John Wooden at a ceremony on Oct. 14, the coac...

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Earlier this year, world sports lost one of the greatest coaches of all time when Coach John Wooden passed away at the grand age of 99.

Coach Wooden was best known for his days at UCLA where he coached their basketball team to the following achievements:

  • 10 NCAA National Championships
  •  7 NCAA Championships in a row between 1967 and 1973
  • 88 consecutive wins between 1971 and 1973
  • An all-time winning percentage of 81.3%.

 He was granted the President’s medal of freedom in 2003, has written numerous books and is well known for his “Pyramid of Success.”

He also had some amazing quotes, some of which I would like to share with you.

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.

Many of us spend a lot of time protecting the outside, but forget that it’s what’s on the inside that matters.  It’s like building a house.  Spend a lot of time on the foundation and you will have a house that stand up to the rigours of the elements.  However, if you just build a fancy mansion without a proper foundation, it can all come crashing down at any minute.

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

This is so true.  Sometimes, our fear of making mistakes and looking silly holds us back from doing something great.  Don’t allow yourself to be held back by perfectionism or fear.  Give life a go, take action and learn from the mistakes that you will inevitably make. 

While you’re at it, forgive others for the mistakes that they make as well, at least they’re trying.

What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player.

In this day and age of diva athletes who make the front-pages of our newspapers for all the wrong reasons, this is a very relevant message.  However, it’s also true for the rest of us couch potatoes.  Don’t be defined by what you do, be defined by who you are.

A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.

I really like this definition as it balances out the need to speak up when necessary to deliver an important message, with the requirement to be sensitive to your audience and not have your message wasted through how it’s communicated.

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

Nice and simple isn’t it?  You have been given certain talents, strengths and abilities.  Do your very best with what you have.  Continue to develop yourself and don’t waste the potential that you have been given.

If you don’t think that you have any strengths, you’re wrong , plain and simple.  You do have gifts and abilities and you have a responsibility to identify, develop and utilise them.

If you think that you are so gifted that you can get away with a half-hearted effort, you’re wrong.  Success doesn’t come until you maximise your abilities and you’ve reached some meaningful goals.

Thanks Coach Wooden for a life well lived and for leaving a legacy of wisdom for us all.

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