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Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER "I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs."--John Wooden Evoking days gone by when coaches were respected as much for their off-court performances as for their success on the court, Wooden presents the timeless wisdom of legendary basketball coach John Wooden. In honest and telling passages about virtually every aspect of life, Coach shares his p NATIONAL BESTSELLER "I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs."--John Wooden Evoking days gone by when coaches were respected as much for their off-court performances as for their success on the court, Wooden presents the timeless wisdom of legendary basketball coach John Wooden. In honest and telling passages about virtually every aspect of life, Coach shares his personal philosophy on family, achievement, success, and excellence. Raised on a small farm in south-central Indiana, he offers lessons and wisdom learned throughout his career at UCLA, and life as a dedicated husband, father, and teacher. These lessons, along with personal letters from Bill Walton, Denny Crum, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bob Costas, among others, have made Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and off the Court an inspirational classic.


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NATIONAL BESTSELLER "I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs."--John Wooden Evoking days gone by when coaches were respected as much for their off-court performances as for their success on the court, Wooden presents the timeless wisdom of legendary basketball coach John Wooden. In honest and telling passages about virtually every aspect of life, Coach shares his p NATIONAL BESTSELLER "I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs."--John Wooden Evoking days gone by when coaches were respected as much for their off-court performances as for their success on the court, Wooden presents the timeless wisdom of legendary basketball coach John Wooden. In honest and telling passages about virtually every aspect of life, Coach shares his personal philosophy on family, achievement, success, and excellence. Raised on a small farm in south-central Indiana, he offers lessons and wisdom learned throughout his career at UCLA, and life as a dedicated husband, father, and teacher. These lessons, along with personal letters from Bill Walton, Denny Crum, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bob Costas, among others, have made Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and off the Court an inspirational classic.

30 review for Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    This is a fantastic collections of insights from the greatest coach who ever lived about life. One of my favorite insights came from his challenge to make 9 promises to yourself. 1. Promise yourself that you will talk health, happiness and prosperity as often as possible. 2. Promise yourself to make all your friends know there is something in them that is special and that you value. 3. Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best in yourself an others This is a fantastic collections of insights from the greatest coach who ever lived about life. One of my favorite insights came from his challenge to make 9 promises to yourself. 1. Promise yourself that you will talk health, happiness and prosperity as often as possible. 2. Promise yourself to make all your friends know there is something in them that is special and that you value. 3. Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best in yourself an others. 4. Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. 5. Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. 6. Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future. 7. Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile. 8. Promise to give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others. 9. Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble to press on you.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ted Mallory

    Just amazing. It's organized by themes, not chronologically- and it is not a memoir, yet when I got to the part when he told his team he had decided to retire, I cried. I've been using his Pyramid of Success for almost 10 years now as a coach, but I still found new insights and different ways of understanding what he teaches in it. Excellent book, up there with '7 Habits' by Covey, 'Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten' by Fulghum, and POSSIBLY even 'Man's Search for Meaning' by F Just amazing. It's organized by themes, not chronologically- and it is not a memoir, yet when I got to the part when he told his team he had decided to retire, I cried. I've been using his Pyramid of Success for almost 10 years now as a coach, but I still found new insights and different ways of understanding what he teaches in it. Excellent book, up there with '7 Habits' by Covey, 'Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten' by Fulghum, and POSSIBLY even 'Man's Search for Meaning' by Frankl as one of the most inspiring reads outside of Scripture.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Otis Chandler

    List of great observations and leadership tidbits. Doesn't give full stories examples behind each, so I found it a little hard to apply or let the lesson synch in. I switched to his auto-biography, They Call Me Coach (see my review) to get those. List of great observations and leadership tidbits. Doesn't give full stories examples behind each, so I found it a little hard to apply or let the lesson synch in. I switched to his auto-biography, They Call Me Coach (see my review) to get those.

