I am a huge John Wooden fan. I completely admire and respect the way that he conducted himself as a basketball coach. He won several national championships as the coach at UCLA and left an unbelievable legacy.
I have read several books about him during the last 5 years or so. When I read these books (or any other book for that matter), I always try to learn something that I can apply in my situation. Not only as a strength and conditioning coach, but also as a person.
One of my favorite books about coach Wooden is Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization. The book actually contains copies of several of his own private notes that he kept when he was coaching. This is one of the books that I continue to re-read over and over again.
Here are some quotes and thoughts that I think are good for strength and conditioning coaches, coaches, or anyone else who leads people.
“The coach must never forget that he is, first of all, a teacher. He must come (be present), see (diagnose), and conquer (correct). He must be continuously exploring for ways to improve himself in order that he may improve others and welcome every person and everything that maybe helpful to him.”
– You must teach your athletes and clients to do things correctly all of the time and continue to learn and evolve so that you can help them get better. To me, this is what I love about the profession I am in. This is what it is all about. We continue to teach the little things over and over again on a daily basis and I am always looking for ways to get better.
“Develop the same sense of responsibility in every player regardless of the amount of time they may get to play. The varsity squad is one team, not regulars and substitutes.”
– This is a key for strength and conditioning coaches working in team sports. Although it is probably more difficult at the professional level, every player needs to get their work in. It requires a really good job of communicating the importance of it to them.
“Success is not a destination, it is a journey.”
– I love the simplicity of this quote. It is actually on a sign on the wall in our weight room.
If you are a coach or a leader and haven’t read any if John Wooden’s books, you should. I would love to see John Wooden coach today. I really think that he would be successful. Some may disagree, but I think he would do a great job in today’s game.