Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Coach Wooden

Today is the birthday of the man many consider to be the greatest basketball coach ever. John Wooden turns 99 today. Any basketball fan who is my age or a bit younger remembers the string of national championships that "Coach" won at UCLA. From 1967-1973, his teams emerged as champions seven years in a row, and they added three more to that streak for a total of ten. During those years, Wooden rarely traveled to recruit. Players came to him, seeking to be part of a dominant program.

Basketball coaches all over the world have studied Wooden's coaching methods. Not just to learn the x's and o's, but to learn the philosophy behind the program. Famous Wooden maxims can be found in countless coaches' offices and locker rooms. Some of the more famous are:

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

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."

"Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."

"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."

Coach Wooden left a great legacy, not only at UCLA, but all over the world. Happy birthday, Coach.

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