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Issue 644 - "Focus On Effort Not Outcome." (Jia Jiang and John Wooden)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 13 Issue 644
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login


Coach Wooden had two basic concepts in his approach to competition:
1."Failure to prepare is preparing to fail."
2."The more concerned we become over the things we can’t control, the less we will do with the things we can control."
As a result, the pregame talk Coach gave before a National Championship Game was the same as any other game:
"I’ve done my job, now it's time for you to do yours. I don't want to know by the expression on your face after the game which team scored more points. Now let's go."
In his book, "Rejection Proof", ( ), Jia Jung wrote about John Wooden and detachment from outcome:
"John Wooden never mentioned winning and losing to his team. His measurement of success for his players was effort based, not results based. It was whether they had prepared thoroughly and played their best game, not beaten their opponent.
Lao Tzu wrote: "Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back, the only path to serenity."
During my journey, I started to see a clear distinction between things I could control and things I couldn’t. At first, I worried about the things I couldn’t control, such as people’s reactions and their perceptions of me. I would be extremely nervous and often gave out negative energy. Later on, when I started to give my full focus to what I could control, such as making eye contact, asking "why," listening, not running after a no, I found myself becoming more effective and confident in everything I did."
The hitter who is worried about striking out probably won’t get a hit.
Where is your focus?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



Pixley Folks

Sometimes I git to thinkin' o' the days o' youth, an' then
There comes a-troopin' through my mind th' wimmin folk an' men
I used ter know in Pixley, an' I sit with 'em awhile,
A-livin' all th' fun we knew before we put on style;
A-dancin' all th' dances, th' lancers an' q'drilles,
A-goin' to th' buskin' bees an' picnics on th' hills,
An' I quite ferget I 'm livin' on a crowded city street,
Where I don't know a quarter of th' people that I meet.

I settle in my arm chair, an' I light my meerschaum pipe,
An' then I 'm back in Pixley with the apples red an' ripe.
I 'm makin' eyes at Agnes, which is wrong I must allow,
Coz she was married long ago an' has four babies now.
An' I 'm pokin' fun at Lydy, who was in for any joke,
But she has married wealthy — still out yonder in th' smoke
She is still the laughin' lassie, free from all the haughty airs
That wimmin folk think needful when they marry millionaires.

Then I steal a kiss from Nellie, an' I hear her say 'No, no!'
Th' way she did a thousand times, but never meant it, though.
An' again from church we 're comin', an' th' hour is gettin' late
An' we stand awhile a-gabbin', she a-swingin' on th' gate,
A-tellin' of her uncles an' her aunts, an' how they were,
While all that I was wan tin' was to stay an' talk of her.
An' again I 'm gettin' ready jes' to ask her to be mine,
An' again she ups an' leaves me, sayin' 'Ed, it's after nine."

O, I tell you what! It's funny, when I think about it all,
An' I kinder get to broodin' an' th' old days I recall
When there warn't no automobiles, warn't no problem plays an' such,
When th' only fault with young folks was they loved t' play too much;
When there warn't no style about us, one warn't richer than another,
When we didn't think of money, never snubbed a poorer brother;
An' to see 'em now with riches, an' ashamed to even say
That they ever lived in Pixley— Why, my soul is there today!

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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