  4. 4 out of 5

    RJ from the LBC

    In his own words, the life and philosophical observations of a man known as "Coach." Perhaps the greatest basketball coach of all time, John Wooden tells of his upbringing and his years of success including ten NCAA Division 1 Championships during a 12-year period - seven in a row at one point - leading to his development of his "Pyramid of Success." The lessons learned from this great and humble personage apply not only to basketball and all other sports but to all endeavors in life. In his own words, the life and philosophical observations of a man known as "Coach." Perhaps the greatest basketball coach of all time, John Wooden tells of his upbringing and his years of success including ten NCAA Division 1 Championships during a 12-year period - seven in a row at one point - leading to his development of his "Pyramid of Success." The lessons learned from this great and humble personage apply not only to basketball and all other sports but to all endeavors in life.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brian Johnson

    “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.” “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.” “In classic times, the courageous struggle for a noble cause was considered success in itself. Sadly, that ideal has been forgotten. But it i “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.” “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.” “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.” ~ John Wooden from Wooden John Wooden’s awesome. According to ESPN, he’s the greatest coach of the 20th century and some would say he’s the greatest coach *ever.* A super humble, inspired man, Wooden led his UCLA basketball team (Go Bruins!! :) to 10 NCAA championships in 12 years, including an 88-game winning streak. As a coach, he was all about the *process* of becoming a better and better player (and human being) rather than an obsessive focus on the *outcome* of winning. As an author he shares this grounded, super practical old-school wisdom in a wonderful way. Here are some of my favorite Big Ideas: 1. Become A Little Better - Every day. 2. Giving Thanks - For our blessings. 3. Perfection - Guiding stars and distant shores. 4. The Realistic Optimist - Let’s become one! 5. The Fundamentals - Of success. Here’s to improving our “team” by improving ourselves!! Here's my video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFxep... And click here to find 250+ more of my reviews: http://bit.ly/BrianReviews Brian

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    Hard to argue with Wooden and his 10 NCAA titles. Beyond much of the typical "to thine own self be true" fuzz, the practical philosophy that made this man a winning machine comes out, and it turns out it was because he didn't care about winning. He wanted preparation, preparation, and more preparation in order to give maximum effort, to fulfill every last ounce of potential. Down to the way the boys put their socks on. To maintain this sort of detail consistently and not be tyrant or megalomania Hard to argue with Wooden and his 10 NCAA titles. Beyond much of the typical "to thine own self be true" fuzz, the practical philosophy that made this man a winning machine comes out, and it turns out it was because he didn't care about winning. He wanted preparation, preparation, and more preparation in order to give maximum effort, to fulfill every last ounce of potential. Down to the way the boys put their socks on. To maintain this sort of detail consistently and not be tyrant or megalomaniac is astonishing. Clearly he did with love for his players and the game. He says surprisingly little about the actual game of basketball--what he loved about it beyond getting men ready to play it--but that's okay in a book of observations. I'd give this book 3.5 stars if I knew how or this thing would let me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ty Wilson

    This is a wonderful little book filled the the brim with observations and words to live by from one of the all-time great coaches in sports history. Coach Wooden carefully lays out his philosophy of life and how it applies to all things. This is the kind of book I'll hold on to and re-read annually. This is a wonderful little book filled the the brim with observations and words to live by from one of the all-time great coaches in sports history. Coach Wooden carefully lays out his philosophy of life and how it applies to all things. This is the kind of book I'll hold on to and re-read annually.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marvin

    This is basically a collection of quotes and insightful comments by legendary college basketball coach John Wooden. He is one of the, if not THE, most successful coaches of all time. And as evidenced from this collection, a very wise man. It would not be a bad idea to read and heed his words.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Sellers

    Just not a lot of content. A lot of thoughtful points but ultimately held together in a very loose framework.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joey Kittel

    One of the best books of all time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee

    The book "Wooden" by Coach John Wooden is an amazing piece of work that would inspire any athlete like me. Coach Wooden uses his helpful techniques in his short stories to tell athletes to persevere in anything they do. Mr. Wooden has written many other books, but I've only read this one. His other works are mainly focused on basketball, thus for professional basketball players. His players at UCLA had to read all of his works, but they helped them excel on the court. This book really stood out The book "Wooden" by Coach John Wooden is an amazing piece of work that would inspire any athlete like me. Coach Wooden uses his helpful techniques in his short stories to tell athletes to persevere in anything they do. Mr. Wooden has written many other books, but I've only read this one. His other works are mainly focused on basketball, thus for professional basketball players. His players at UCLA had to read all of his works, but they helped them excel on the court. This book really stood out to me from the others though, mainly because he writes in short story form and shares his personal experiences as a child and a previous athlete/basketball player. His perseverance and hard work helped him in later life to become a coach and mentor for young athletes. This book helped me understand that you don't have to be tall to play. You just have to play like you're tall. This is what he tells his players everyday. The theme for this book matched it perfectly: love what you do, and all good will come. Basically the theme is Perseverance. The author's purpose was to show athletes that with passion and hard work, all success will come easily. I think this is a great message to all young athletes struggling to find what they want to do in life. The subject of the book was how to excel everyday, and I feel that this is a great subject. Overall, this book was a success, not only because it earned almost five stars, but because it inspires people daily. These books will always be successful in my opinion, because everyone needs a little inspiration, and sometimes, it'll come from books. John Wooden did a wonderful job writing this book, and I plan on reading more of his works.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Olstedt

