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Quotes & Sayings

137 Best John Wooden Quotes & Sayings

Here is a list of 137 Best John Wooden Quotes & Sayings.

 

John Wooden Quotes & Sayings

 

“Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.”

 

“I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs.”

 

“Earn the right to be proud and confident.”

 

“Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.”

 

“Joy makes the longest journey too short.”

 

“If I am through learning, I am through.”

 

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

 

“I don’t believe in praying to win.”

 

“It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.”

 

“Never lie, never cheat, never steal.”

 

“Listen if you want to be heard.”

 

“Be prepared and be honest.”

 

“I don’t believe in fate.”

 

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

 

“Ability is a poor man’s wealth.”

 

“Happiness begins where selfishness ends.”

 

“Tell the truth. That way you don’t have to remember a story.”

 

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

 

“Succeeding is performing at your best when your best is required.”

 

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

 

“Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

 

“You can do more good by being good than any other way.”

 

“No one can really honestly be the very best, no one.”

 

“Young people need models, not critics.”

 

“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”

 

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

 

“It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.”

 

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

 

“Passion is momentary; love is enduring.”

 

“Never mistake activity for achievement.”

 

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

 

“If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.”

 

“Just do the best you can. No one can do more than that.”

 

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

 

“Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.”

 

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”

 

“Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.”

 

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

 

“You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes.”

 

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

 

“We can agree to disagree, but we don’t need to be disagreeable.”

 

“Well, if you’re true to yourself you’re going to be true to everyone else.”

 

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

 

“I like to spend time in the past, with the things that have been important to me.”

 

“If you stay intent and your ability warrants it, you will eventually reach the top of the mountain.”

 

“If I were a young coach today, I would be extremely careful in selecting assistants.”

 

“It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it.”

 

“The best way to improve the team is to improve ourselves.”

 

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

 

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

 

“Mistakes come from doing, but so does success.”

 

“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”

 

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

 

“Next to love, balance is the most important thing.”

 

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.”

 

“We can have no progress without change, whether it be basketball or anything else.”

 

“Measure yourself by…what you have accomplished with your ability.”

 

“Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time.”

 

“It’s always about focusing not on the mistakes but on the lessons learned from them.”

 

“If you are afraid to fail, you will never do the things you are capable of doing.”

 

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

 

“Passion is momentary; love is enduring.”

 

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

 

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

 

“I don’t think I was a fine game coach. I’m trying to be honest. I think I was a good practice coach.”

 

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

 

“I think permitting the game to become too physical takes away a little bit of the beauty.”

 

“I seldom was ever off my seat on the bench during the game.”

 

“I had three rules for my players: No profanity. Don’t criticize a teammate. Never be late.”

 

“Love is the most important thing in the world. Hate, we should remove from the dictionary.”

 

“The man who is afraid to risk failure seldom has to face success.”

 

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

 

“I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.”

 

“Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.”

 

“It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”

 

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

 

“Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.”

 

“The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

 

“Next to love, balance is the most important thing.”

 

“When opportunity knocks, it’s too late to prepare.”

 

“I think you have to be what you are. Don’t try to be somebody else. You have to be yourself at all times.”

 

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

 

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

 

“Remember, results aren’t the criteria for success — it’s the effort made for achievement that is most important.”

 

“Coach Wooden didn’t treat everybody the same; he treated people the way they deserved to be treated.”

 

“A strong leader accepts blame and gives the credit. A weak leader gives blame and accepts the credit.”

 

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

 

“So often we fail to acknowledge what we have because we’re so concerned about what we want. We fail to give real thanks for the many blessings for which we did nothing: our life itself, the flowers, the trees, our family and friends.”

 

“Poetry, biographies, and all the other great books will greatly enrich your life. There are so many that are so good, and they are all available to you.”

 

“You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you’re outscored.”

 

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

 

“If a player’s not doing the things he should, put him on the bench. He’ll come around.”

 

“Always try to be the very best that you can be. Learn from others, yes. But don’t just try to be better than they are.”

 

“It is important for us to see that our mentors are human and therefore fallible; it makes our own shortcomings more tenable.”

 

“Defense is a definite part of the game, and a great part of defense is learning to play it without fouling.”

 

“When you hurry you’re more apt to make mistakes. But you have to be quick. If you’re not quick you can’t get things done.”

 

“Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.”

 

“I think that is the tendency of people who choke under pressure. They’re thinking about living up to the expectations of everybody else instead of just doing their job the best they can.”

 

“Don’t be afraid to fail. The greatest failure of all is not to act when action is needed.”

