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Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court Hardcover – April 22, 1997
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Coach Wooden's remarkable 10 national basketball championships in 12 years at UCLA speak for themselves. In Wooden, the coach--quiet, thoughtful, and introspective throughout his distinguished career--finally speaks forhimself, and he's well worth hearing. Wooden is a modern chapbook of inspiration and good sense that reveals the hard-court philosopher behind it as a man of character, conviction, decency, and straightforwardness. There are no complex ideas, just little beams of light filtered through anecdotes that project the kinds of simple, immutable truths that in the end touch nothing but net.
From Library Journal
As stated in the introduction, this book is "neither a conventional narrative, a biography, nor a how-to book on basketball." It is instead a compilation of the tenets and teachings of arguably the greatest basketball coach of all time. Wooden's codes are of the traditional kind, centering on family, faith, friends off the court and organization, dedication, and preparation on the hardwood. Still, he is not stuck in the past. His observation that basketball is first and foremost a game of quickness revolutionized the tactical approach to the sport. The former UCLA coach is above all a teacher, and the lessons he imparts here are derived from a lifetime of learning and achievement. Recommended for adult and young adult collections.?William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Ft. Myers, Fla.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010) also known as the "Wizard of Westwood," was the men’s basketball coach during UCLA’s dynasty years. Over his career he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including a record seven in a row, and his team won a record 88 consecutive games. In 1960 he was the first to be enshrined as both a player and a coach in the Basketball Hall of Fame. ESPN named Coach Wooden the Coach of the Century.
But at his core, Coach Wooden was a teacher. The life lessons he taught and his quotes, known as "Woodenisms", have become legend. Fortunately, he shared his philosophy, credo, witticisms, and his pyramid for success with us all and with generations to come through lectures and books.
I was introduced to Coach Wooden’s teachings years ago and then reintroduced to them again when a manager of mine gave me a copy of the book, “Wooden, A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court”. I devoured it and once again I was hooked. In it, he lays out his philosophy on life, leadership, success, and personal fulfillment. He teaches through short simple inspirational messages that strike you as both common sense and deeply profound at the same time.
So I pulled out my copy of “Observations and Reflections” full of post-it’s marking key pages and re-read it. My objective being to honor him, but as usual I ended up once again learning from him.
Coach Wooden credits his father (as I do mine) with giving him the foundation for his life. In “Observations and Reflections” he refers to the two sets of threes – direct and simple rules from his father about how you should live your life that his father gave to him on a card.
• Never lie.
• Never cheat.
• Never steal.
• Don’t whine.
• Don’t complain.
• Don’t make excuses.
On the back of the card was his father’s creed, titled “Seven Things to Do”. I’ll let you do some research or read the book to learn them.
I am always struck by how similar his basic life lessons are to those I learned from my own father.
My father a man of few words (or who as my oldest son referred to in the eulogy he gave at his funeral - “a man of few words who somehow could give a one-sentence answer to any question about life no matter how complex”) had his own “rules” or as my children came to know them as “Poppa-isms”. He had many of them, some serious and some funny – but in each one there was a lesson.
Like Coach Wooden my father seemed to have an innate understanding of life that he could express in the simplest of terms. My Father passed away this past year, so I guess when I was reminded of Coach Wooden’s birthday I somehow subconsciously connected the two men in my mind.
Over the years I have gifted Coach Wooden’s “Observations and Reflections” book to friends, to young people graduating from High School and College, and to managers that I have coached (using it as a developmental tool) in my career - - and yes, it was required reading for all three of my children.
Take a moment to acquaint yourself with Coach Wooden and allow the teacher to teach. You might be surprised how familiar some of it sounds. In today’s complex world where at times overthinking things tends to happen, sometimes simplicity is the best medicine. Happy Belated Birthday Coach, and thanks Dad.
"Did I win? Did I lose? Those are the wrong questions. The correct question is: Did I make my best effort? That's what matters. The rest of it just gets in the way."
"In classic times, the courageous struggle for a noble cause was considered success in itself. Sadly, that ideal has been forgotten. But it is well worth remembering."
~ John Wooden from Wooden
John Wooden's awesome.
According to ESPN, he's the greatest coach of the 20th century and some would say he's the greatest coach *ever.* A super humble, inspired man, Wooden led his UCLA basketball team (Go Bruins!! :) to 10 NCAA championships in 12 years, including an 88-game winning streak.
As a coach, he was all about the *process* of becoming a better and better player (and human being) rather than an obsessive focus on the *outcome* of winning. As an author he shares this grounded, super practical old-school wisdom in a wonderful way.
Here are some of my favorite Big Ideas:
1. Become A Little Better - Every day.
2. Giving Thanks - For our blessings.
3. Perfection - Guiding stars and distant shores.
4. The Realistic Optimist - Let's become one!
5. The Fundamentals - Of success.
Here's to improving our "team" by improving ourselves!!
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