35 Quotes from Coach Wooden

John Wooden

One of the greatest coaches of all time and a quote machine. Here are 35 quotes from the legendary John Wooden.

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

2. If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.

3. It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.

4. Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.

5. Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.

6. Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendships a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessing and pray for guidance every day.

7. Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.

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

9. The most important thing in the world is family and love.

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

11. Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.

12. Never lie, never cheat, never steal.

13. The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.

14. You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one of them.

15. I worry that business leaders are more interested in material gain than they are in having the patience to build up a strong organization, and a strong organization starts with caring for their people.

16. Young people need models, not critics.

17. Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.

18. Never mistake activity for achievement.

19. Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.

20. If you’re true to yourself, you’re going to be true to everyone else.

21. You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

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

23. I think you have to be what you are. Don’t try to be someone else. You have to be yourself at all times.

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

25. 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 of you.

26. Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free from admirers then.

27. Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.

28. Make each day your masterpiece.

29. Just try to be the best you can be; never cease trying to be the best you can be. That’s in your power.

30. A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.

31. The best competition I have is against myself to become better.

32. What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.

33. All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.

34. I’d rather have a ton of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.

35. Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.


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