John Robert Wooden is the greatest basketball coach ever to strap a whistle around his neck.  He guided UCLA to ten NCAA Championships and was a five-time College Coach of the Year.

The Wisdom of Wooden 2

The life lessons taught by the humble philosopher brought wisdom and inspiration to generations of people.  Coach Wooden’s maxims have stood the test of time.  Here’s a collection of some of our favorite “Woodenisms.”

The Wisdom of Wooden 3

Never mistake activity for achievement.

John Wooden 4

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

John Wooden 5

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

John Wooden 6

Be quick, but don’t hurry.

John Wooden 7

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

John Wooden 8

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

John Wooden 9

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

John Wooden 10

Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who will argue with you.

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

John Wooden 12

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.

John Wooden Coach

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

John Wooden, Lew Alcindor

Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation.  Your character is what you really are, while you’re reputation is merely what others think you are.

John Wooden Coach 2

Don’t give up on your dreams or you’re dreams will give up on you.

John Wooden Coach 3

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

Coach Wooden

If you’re true to yourself, you’re going to be true to others.

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  1. “What you are as a person is far more important than who you are as a basketball player.” JW

    I had the great privilege of attending an event in the mid 1980’s at the Los Angeles Athletic Club where John Wooden was honored as Man of the Year. Vin Scully was the Master of Ceremonies. Every word that was spoken from the podium that evening was poetic, beautiful, insightful, and full of wisdom. It was Athletic Heaven! If I could go back and relive one event, I think it would be that night. Yes, it would definitely be that night.

    Thank you to the Daily Dose for a truly outstanding rememberance of not only the best basketball coach of all time, but maybe the best coach period. The pictures and quotes are priceless.

    Please renew my subscription!

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