    Great book! Great outlook on life. I personally loved this book because of the life lessons and the views of the world by John Wooden that helped me through my difficult time in my life. After reading this book my view of my life became clear and I am a lot less stressed and worried about my daily life. "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail" "Happiness begins when selfishness ends" "Don't whine, don't complain, don't make excuses" "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-sat Great book! Great outlook on life. I personally loved this book because of the life lessons and the views of the world by John Wooden that helped me through my difficult time in my life. After reading this book my view of my life became clear and I am a lot less stressed and worried about my daily life. "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail" "Happiness begins when selfishness ends" "Don't whine, don't complain, don't make excuses" "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming." Great things to teach our youth!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeremey Duvall

    John Wooden is one of the most successful basketball coaches in history winning 10 national championships at UCLA including 8 consecutive. In Wooden, he details principles and lessons he’s learned throughout his 80 years of life. The book format reminded me of Set Godin - short chapters that piece together to form an overarching narrative. I came away with quite a few highlights. It’s a quick read, but it won’t hit my all-time best list.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    Excellent advice from a modern Stoic. For Wooden, success is found in making each day your masterpiece; gaining peace of mind from knowing that you have prepared for life's challenges by doing your best each day. Excellent advice from a modern Stoic. For Wooden, success is found in making each day your masterpiece; gaining peace of mind from knowing that you have prepared for life's challenges by doing your best each day.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Patton

    Short and to the point- Coach was focused on developing his players into great young men of character. I took away a few pointers about success and learned why he was such a great coach and loved by many.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Wuertz

    No basketball coach has came close to his accomplishments and his persistence on the values of industriousness is the main point i took from this book that got him there. Wraps the book up great with his pyramid of success.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    An excellent book that I gave to my brother...(and I still think he has yet to read it). lol. I hope he does.

  18. 5 out of 5

    C

    Excellent collection of anecdotes, sayings, and inspirational messages from one of the greatest athletics coaches of all time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Barry

    This book should be required reading in schools. Period.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sam Brief

    Some poignant lessons from John Wooden: -Yesterday doesn’t matter. Tomorrow has yet to arrive. Today is here. Make it a masterpiece. -Family is first. Always. -No one is an overachiever. You can’t rise above your level of competency. “Giving 110 percent” isn’t possible. You have 100 percent available, and your job is to reach as close to that as possible with your effort. -Winners make the most mistakes because doers make mistakes. If you’re mistake-free, then you’re probably doing close to nothing. Some poignant lessons from John Wooden: -Yesterday doesn’t matter. Tomorrow has yet to arrive. Today is here. Make it a masterpiece. -Family is first. Always. -No one is an overachiever. You can’t rise above your level of competency. “Giving 110 percent” isn’t possible. You have 100 percent available, and your job is to reach as close to that as possible with your effort. -Winners make the most mistakes because doers make mistakes. If you’re mistake-free, then you’re probably doing close to nothing. -Your opinion of yourself is more important than the opinion others have of you. Believe in yourself and your character. -The only pressure worth your time is the pressure you put on yourself. Learn when to apply the pressure and when to ease off. -The “final score” is how prepared you were to execute and how much effort you put in. You can’t control what others do and, in turn, what the outcome of something is. -Failure to change = Unwillingness to learn -“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” Winning, money, etc. are all byproducts of success, but they are not successes in their own rights. -The combination of industriousness and enthusiasm turns you into an unstoppable power. -Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. -Never stand still. Progress comes slowly and takes patience, but you can go downhill in a hurry. -You’ve been infected by success when you believe that what happened before will certainly happen again. Don’t let the past infect you. -Hustling harder can make up for a lot of mistakes. -Don’t let criticism or praise overly affect you. Stay true to reality. -Seek small improvements one day at a time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bill Pence

