees, who each wrote their own chapters in the book, we find 3 former players at UCLA, 2 other coaches, a teacher who had never met the coach, and his great-grand-daughter.

It's interesting to see how mentoring is both given and received in different ways to meet the needs of the recipient. The book is filled with sage quotes and life lessons that will touch readers ina variety of ways.

While as always, I loved what the coach wrote, I particularly enjoyed the chapter written by Dale Brown, coach of the LSU basketball team. Coach Brown knew Coach Wooden, but only because they had played against one another when Coach Brown was an assistant coach at Utah State.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very few authors can inspire through their writings the way John Wooden does. Wooden does it again showing the world how we can all learn something from each person we interact with. A Game Plan for Life: The power of mentoring, includes lessons and philosophies for anyone regardless of their age, occupation, education, or experience. His lessons are simple and timeless. I especially enjoyed how throughout the book, he celebrated his mentors, honored his mentees, and empowered the reader to be truly inspiring. If Wooden suggests "...that the people who stand out are the ones who challenged me with words and inspired me with actions" then his most recent book has done just that. His simple life lessons remind the reader that remaining true to your values and ideals will help create a sense of calmness in your heart. This is not just a game plan for life ... it is a game plan brought to life. Personal anecdotes, inspirational messages, and simple reminders throughout the book suggest win or lose...the life lesson to the reader is . . . keep playing as teaching and learning are timeless.

My Choice - My Life: Realizing Your Ability to Create Balance in Life
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A coach is the person that people turn to when they need guidance, to be inspired or to be coached for a specific reason or goal. Great coaches hold a mystic about how they get things done or get people or teams to do amazing things. Usually their books, biographies or autobiographies have many parallels that you can use in your life or business. This book is not an exception to this rule.

This book is filled with knowledge from one of the greatest coaches ever. I could not put the book down. It is written from a first person narrative from John and he starts out by explaining what people have had the most impact on his life. It may sound cheesy but he started wit his father. I have a tone of respect for mine so I think that I would have done the same if it were me. It is interesting to see why he acted as he did while he was a coach and how John has taught other people to live. Treating everyone as an equal no matter what their position in life is one of the cornerstones of the lessons in this book.

Even though I am in sales and not a basketball player I was able to reinforce that fundamentals are the most important item to practice, yes that trick shot that may be needed once ever is fun to practice but the basics and fundamentals are the most important.

It does not matter whether you are a coach, manager or just looking for a great book to read there will be something in here for you. To gain knowledge you must get different perspectives, and this book will leave you with some.

What I really got form this book was that in order to be a leader you yourself first must be the type of person that everyone would like to follow by giving others their respect first. It goes back to what my mother taught me "Always act like someone else is watching".
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Really a great book with simple lessons and guidelines to be successful. I have read a few books about Coach Wooden, each is just as good as this one. This is a good book to get for your self or anyone who appreciates simple and honest advice from a master teacher, mentor, and English teacher, if you did not know John Wooden started as a high school English teacher in South Bend, Indiana as well as began his coaching career there. Just think, if he can start somewhere that few people would think of and have such a successful career as well as life, why not consider his advice and wisdom in this book.
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