Wednesday, October 20, 2010

John Wooden - 5 Basic Principles

From the 1975 Medalist Notebook:

There are many important principles that must be considered when attempting to teach the game of basketball to a group of young men and develop them into a smooth functioning combination. I am making a select group of the five things that make up the cornerstones and the heart of the Pyramid of Success, a mythical structure devised to help consolidate my own thinking.

Industriousness. There is no substitute for work. You and your players must work hard, as all worthwhile objectives are attained only through careful planning and hard work. Perfection can never be attained, but it must be the goal and must be sought by determined effort.

Enthusiasm. You and your players must be enthusiastic about basketball.

Condition - Mental, Moral, and Physical. The mental and moral conditions of your players are of extreme importance because they will determine the physical condition if the players are industrious and enthusiastic. A player that is not mentally and morally sound will never be able to become well conditioned, because he tears down rather than builds.

The mental and moral example set by the coach can have a strong influence on the type of ball players he produces, and, of even greater importance, on the character of the young men who later leave his guidance and begin to lead others.

Fundamentals. Through teaching of the coach the players must acquire a thorough knowledge of and the ability to properly execute the fundamentals of the game. They must be taught to react properly, instantly without having to stop or hesitate and think about what to do. In basketball there is no question about the truth of the statement, "He who hesitates is lost." The entire foundation for sound play is the quick execution of the basic fundamentals.

Development of Team Spirit. The coach must use every bit of psychology at his command and use every available method to develop a fine team spirit on his squad. Teamwork and unselfishness must be encouraged at every opportunity, and each player must be eager, not just willing, to sacrifice personal glory for the welfare of the team.

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