    This book of short excerpts, many of which I recognized from other books by John Wooden, is divided into four main sections: Part I: Families, Values, Virtues Part II: Success, Achievement, Competition Part III: Coaching, Teaching, Leading Part IV: Putting It All Together: My Pyramid of Success If you have read any of the author’s other books, such as Wooden on Leadership, you will recognize much of the best of those books here. Because of the format of the book, you can read just a few, or many of This book of short excerpts, many of which I recognized from other books by John Wooden, is divided into four main sections: Part I: Families, Values, Virtues Part II: Success, Achievement, Competition Part III: Coaching, Teaching, Leading Part IV: Putting It All Together: My Pyramid of Success If you have read any of the author’s other books, such as Wooden on Leadership, you will recognize much of the best of those books here. Because of the format of the book, you can read just a few, or many of the readings in each sitting. Below are a few of the items from the book I highlighted: • 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. Only then will you be able to approach being the best you can be. • Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Character is what you really are. Reputation is what people say you are. • The goal in life is just the same as in basketball: make the effort to do the best you are capable of doing. The effort is what counts in everything. • When you are through learning, you are through. • People want to believe you are sincerely interested in them as persons, not just for what they can do for you. • I believe the greatest joy one can have is doing something for someone else without any thought of getting something in return. • Try your hardest in all ways and you are a success. Period. Do less than that and you have failed to one degree or another. You never fail if you know in your heart that you did the best of which you are capable. • The goal I believe is important is the goal of making the most of your abilities. • Remember that there is no substitute for hard work and careful planning. • Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. • Don’t measure yourself by what you’ve accomplished, but rather by what you should have accomplished with your abilities. • I believe ability can get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. • Leadership is the ability to get individuals to work together for the common good and the best possible results while at the same time letting them know they did it themselves. • The most essential thing for a leader to have is the respect of those under his or her supervision. It starts with giving them respect. • Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn’t mean treating everyone alike. That’s unfair, because everyone doesn’t earn the same treatment. • Success is peace of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. • We are all the same in having the opportunity to make the most of what we have, whatever our situation. Regarding his famous “Pyramid of Success”, he writes that each block in the Pyramid was selected with meticulous care and consideration over many years and after a variety of experiences in his life. The position of each block and the specific order of the tiers of blocks in the Pyramid have great importance, starting with the foundation and cornerstones and building up to the apex: your own personal success. Wooden’s maxims are very quotable. The book ends with some of those maxims. A few that I appreciated were: • Make sure the team members know they’re working with you, not for you. • If I were ever prosecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me. • Much can be accomplished by teamwork when no one is concerned about who gets credit. • Be slow to criticize and quick to commend. • Do not mistake activity for achievement. • Make each day your masterpiece.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Asia Ali

    This book is very positive. it shows you and tells you how to carry you life in a very positive perspective. To be very truthful i couldn't take my eyes off it. i stop to think the things i have been doing in my life and one thing they talked about was honesty and i havent done that with my parents to offten because i dont know how. but this book is really positive. it motivates you to do better, be better,and treat people better as well as your self.Wooden also talks about love , relationships, This book is very positive. it shows you and tells you how to carry you life in a very positive perspective. To be very truthful i couldn't take my eyes off it. i stop to think the things i have been doing in my life and one thing they talked about was honesty and i havent done that with my parents to offten because i dont know how. but this book is really positive. it motivates you to do better, be better,and treat people better as well as your self.Wooden also talks about love , relationships, friendships and what they really mean . throught the book it will give you a short poem about that main topic and the topic was friendship and heres a short poem.... "at times when i am feeling low, i hear from a friend and then my worries start to go away and i am on the mend. In spite of all that doctors know, and their studies never end, the best cure of all when spirits fall is a kind note from a friend." - john wooden ; author(page13) as this author talked about friendship i thought to my self ive tryed to be that loyal friend .(page 10) and be trustworthy. but the other person wasnt on the same page as i was on. then thats where wooden started talking about trust which alot of people dont have . i could have sworn during the first half of this book wooden coverd the main topics of lifes meaning this selection makes me feel to get up and do more then what i do now . it makes me feel like i don't do a lot. like for example Mr.john wooden made a statement "failing to prepare is preparing to fail."(page 20) i'm not trying to do neither i'm preparing for the best of the best. life to short to to be stuck on the negative when theres way more beyond that . this book is about " A life time of observations and reflections on and off the court."(page 167) (basketball) and most of the things john wooden says yes, i agree . his been through ups and downs but that didnt stop his train of thought he held his own as what his pops raised him. this author's writing style is very motivational and also creative . i say creative because even though eny body thats on the right mind set can tell you the same things but he compared it to basketball and his players . Mr. wodden also says that" teaching, coaching, is the same as being a parent." i refer this book to every one who needs motivation kids and adults. thanks for takeing your time to see what im reading ....

