There are simply no words to describe the legacy of John Wooden, legendary basketball coach and wordsmith. From 1946 to 1975, Wooden coached at the top of the game, most notably at UCLA, where he won a total of 10 NCAA championships, seven of which came in consecutive years. Wooden set records in all categories and became extremely revered in the sports world. However, Wooden was also a man of great faith and infinite wisdom, offering wise words and encouragement for every possible situation. These words will never fail to be effective and can still ring true in our lives today. Here are just a few of Coach Wooden's most powerful words of wisdom:
1. "A leader's most powerful ally is his or her own example."
2. "Your reputation is what you're perceived to be. Your character is what you really are."
3. "I believe we are most likely to succeed when ambition is focused on noble and worthy purposes and outcomes rather than on goals set out of selfishness."
4. "I wanted my players to always be searching, especially for the truth. I wanted them to know what they believed and be able to defend it. Truth will always stand the test of scrutiny."
5. "There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning."
6. "The best competition I have is against myself to become better."
7. "God created us to be interdependent. We were not designed to go through life alone. We become so much more when we come alongside others—and we make them better, too."
8. "We become great in the eyes of others, but we'll never become successful when we compromise our character and show disloyalty toward friends or teammates. The reverse is also true: No individual or team will become great without loyalty."
9. "Concentrate on what you do have, not on what you don't."
10. "Don't let making a living prevent you from making a life."
11. "There is nothing stronger than gentleness."
12. "Friendship is doing for others while they are doing for you. It's called ministry when all of the doing goes in one direction. Friendship goes both ways. Friendship is like a good marriage—it's based on mutual concern. Friends help each other, they don't use each other.
13. "Sincerity may not help us make friends, but it will help us keep them."
14. "There is a wonderful axiom about the three things most people really want out of life: happiness, freedom and peace of mind. Interestingly, these things are usually attained when we give them away. When we are fortunate enough to have them, the three are also a form of shelter. The life we lead and the friends we make can be shelters, too."
15. "Failure is not fatal, but failure to change can be."
16. "Those who primarily work alone will never become all they could become if they were working with others. Working with others makes us much more than we could ever become alone.
17. "If I am ever through learning, I am through."
18. "In life, worthwhile accomplishments and acquisitions take time. Usually the better the reward, the more time it takes to acquire it."
19. "I am sure God hears all of our prayers and answers them—but sometimes the answer is no."
20. "We can give without loving, but we can't love without giving. In fact, love is nothing unless we give it to someone."
All quotes can be found in Hallmark's book, "Life Wisdom from Coach Wooden."