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Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court Hardcover – April 22, 1997
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"I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs."--John Wooden
Evoking days gone by when coaches were respected as much for their off-court performances as for their success on the court, Wooden presents the timeless wisdom of legendary basketball coach John Wooden.
In honest and telling passages about virtually every aspect of life, Coach shares his personal philosophy on family, achievement, success, and excellence. Raised on a small farm in south-central Indiana, he offers lessons and wisdom learned throughout his career at UCLA, and life as a dedicated husband, father, and teacher.
These lessons, along with personal letters from Bill Walton, Denny Crum, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bob Costas, among others, have made Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and off the Court an inspirational classic.
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Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
- Publisher : Contemporary Books; 1st edition (April 22, 1997)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 201 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0809230410
- ISBN-13 : 978-0809230419
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.3 x 0.9 x 7.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #20,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2016
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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.
-Failing to prepare is preparing to fail...
-Sports do not build character, they reveal it...
-Be more concerned about your character than your reputation; your reputation is what people think you are - your character is who you really are...
I was the Coach of the US Maccabiah Masters Tennis Team for the Pan American Maccabiah Games that were held in Mexico City in July 2019, where I gave John Wooden's book to all of my tennis players to read. This book should be required reading for all athletes, all children who aspire to be athletes, parents, and students of philosophy courses - it has great meaning to anyone, both athletes and non-athletes. Sadly, we have lost this iconic role model to advance age, but his words of how he viewed and lived life live on in this book. A must read...