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Lahman

    The whole book could be expressed in one single quote; "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming." John Wooden was a man from a home where the greatest accomplishment would be getting a college degree. His primary goal as a kid was to make himself happy which meant excelling in school and giving it everything he had until his last day as a student at Purdue University. The lessons he learned The whole book could be expressed in one single quote; "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming." John Wooden was a man from a home where the greatest accomplishment would be getting a college degree. His primary goal as a kid was to make himself happy which meant excelling in school and giving it everything he had until his last day as a student at Purdue University. The lessons he learned as a child as well as the 20+ years as being a head coach of one of the most successful basketball programs caused him to be one of the most inspiring life coach a person could have been. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel very much. After reading two of his other books I had an idea of what was to come and what I hoped to expect. The things he covered, character, responsibility, achieving piece of mind were all thoughtfully elaborated. He enhanced the "readability" of the book by including some funny stories, real life riddles and even some poems I thought were very fitting and motivational. All in all, I learned a lot from this and enjoyed it's company at the same time. The theme of the novel is that anyone can find a state of peace in the mind regardless of how they were created. Regardless if you are a 6'10" basketball superstar or 6'2" high school player, they are things within your control that can help you become a great. Furthermore, He wanted everyone to know that they were capable of achieving success, even if they had never won anything before in their life. Mr. Wooden's Reason for the novel is help people will to learn to have the best resources possible. Mr. Wooden often referred to himself as a teacher even though is basketball teams were winning national championships year after year. He genuinely believed the most important thing in people's lives was education and would be a hypocrite if he didn't help people educate themselves with the knowledge he had gain throughout his amazing life.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Billy Bowe

    After reading the book Wooden by John Wooden with Steve Jamison I have been able to take a lot of new helpful information away from what John Wooden has provided his readers. Wooden is a very inspirational man who has knowledge of not just basketball, but life in general. In this piece he provides you with information that will keep you level headed and how to keep an optimistic outlook on life. This book consists of many short pieces put together that relate to the real world and tips to help After reading the book Wooden by John Wooden with Steve Jamison I have been able to take a lot of new helpful information away from what John Wooden has provided his readers. Wooden is a very inspirational man who has knowledge of not just basketball, but life in general. In this piece he provides you with information that will keep you level headed and how to keep an optimistic outlook on life. This book consists of many short pieces put together that relate to the real world and tips to help you live the life you’ve always wanted. John Wooden begins by recapping his life as a child and the way he was raised by his mom and dad on a farm in Martinsville, Indiana. He grew up with his three brothers and hardworking parents that shaped the way he would live for the rest of his life. Wooden relays the messages that he was given as a child that helped him become the very successful man that he is today. John Wooden did become famous due to his success as a head basketball coach for various teams, but mainly as the coach of UCLA. At UCLA he coached some of the best players to ever play the game and he still holds the record for most division 1 national championships won with 10 of them. He was such an incredible coach but never wanted to be recognized for all of his successes, but rather the hard work that was put in to accomplish what he did. He describes this by what Cervantes once wrote, “The journey is better than the inn.” Wooden derived his greatest satisfaction out of the preparation, the “journey”, day after day, week after week, year after year. John Wooden never was and never will be a cocky man and settles for nothing but the best because he just works to hard and has such an optimistic mentality on life “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.” –John Wooden

