The first time I ever heard the name John Wooden was during a master's course I was taking for a post-graduate degree in administration. One of my assignments was to write a synopsis on a video of Coach Wooden's principles, relating his beliefs to information being taught in the course. Before then, I really had no idea who John Wooden was - let alone his coaching accomplishments. He was not someone I had ever come across. Boy, what a small world I lived in, right?
Pushing the video into my VCR, I sat back on my couch, with a pad of paper and pencil to jot down some notes, and proceeded to watch what I thought would be a mundane lecture on success, leadership, or something else along those lines. However, what I got was so much more.
As I listened to Coach Wooden make clear his principles and beliefs about sports, success, and life in general, I distinctly remember becoming emotionally vested in everything he said. A stoic, genuine, and earnest man who exuded confidence and wisdom certainly beyond my years, I was amazed over how relevant the concepts he discussed mirrored many of my own beliefs. Even with decades between our ages, a surprising number of his principles I followed as an athlete, and later as a coach trying to instill this same ideology in athletes that were under my direction. I actually remember saying to myself, "that's it" - those are exactly the same ideas and concepts I used to achieve the successes I had as an athlete. I was truly captivated by all he had to say.
Now, I could write pages on Coach Wooden's beliefs detailing their importance, how following them would make an enormous and positive impact on today's sports and youth sports culture, and how they should be the center of focus for all athletes, parents, and coaches wanting to be successful. However, my own words could not possibly bring the depth and breadth of meaning that John Wooden himself would bring to them. So, with that in mind, here are a variety of video pieces that depict how the man so many call "Coach" sees the world.
Hey Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, A-Rod, Mark McGwire, Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, etc; and even: I'm not anyones role model Charles Barkley, the following is for you:
(Please excuse the Gatoraid commercial at the end)
There will never be another man like Coach John Wooden
May We All Aspire To Be As Much