My Favorite John Wooden Quotes

John Wooden Quotes

Compiled by Jeff Fenske
ToBeFree

Success
is peace of mind
which is a direct result of
self-satisfaction in knowing
you did your best to become
the best you are capable of becoming.”


Never try to be better than someone else.
Learn from others,
and try to be the best you can be.
Success is the by-product of that preparation.”

Happiness begins where selfishness ends.”

“It’s the little details that are vital.
Little things make big things happen.”

“If something occurred to me that MIGHT help us, 
I implemented it.”

Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

“There is nothing stronger than gentleness.”

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”

Make every day your masterpiece. “

“I always tried to make clear that basketball is not the ultimate. It is of small importance in comparison to the total life we live. There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior. Until that is done, we are on an aimless course that runs in circles and goes nowhere.”

Be prepared and be honest.”

“Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”

“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but what you should have accomplished with your ability.”

“Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”

“There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.”

“It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”

Discipline yourself and others won’t need to.”

The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

Tell the truth. That way you don’t have to remember a story.”

Listen if you want to be heard

“Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress.”

If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.”

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

“For an athlete to function properly, he must be intent. There has to be a definite purpose and goal if you are to progress. If you are not intent about what you are doing, you aren’t able to resist the temptation to do something else that might be more fun at the moment.”

Talent is God given. Be humble.
Fame is man-given. Be grateful.
Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”

“The most important key to achieving great success is to decide upon your goal and launch, get started, take action, move.”

“It is most difficult, in my mind, to separate any success, whether it be in your profession, your family, or as in my case, in basketball, from religion.”

Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.”

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”

Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”

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

Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

“Although I wanted my players to work to win, I tried to convince them they had always won when they had done their best.”

Consider the rights of others before your own feelings,
and the feelings of others before your own rights
.”

“Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.”

“Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.”

“Never mistake activity for achievement.”

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.”

If I were ever prosecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me.”

“Remember this your lifetime through:
Tomorrow there will be more to do.
And failure waits for all who stay
With some success made yesterday.
Tomorrow you must try once more,
And even harder than before
.”

Related:

John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success

“No Hate,” Himself (John Wooden) Recognized as the Greatest Coach! Why?

John Wooden: A man who would NOT curse people — “Goodness Gracious Sakes Alive!”

John Wooden – An Intergalactic Treasure! “Be quick, but don’t hurry” — “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail” — “Happiness begins when selfishness ends” …

John Wooden at age-95: “Why I feel blessed” | His dad’s wisdom: “You’re never better than anybody else”

John Wooden: Love and Balance

John Wooden’s heavenly perspective: “I’d rather be unknown here and have my name up there.”

[2008] John Wooden on Success, Peace of Mind, Real Joy & Doing for Others

John Wooden [1910 – 2010] recites his poem about being with his Lord: “Don’t Look Back”

Coach John Wooden (at age-90) redefines ‘success’ AND John Wooden on ‘change’ we can believe in

[photo] John and Nellie Wooden

John Wooden in 7 words: “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”

[quote] John Wooden: “If something occurred to me that MIGHT help us, I implemented it.”

John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success

John Wooden wasn’t satisfied with Webster’s definition of success.
He felt like young people deserved a healthier definition,
and then laid out for them the ingredients of success
in this chart.

Success is peace of mind which is
a direct result of self-satisfaction
in knowing you made the effort to
become the best that you are
capable of becoming.”

(exact wording of his website’s version)

A giant, printable version is available at
Coach Wooden’s Site


.

John tweaked his Pyramid of Success over the years.
It’s interesting to hear him discuss the significance
that changing even just one word makes.

This is an earlier version,
which still has:
“Faith (through prayer)”

.

This version also has “FAITH (through prayer);”
though, it’s slightly different in other areas.

I couldn’t find a more legible photo of this version.

God bless!

Related:

My Favorite John Wooden Quotes

“No Hate,” Himself (John Wooden) Recognized as the Greatest Coach! Why?

John Wooden: A man who would NOT curse people — “Goodness Gracious Sakes Alive!”

John Wooden – An Intergalactic Treasure! “Be quick, but don’t hurry” — “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail” — “Happiness begins when selfishness ends” …

John Wooden at age-95: “Why I feel blessed” | His dad’s wisdom: “You’re never better than anybody else”

John Wooden: Love and Balance

John Wooden’s heavenly perspective: “I’d rather be unknown here and have my name up there.”

[2008] John Wooden on Success, Peace of Mind, Real Joy & Doing for Others

John Wooden [1910 – 2010] recites his poem about being with his Lord: “Don’t Look Back”

Coach John Wooden (at age-90) redefines ‘success’ AND John Wooden on ‘change’ we can believe in

[photo] John and Nellie Wooden

John Wooden in 7 words: “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”

[quote] John Wooden: “If something occurred to me that MIGHT help us, I implemented it.”

Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization

John Wooden’s heavenly perspective: “I’d rather be unknown here and have my name up there.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCdlWdEMXBA]Wooden Quote

HomesickProductions — March 12, 2010 — Interview of John Wooden shot in Los Angeles CA at Vip’s Family Restaurant

Related:

John Wooden [1910 – 2010] recites his poem about being with his Lord: “Don’t Look Back”

“No Hate,” Himself (John Wooden) Recognized as the Greatest Coach! Why?