  25. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Craveiro

    Many people know about the famous UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. There is also Many people who do not know about why John Wooden had such great success. The book by John Wooden and Steve Jamison called,”Wooden: A lifetime of observations and reflections on and of the court” is about how John Wooden has achieved success, peace of mind, and wisdom throughout his life. The prologue of the book so to speak consisted of praising of by many different people towards Coach Wooden and his teachings. Many people know about the famous UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. There is also Many people who do not know about why John Wooden had such great success. The book by John Wooden and Steve Jamison called,”Wooden: A lifetime of observations and reflections on and of the court” is about how John Wooden has achieved success, peace of mind, and wisdom throughout his life. The prologue of the book so to speak consisted of praising of by many different people towards Coach Wooden and his teachings. Part 1 of the book is a description of Coach Wooden’s early life and the lessons that his mother and father taught him as a boy. The book then progressed and explained the effects that his educators and sports coaches had on him and how he used both his educators and his parents lessons to help guide himself and others in his later life. It was then expressed how he passed down these lessons that he learned to not only the people who played basketball for him but anyone who he could have an influence on and how it bettered their life. Coach Wooden shared all of his honorable traits with anyone and everyone he met. He did this to spread the enlightenment he found with doing the right thing. In this book Coach Wooden also made it very clear how important character and effort are to a persons life. He talked about how no matter what you do you always need to put your best effort into it. He continued the book with mentions of many other qualities that a person must possess such as honesty, loyalty, and caring for others. He expressed how it is more important to give then to get. Last, but not least he taught me, everyone he influenced, and everyone that read this book how to live and conduct a happy and responsible life through always doing the right thing. Overall I rate this book 5/5 because of the incredible life lessons it taught me and how it influenced me to be a better person in every part of my life.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sherman Langford

    Wooden was among the best ever. There is so much to admire about him. Clearly Wooden had life largely sorted, better than almost anyone ever in public life. And he had unsurpassed success. His homespun folksy definition of and approach to success in life worked. But as written in this book, it comes across just a little bit as a random collection of platitudes and bromides. One specific gripe: Wooden claims to never have cared about the score in all those games he won, records he set, championshi Wooden was among the best ever. There is so much to admire about him. Clearly Wooden had life largely sorted, better than almost anyone ever in public life. And he had unsurpassed success. His homespun folksy definition of and approach to success in life worked. But as written in this book, it comes across just a little bit as a random collection of platitudes and bromides. One specific gripe: Wooden claims to never have cared about the score in all those games he won, records he set, championships his teams achieved. All he cared about was that his teams tried their best, put forth their best effort. For some reason it didn’t quite ring true to me (but admittedly it may be my less enlightened intuition about success). He ultimately didn’t entirely convince me that his approach caused the success vs. contributed to it. During his reign of 10 NCAA basketball championships, he unquestionably had the best players for most of those years, including two of the 5 best college players of all time (Kareem and Bill Walton). So maybe his approach allowed him to recruit those players and get the most out of them. I guess questions like this are what make leadership and success such interesting topics. Whatever else, his track record is undeniable. And this book helps understand how he did it. The anecdote about Bill Walton coming back from winter break with a beard make the book worth the time and effort. I also liked his aspirational counsel to “make every day a masterpiece”. And I certainly believe that anyone who follows his outline will approach their very best version of themselves. There’s a lot of wisdom in Wooden and his life philosophy. A lot. It just didn’t come though quite as compellingly as I'd hoped.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wyatt Freier

    Over the past few weeks I have been reading the book “Wooden - A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court” by John Wooden. Coach Wooden coached basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles or UCLA. In Coach Wooden’s time at UCLA he won ten NCAA National Championships. Seven of those ten wins were in a row. You might think that his book is all about basketball, but the book is not. The book is about life lessons and how to be the best person you can be. One of my Over the past few weeks I have been reading the book “Wooden - A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court” by John Wooden. Coach Wooden coached basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles or UCLA. In Coach Wooden’s time at UCLA he won ten NCAA National Championships. Seven of those ten wins were in a row. You might think that his book is all about basketball, but the book is not. The book is about life lessons and how to be the best person you can be. One of my favorite things that Coach Wooden said in this book is the following: “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Those six words are very self-explanatory. That is how most of his book is. It gets to the point of striving for excellence in everything you do. This book is really hard to write a review on because it is so straightforward. Strive for excellency, be the best person you can be and try your hardest in everything you do. Applying Coach Wooden’s teachings in this book to your life is the tricky part. I need to work on applying his teachings to my life. I know Coach Wooden was a good basketball coach. I think he is even a better life coach. He shows this in his book. That’s why I know when I commit to his teachings I will be a lot happier, nicer and more look up to person. Coach Wooden taught is players at UCLA more about what he talks about in this book than basketball. That’s why I think when Coach was at UCLA they were so good. It was more about life than basketball. I really encourage you to go out and get this book. It contains the many keys to being a being a successful person.

