The Wooden's Wisdom Logo

Motivate Your Team! Cheer Up A Friend! Inspire Yourself!

Issue 657 - "Great Feedback" (Daniel Coyle and John Wooden)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 13 Issue 657
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login


Daniel Coyle is the New York Times bestselling author of The Culture Code. In his book, Coyle defines a way to deliver "Great Feedback":
"What is the best feedback made of? A few years back, a team of psychologists from Stanford, Yale, and Columbia had middle school students write an essay, after which teachers provided different kinds of feedback. Researchers discovered that one particular form of feedback boosted student effort and performance so immensely that they deemed it "magical feedback."
Students who received it chose to revise their papers far more often than students who did not, and their performance improved significantly. The feedback was not complicated. In fact, it consisted of one simple phrase.
"I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them."
That’s it. Just nineteen words. None of these words contain any information on how to improve. Yet they are powerful because they deliver a burst of belonging cues.
This sentence contains three separate cues:
  1. You are part of this group.
  2. This group is special; we have high standards here.
  3. I believe you can reach those standards.
This was the core of John Wooden’s feedback method. Sophomore superstar Sidney Wicks was upset because he wasn’t playing much. He told Coach Wooden: "You know I am better than those players playing instead of me."
Coach replied: "Sydney you are better than they are, and I believe they think you are better than they are as well. It’s too bad you are letting them beat you out because you won’t play team basketball."
Coach Wooden had communicated to Sydney:
This group is special; we have high standards here.
I believe you can reach those standards.
The next two years Sydney Wicks led UCLA to back-to-back National Championships. He had received "Great Feedback."
How do you communicate?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise



The Gift Of Play

Some have the gift of song and some possess the gift of silver speech,
Some have the gift of leadership and some the ways of life can teach.
And fame and wealth reward their friends; in jewels are their splendors
But in good time their favorites grow very faint and gray and old.
But there are men who laugh at time and hold the cruel years at bay;
They romp through life forever young because they have the gift of play.

They walk with children, hand in hand, through daisy fields and orchards
Nor all the dignity of age and power and pomp can follow there;
They've kept the magic charm of youth beneath the wrinkled robe of Time,
And there's no friendly apple tree that they have grown too old to climb.
They have not let their boyhood die; they can be children for the day;
They have not bartered for success and all its praise, the gift of play.

They think and talk in terms of youth; with love of life their eyes are
No rheumatism of the soul has robbed them of the world's delight;
They laugh and sing their way along and join in pleasures when they can,
And in their glad philosophy they hold that mirth becomes a man.
They spend no strength in growing old. What if their brows be crowned
with gray?
The spirits in their breasts are young. They still possess the gift of

The richest men of life are not the ones who rise to wealth and fame-
Not the great sages, old and wise, and grave of face and bent of frame,
But the glad spirits, tall and straight, who 'spite of time and all its
Have kept the power to laugh and sing and in youth's fellowship to share.
They that can walk with boys and be a boy among them, blithe and gay,
Defy the withering blasts of Age because they have the gift of play.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






For more information visit

Enter a list of email addresses, separated by spaces, to send this issue to.

Email a Friend

Return to Issue List

Our Services
Why Wooden's Wisdom
Presentation Team
Wooden's Wisdom Leaders
Leadership Resource Center
Member Login

© Copyright 2024 | # of Times Wooden's Wisdom Issues Opened: 6,882,971

Hosting & Design