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Issue 659 - "Culture Is Built On Details" (Bill Walsh and John Wooden)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 13 Issue 659
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login


A strong team culture requires that team members have a sense of belonging. Performance standards, in addition to improving performance, create that sense of belonging. Bill Walsh (three Super Bowl Championships) and John Wooden both created that sense of belonging.
In his book, The Score Takes Care of Itself, Coach Walsh described his details:
"My Standard of Performance required "no shirttails out," "socks up tight" "positive attitude," "promptness," "good sportsmanship (no strutting, no posturing, no cheap shots)," "never sit down while on the practice field," "no tank tops in the dining area," "control of profanity," "no fighting," "treat fans with respect and exhibit a professional demeanor,"
Players were told their practice helmets, which carried our emblem, should never be tossed around, sat on, or thrown in the bottom of their lockers: "Wear it, hold it, or put it on the shelf in your locker."
Coach Wooden took the same approach. Players were taught how to tie their shoes properly and did so before every practice. When the players walked on the practice floor their shirts were tucked in and their socks were pulled up.
Players were required to take meticulous care of their equipment and had to turn it in after every practice and have it inspected. They had to keep their lockers and locker room clean and Coach Wooden inspected the locker room after every practice. If you were late, used profanity or criticized a teammate you didn’t get to practice.
No showboating or any action intended to draw attention to yourself was tolerated.
If you played for Bill Walsh or John Wooden you knew you belonged to a team.
What details define your culture?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



The Old Days

When I was but a little tad I used to hear my dear old dad
Tell friends about the good old days forever gone from him;
My dear old kindly gran'dad, too, explained the merry joys he knew,
When he was in his twenties, and could dance and run and swim;
The burden of their song always was this — the good old bygone days,
The days of thirty years ago, when all the world was gay,
And folks were always merry then, and men were bigger, better men,
And fun was funnier by far than what it is today.

When I was young I couldn't see, how such a state of things could be,
For I was having fun myself, and plenty of it, too;
And not so long ago I told — a sign that I am getting old —
About the good old days that once upon a time I knew;
I found that like my dear old dad, I thought about the joys I had,
And I was sure that times had changed and fun had ceased to be;
I often heaved a bitter sigh, and wished and wished for days gone by;
The old days were the happy days, or so they seemed to me.

But looking back in history, unto the time we call B. C.
I find that dads and gran'dads then were living in the past;
Old Julius Caesar, who was slain, once sat and sighed and wished in vain
Because the joys that once he knew were not allowed to last.
Before Noah built his famous ark, I'll bet some ancient patriarch
Beneath his vine tree sat and said the days of fun were gone,
That times were not as once they were, that joys had vanished from the air,
And fun and mirth and merriment somehow had wandered on.

And so today I've ceased to talk and ceased to let my thinker walk
Away back where the old days are — I've ceased to call them best;
I've got the notion that today is just as happy, just as gay
As any yesterday of mine, and just as full of zest.
Tomorrow will be just as bright, and just as full of rare delight
For those who follow me as were the golden days of yore;
And when I hear some croaker say, there's no such thing as fun today,
I get his derby, coat and cane and show him to the door.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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