|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 3
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FAILURE TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL
"Failure to prepare is preparing to fail," was one of John Wooden’s favorite maxims. He employed it for his teams as well as in his personal life.
In order to keep balance in his life between his job and his family, Coach Wooden was an expert in time management. This required very careful planning.
We have discussed Coach Wooden's routine of spending two hours daily to plan his two-hour practice, which ran with minute to minute precision.
Some key points to remember are that these practices always started on time and ended on time. The length of time for a particular drill was never extended during a practice because it wasn't going well.
Another key habit that Coach executed was documenting in writing, with feedback from the staff, exactly what had gone well and not so well immediately after practice, and subsequently reviewing those notes to improve future practices.
Coach preceded his daily practice planning by constructing a plan for the year, and a plan for every week of the season.
In the book, You Haven't Taught Until They Have Learned by Swen Nater and Ron Gallimore, Coach Wooden’s plan for the year (which changed each season) is described this way:
Sometime during the off-season, usually late summer when Coach knew what the talent would be that particular year, he wrote his yearly plan for teaching.
It was not a chronological plan; it simply contained a number of notes and bullet points about the team and what it needed to learn that season. In a real sense, it was the general curriculum for the year.
In the 1971-72 sseason, coach had a relatively new team with the Walton gang. Some of his key players were going to be sophomores who Coach had never coached directly before. Some of his yearly plan that season included such entries as:
His general weekly plan took into account that games were usually played on Friday and Saturday, so his outline for a Monday practice was different than it was for a Thursday practice. The following is a general example:
His planning was extraordinary……so were his results.
Yours in Coaching,
Failing To Prepare
If you founded your house on the movable sand,
Swen Erick Nater, A Reason for the Rhyme
Ugly Dog Publishing, 2006
For more information visit www.woodenswisdom.com
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