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The Wisdom of John Wooden
From the Marshall Memo #432
In this CABE Journal article, Ohio educator Richard Lewis organizes a series of quotes from John Wooden, renowned UCLA basketball coach, under 17 exhortations. How much of this applies to K-12 schools?
• Be a good person at all times. “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.”
• Be a team player, always. “The main ingredient in stardom is the rest of the team.”
• Be a good student in all subjects, not just basketball.
• Be enthusiastic, industrious, dependable, loyal, and cooperative. “The player who gives his best is sure of success, while the player who gives less than his best is a failure.”
• Earn the right to be proud and confident. “Winning takes talent, repeating it takes character. Little things make big things happen.”
• Keep emotions under control without losing fight or aggressiveness. “Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.”
• Work constantly to improve without becoming satisfied. “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
• Acquire peace of mind by becoming the best that you are capable of becoming. “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”
• Never criticize, nag, or razz a teammate. “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”
• Never miss or be late for any class or appointment.
• Never be selfish, jealous, envious, or egotistical. “Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.”
• Never expect favors – or grant them. “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.”
• Never waste time. “Never mistake activity for achievement… If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
• Never alibi or make excuses. “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.”
• Never require repeated criticism for the same mistake.
• Never lose faith or patience. “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”
• Never have reason to be sorry afterward. “Tomorrow I will try harder.”
“The Wizard’s Wise Words” by Richard Lewis in The CABE Journal, April 2012 (Vol. 17, #4, p. 15), no e-link available