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Issue 516 - "Be Intense; Not Tense"

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10 Issue 516
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Coach Wooden said: "Intensity makes you stronger. Emotionalism makes you weaker." In his book,The Essential Wooden, with Steve Jamison, Coach Wooden expanded on this idea:
"I distrust emotion and fear emotionalism. The former leads easily to the latter-out-of-control feelings that diminish your effectiveness. An emotional leader is apt to lose clear thinking. When this occurs, you are helping the competition-making making its job easier. Emotionalism can be a fatal flaw.
I place the greatest value on intensity. It's the difference between a welder's arc and a forest fire. Both have plenty of heat, but the welder's torch cuts through steel with precision, while the forest fire rages out of control and destroys the forest. Fired up and filled with all kinds of emotion, I've seen many leaders do the same to themselves and their teams. They rant and rave and charge about like a bull in a china shop. Something usually gets broken."
When our emotions are not under control, we become tense and create tension for those around us. When your emotions are out of control, you need to remove the anger. This will transform your emotionalism into intensity.
Take the anger not only out of your heart but also take it out of your tone of voice. You can be stern and intense without being angry. Your correction will be directed at the behavior not the person.
Emotions-Anger = Intensity.
Coach Wooden recognized that his players had an intense desire to win and redirected that desire to focusing on their best effort and away from the expectations of others. This approach created an intense but not tense mentality that allowed for peak performance in the most competitive situations.
In the Essential Wooden, Coach Wooden described his approach to games: "I never gave rah-rah speeches, never invoked the great urgency to "win" this or that game or "beat" this or that opponent. I never even permitted the players to charge out onto the court all fired up. I didn't want them all fired up and jumping up and down. I wanted them bristling with intensity, finely focused, and in control of themselves."
"Bristling with intensity, finely focused, and in control of themselves." = "Intense but not Tense."
Are you intense without being tense?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



Contradictin’ Joe

Heard of Contradictin' Joe?
Most contrary man I know.
Always sayin', 'That's not so.'

Nothing's ever said, but he
Steps right up to disagree-
Quarrelsome as he can be.

If you start in to recite
All the details of a fight,
He'll butt in to set you right.

Start a story that is true,
He'll begin correctin' you-
Make you out a liar, too!

Mention time o' year or day,
Makes no difference what you say,
Nothing happened just that way.
Bet you, when his soul takes flight,
An' the angels talk at night,
He'll butt in to set 'em right.

There where none should have complaints
He will be with 'no's' and 'ain'ts'
Contradictin' all the saints.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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