John Wooden [1910 – 2010] recites his poem about being with his Lord: “Don’t Look Back”

Transcribed by Jeff Fenske

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-FyRMpo824]John Wooden – Poem

John Wooden recites a poem about aging, and the peace he has in seeing the Lord

• • •

Don’t Look Back
By John Wooden

The years have left their imprint
on my hands and on my face.
Erect no longer is my walk,
and slower is my pace.

But there is no fear within my heart
because I am growing old.
I only wish I had more time
to better serve my Lord.

When I have gone to Him in prayer,
He has brought me inner peace.
And soon my cares and worries
and other problems cease.

He’s helped me in so many ways;
He’s never let me down.
Why should I fear the future
when soon I could be near His crown?

Though I know down here
my time is short,
there’s endless time up there.
And He will forgive and keep me ever in His loving care.

Related:

“No Hate,” Himself (John Wooden) Recognized as the Greatest Coach! Why?

John Wooden’s heavenly perspective: “I’d rather be unknown here and have my name up there.”

[video - Feb. 2001] Coach John Wooden (at age-90) redefines ‘success’ AND John Wooden on ‘change’ we can believe in

High quality version with transcript HERE

John Wooden redefines success:

“I coined my own definition of success
in nineteen hundred and thirty four…:
peace of mind
attained only through self-satisfaction in
knowing you made the effort
to do the best of which you’re capable”
.

John Wooden on change we can believe in:

“Our tendency is to hope that things will turn out
the way we want them to…,
but we don’t do the things that are necessary
to make those things become a reality.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MM-psvqiG8]John Wooden: Coaching for people, not points

With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father’s wisdom.

Two selections from the transcript:

I coined my own definition of success in nineteen hundred and thirty four, when I was teaching at a high school in South Bend, Indiana. Being a little bit disappointed, and delusioned perhaps by the way parents of the youngsters in my English classes expected their youngsters to get an A or a B. They thought a C was all right for the neighbors children, because the neighbors children are all average. But they weren’t satisfied when their own — would make the teacher feel that they had failed, or the youngster had failed. And that’s not right. The good lord in his infinite wisdom didn’t create us all equal as far as intelligence is concerned, any more than we’re equal for size, appearance. Not everybody could earn an A or a B, and I didn’t like that way of judging it.

I did know know how the alumni of various schools back in the ’30s judged coaches and athletic teams. If you won them all, you were considered to be reasonably successful. Not completely. Because I found out — we had a number of years at UCLA where we didn’t lose a game. But it seemed that we didn’t win each individual game by the margin that some of our alumni had predicted. And quite frequently I — (Laughter) — quite frequently I really felt that they had backed up their predictions in a more materialistic manner. But that was true back in the ’30s, so I understood that. But I didn’t like it. And I didn’t agree with it. And I wanted to come up with something that I hoped could make me a better teacher, and give the youngsters under my supervision — whether it be in athletics or in the English classroom — something to which to aspire, other than just a higher mark in the classroom, or more points in some athletic contest.

I thought about that for quite a spell, and I wanted to come up with my own definition. I thought that might help. And I knew how Mr. Webster defined it: as the accumulation of material possessions or the attainment of a position of power or prestige, or something of that sort. Worthy accomplishments perhaps, but in my opinion not necessarily indicative of success. So I wanted to come up with something of my own.

I recalled, I was raised on a small farm in Southern Indiana. And Dad tried to teach me and my brothers that you should never try to be better than someone else. I’m sure at the time he did that, I didn’t — it didn’t — well, somewhere, I guess in the hidden recesses of my mind, it popped out years later. Never try to be better than someone else, always learn from others. Never cease trying to be the best you can be — that’s under your control. If you get too engrossed and involved and concerned in regard to the things over which you have no control, it will adversely affect the things over which you have control. Then I ran across this simple verse that said, “At God’s footstool to confess, a poor soul knelt, and bowed his head. ‘I failed!’ He cried. The Master said, ‘Thou didst thy best, that is success.'”

From those things, and one other perhaps, I coined my own definition of success. Which is: peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable. I believe that’s true. If you make the effort to to the best of which you’re capable, try and improve the situation that exists for you, I think that’s success. And I don’t think others can judge that. I think it’s like character and reputation. Your reputation is what you are perceived to be; your character is what you really are. And I think that character is much more important than what you are perceived to be. You’d hope they’d both be good. But they won’t necessarily be the same. Well, that was my idea that I was going to try to get across to the youngsters.

•••

I say to you, in whatever you’re doing, you must be patient . You have to have patience to — we want things to happen. We talk about our youth being impatient a lot. And they are. They want to change everything. They think all change is progress. And we get a little older — we sort of let things go. And we forget there is no progress without change. So you must have patience. And I believe that we must have faith. I believe that we must believe, truly believe. Not just give it word service; believe that things will work out as they should, providing we do what we should. I think our tendency is to hope that things will turn out the way we want them to , much of the time. But we don’t do the things that are necessary to make those things become reality.

Related:

“No Hate,” Himself (John Wooden) Recognized as the Greatest Coach! Why?

John Wooden – An Intergalactic Treasure! “Be quick, but don’t hurry” — “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail” — “Happiness begins when selfishness ends” …

“This is really someone who is an intergalactic treasure!”

– Bill Walton

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1WOjpegGyA]John Wooden – Intergalactic Treasure

Related:

“No Hate,” Himself (John Wooden) Recognized as the Greatest Coach! Why?