- I always tried to make clear that basketball is not the ultimate. It is of small importance in comparison to the total life we live. There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior. Until that is done, we are on an aimless course that runs in circles and goes nowhere.
- Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.
- Young people need models, not critics...
- Although I wanted my players to work to win, I tried to convince them they had always won when they had done their best.
- Nothing will work unless you do.
- You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
- Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.
- It isn't what you do, but how you do it.
- Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
- There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.
- You cannot attain and maintain physical condition unless you are morally and mentally conditioned. And it is impossible to be in moral condition unless you are spiritually conditioned. I always told my players that our team condition depended on two factors -- how hard they worked on the floor during practice and how well they behaved between practices.
- Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.
- Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
- It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
- Sports do not build character. They reveal it.
- It is most difficult, in my mind, to separate any success, whether it be in your profession, your family, or as in my case, in basketball, from religion.
- Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
- Be prepared and be honest.
- Don't mistake activity for achievement.
- I'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.
- If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.
- It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.
- Never mistake activity for achievement.
- Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
- It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.
- For an athlete to function properly, he must be intent. There has to be a definite purpose and goal if you are to progress. If you are not intent about what you are doing, you aren't able to resist the temptation to do something else that might be more fun at the moment.
- Success is peace of mind, a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming, and not just in a physical way: seek ye first the kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be yours as well.
- Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.
- Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.
- Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. Itâ€™s courage that counts.
John Robert Wooden was an American basketball player and coach. Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood," as head coach at UCLA he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year periodâ€”seven in a rowâ€” an unprecedented feat. Within this period, his teams won a record 88 consecutive games. He was named national coach of the year six times.
As a player, Wooden was the first to be named basketball All-American three times, and he won a Helms Athletic Foundation National Championship at Purdue in 1932, seven years before the birth of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Wooden was named a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and as a coach, the first person ever enshrined in both categories. Only Lenny Wilkens and Bill Sharman have since had the same honor.
One of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, Wooden was beloved by his former players, among them Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. Wooden was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players, including his "Pyramid of Success". These often were directed at how to be a success in life as well as in basketball.