coach wooden greatest quotes

The Wizard’s wisdom: ‘Woodenisms’


By ESPN.com staff

The life lessons taught by John Wooden have become legend. Here’s a collection of some of the greatest “Woodenisms.”

  • “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
  • “Never mistake activity for achievement.”
  • “Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.”
  • “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 you are.”

John Wooden

  • “Be prepared and be honest.”
  • “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”
  • “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.”
  • “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
  • “What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.”
  • “Winning takes talent; to repeat takes character.”
  • “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”
  • “I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.”
  • “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
  • “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”
  • “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.”
  • “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.”
  • “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”
  • “Consider the rights of others before your own feelings and the feelings of others before your own rights.”
  • “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
  • “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”
  • “It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.”
  • “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
  • “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
  • “Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”
  • “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
  • “Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”

Source: CoachWooden.com

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