 

“It’s important to keep trying to do what you think is right no matter how hard it is or how often you fail. You never stop trying. I’m still trying.”

 

“Did I win? Did I lose? Those are the wrong questions. The correct question is: Did I make my best effort? That’s what matters. The rest of it just gets in the way.”

 

“A mentor must always guide, never push. It was my job to listen to them, offer my perspective, and encourage them to pursue the ideals they believed to be true.”

 

“If there’s anything you could point out where I was a little different, it was the fact that I never mentioned winning.”

 

“Happiness is in many things. It’s in love. It’s in sharing. But most of all, it’s in being at peace with yourself knowing that you are making the effort, the full effort, to do what is right.”

 

“The importance of repetition until automaticity cannot be overstated. Repetition is the key to learning.”

 

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

 

“I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession.”

 

“Those of us who have been blessed with worldly success have an even greater responsibility to make an impact with our time, talents, and resources.”

 

“Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.”

 

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

 

“Does worrying about it, complaining about it, change it? Nope, it just wastes your time. And if you complain about it to other people, you’re also wasting their time. Nothing is gained by wasting all of that time.”

 

“Envy, jealousy, and criticism can become cancerous. They hurt the person who feels them rather than the person they’re directed toward.”

 

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

 

“My eyesight is not nearly as good. My hearing is probably going away. My memory is slipping too. But I’m still around.”

 

“I think that in any group activity – whether it be business, sports, or family – there has to be leadership or it won’t be successful.”

 

“I talked to the players and tried to make them aware of what was good and bad, but I didn’t try to run their lives.”

 

“In classic times, the courageous struggle for a noble cause was considered success in itself. Sadly, that ideal has been forgotten. But it is well worth remembering.”

 

“I probably have all the same faults anyone has, and so do you. There’s nothing wrong with that. Having faults means you’re human; you’re alive and breathing. There’s nothing wrong with having faults so long as you work conscientiously to correct them. How hard you work at correcting your faults reveals your character.”

 

“Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation.”

 

“Well, your greatest joy definitely comes from doing something for another, especially when it was done with no thought of something in return.”

 

“Perfection is what you are striving for, but perfection is an impossibility. However, striving for perfection is not an impossibility. Do the best you can under the conditions that exist. That is what counts.”

 

“Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.”

 

“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.”

 

“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.”

 

“Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating…too often fathers neglect it because they get so caught up in making a living they forget to make a life.”

 

“You have to apply yourself each day to become a little better. By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a lot better.”

 

“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.”

 

“Friendship is two-sided. It isn’t a friend just because someone’s doing something nice for you. That’s a nice person. There’s friendship when you do for each other. It’s like marriage – it’s two-sided.”

 

“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.”

 

“In the end, it’s about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.”

 

“I’m no wizard, and I don’t like being thought of in that light at all. I think of a wizard as being some sort of magician or something, doing something on the sly or something, and I don’t want to be thought of in that way.”

 

“I’d be satisfied just coaching in high school. I turned down a number of colleges when I was teaching in South Bend, Indiana, before I went into the service. I honestly believe that if I hadn’t enlisted in the service, I would never have left high school teaching. I’m sure I would have never left.”

 

“It begins by trying to make each day count and knowing you can never make up for a lost day. If a player appeared to be taking it easy in practice, I told him, ‘Don’t think you can make up for it by working twice as hard tomorrow. If you have it within your power to work twice as hard, why aren’t you doing it now?”

 

“You’ve heard the expression ‘Politeness and courtesy are a small price to pay for the goodwill of others.’ In fact, I’ve used it myself from time to time even though I don’t really agree with it. Being polite and courteous isn’t paying a price any more than smiling or being happy is paying a price. You get more than you give when you are polite and courteous. You don’t pay. You are paid.”

 

“Many athletes have tremendous God-given gifts, but they don’t focus on the development of those gifts. Who are these individuals? You’ve never heard of them – and you never will. It’s true in sports and it’s true everywhere in life. Hard work is the difference. Very hard work.”

 

“The goal in life is just the same as in basketball: make the effort to do the best you are capable of doing – in marriage, at your job, in the community, for your country. Make the effort to contribute in whatever way you can. You may do it materially or with time, ideas, or work. Making the effort to contribute is what counts. The effort is what counts in everything.”

 

“It’s simple. Don’t compare yourself to somebody else, especially materially. If I’m worrying about the other guy and what he’s doing, about what he’s making, about all the attention he’s getting, I’m not going to be able to do what I’m capable of doing. It’s a guaranteed way to make yourself miserable.”

 

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