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Issue 656 - "Proper Perspective" (Gregg Popovich and John Wooden)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 13 Issue 656
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login


San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich (5 NBA Titles) and John Wooden both understood the importance of making sure their players kept things in proper perspective.
Coach Wooden defined confidence this way: "Respect without fear. May come from being prepared and keeping all things in proper perspective."
Coach Wooden’s players recalled that on their recruiting trips, Coach spoke very little (if at all) about basketball. Their conversations centered around their families. Family, Faith, and Friends was his perspective. Coach’s conversations with his players away from practice were usually not about basketball.
In his book "The Culture Code", Daniel Coyle gave an example of how Coach Popovich keeps things in proper perspective:
"It’s the morning of April 4, 2014. The night before, in one of the most important games of the regular season, the Spurs were thumped 106–94 by their archrival, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now, as practice begins, there is a tightness in the air, a taste of unease.
The Spurs gather in the video room to review the Oklahoma City game. They sit down with trepidation, expecting Popovich to detail the sins of the previous night.
But when Popovich clicked on the video, the screen flickered with a CNN documentary on the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. The team watched in silence as the story unfolded: Martin Luther King, Jr., Lyndon Johnson, and the Selma marches. When it was over, Popovich asked questions. He always asks questions, and those questions are always the same: personal, direct, focused on the big picture. What did you think of it? What would you have done in that situation?
The players thought, answered, nodded. The room shifted and became something of a seminar, a conversation. They talked. They were not surprised, because on the Spurs this kind of thing happened all the time. Popovich had delivered his message: "There are bigger things than basketball to which we are all connected."
Do you keep things in proper perspective?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



Roses, Birds And Some Men

The world is full of roses, blooming red for me I and you,
They smile a morning welcome and are wet with heavenly dew,
And every oak and maple, and every apple thorn
Have a song bird on their branches singing gayly in the morn;
But you never see a red rose waiting in a cloud of gloom
For someone who will coaz it and persuade it into bloom,
And you never see a song bird sitting idly in a tree
In a solemn, sullen manner till one begs for melody.

No, the red rose blooms in sweetness and it gives its charms to all,
And the bees may sip its honey, and the honey's never gall;
E'en a little child may pluck it, or a mother old and gray,
For the rose's special mission is to glad some heart each day.
And the song bird in the branches just as sweetly trills and sings
For the ploughboys in the furrows as he would for mighty kings.
O, there never was a red rose or a song bird up above,
That you had to beg for favors or you had to know to love.

But with men it's O, so different, there are some who smile and sing
And scatter love and sunshine, like the song birds on the wing,
But we find too oft a mortal who could make his brothers glad,
Sitting solemnly and grimly, with a visage long and sad,
Waiting someone who will coax him, who will flatter for his smile,
Ere he'll sing a song of gladness or do anything worthwhile.
Give me men with gifts who use them, and who let their spirits flow,
One is worth a dozen mortals whom to like you have to know.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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