Wednesday, October 27, 2010

John Wooden - On Doing Your best

The next in the continuing series from Coach Wooden in the 1975 Medalist Notebook.
A coach can only do his best. Nothing more. But he does owe that, not only to himself, but to the people who employ him and to the youngsters under his supervision. If you truly do your best, and only you will really know, then you are successful and the actual score is immaterial whether it was favorable or unfavorable. However, when you fail to do your best, you have failed, even though the score might have been to your liking.
This does not mean that you should not coach to win. You must teach your players to play to win and do everything in your power that is ethical and honest to win. I want to be able to feel and want my players sincerely to feel that doing the best that you are capable of doing is victory in itself and less than that is defeat.
I continually stress to my players that all I expect from them at practice and in the games is their best effort. They must be eager to become the very best that they are capable of becoming. I tell them that, although I want them to be pleased over victory and personal accomplishment, I want them to get the most satisfaction from knowing that both they and the team did their best. I hope that their actions or conduct following a game will not indicate victory or defeat.
Heads should always be high when you have done your best regardless of the score and there is no reason for being overly jubilant at victory or unduly depressed by defeat.

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