  28. 4 out of 5

    John

    A book on basketball, this was not. It was as a book on how to be successful. Basketball just happened to be the disciple that John Wooden applied his philosophy to that was noticed more than how he applied it towards being a member of a family. Wooden was taught valuable lesson by his father that he applied to life in general. The main corner stones of success being hard work and enthusiasm. Wooden believed in the old adage that its not winning and losing that matter that its how you play the g A book on basketball, this was not. It was as a book on how to be successful. Basketball just happened to be the disciple that John Wooden applied his philosophy to that was noticed more than how he applied it towards being a member of a family. Wooden was taught valuable lesson by his father that he applied to life in general. The main corner stones of success being hard work and enthusiasm. Wooden believed in the old adage that its not winning and losing that matter that its how you play the game. He persisted that in basketball that one could be the loser even if you scored more points if you didn’t give all that you could against a lesser of an opponent. And then one would be a winner regardless of scoring less if you did everything possible to win but you played a superior talented team. Wooden believed that preparation was the key to success. He stated that if one does not prepare to win then they are preparing to lose. He said that look at anyone that is successful at anything and you will normally see someone that has worked harder than other people to create their success and further more their own luck. He continues on to state that the people that work harder are normally the teams that appear to have more luck. Wooden was a very successful individual that worked hard for his accolades. His book was very entertaining and enjoyable to read. I would recommend this book to anyone, basketball fan or not. Some subjects and lessons transcend the application of a philosophy, and Wooden’s lessons on success definitely transcends the basketball court.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matt Garrison

    The book "A lifetime Of Observations And Reflections On And Off The Court" is a really good book I thought that showed me how life can be if you are just positive in life. It even showed me how life should really be lived. It is a Autobiography. "Coach Wooden was not only the greatest college basketball coach of all time, he was a builder of character. His players attributed much of their success in later life to the Coach's wisdom and guiding hand.This is a book for high school students, and The book "A lifetime Of Observations And Reflections On And Off The Court" is a really good book I thought that showed me how life can be if you are just positive in life. It even showed me how life should really be lived. It is a Autobiography. "Coach Wooden was not only the greatest college basketball coach of all time, he was a builder of character. His players attributed much of their success in later life to the Coach's wisdom and guiding hand.This is a book for high school students, and beyond, as they begin their life's.My belief that learning and success in life are not possible without focus, discipline and application. Coach's book provides an excellent template for all of that." “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.” –John Wooden page 23 A text to text connection would have to be MLK because they both write the same and John Wooden and MLK both think a like about being positive. Text to self would be when playing sports if I do something wrong I don't need to get mad I need to stay positive and just move on. Text to world would be just everyone that works hard everyday even if they don't want to. I really recommend you read this book because it taught me a lot and how to look toward things!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tanner Brown

    I personally all out loved this book. Overall I would call it a book about life, not a book about basketball. The way Wooden stops and analyzes things that we look over every day is awesome! Some of the topics made me notice things that I never thought about before. This book really makes your head run on some things. I feel the best part of the entire story was that he wasn’t just coaching his team just to play basketball; he was coaching them to be better human beings in the long run. I liked I personally all out loved this book. Overall I would call it a book about life, not a book about basketball. The way Wooden stops and analyzes things that we look over every day is awesome! Some of the topics made me notice things that I never thought about before. This book really makes your head run on some things. I feel the best part of the entire story was that he wasn’t just coaching his team just to play basketball; he was coaching them to be better human beings in the long run. I liked all the life lessons he talked about throughout the story and how he had a real life example for just about every one of them. One of my favorite parts was when he talked about preparation and leadership. There is no way to improve without practice of some sort. Whether you’re preparing for a big game or studying for an exam. The only way to do your absolute best is to prepare yourself. I loved how he wrote this section, so many people believe that it can all come quickly which is most often not the case. I wish that each section of the book would have been a little longer, but overall I can’t be mad because I enjoyed the book so much. I would recommend this book to anyone, it is stunning. All the things that are talked about don’t just apply to sports but can apply to literally anything.

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