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Issue 139 - Valid Self-Analysis Means Improvement

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 3 Issue 139
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Coach Wooden felt that valid self-analysis was crucial for improvement.
Lao-tze, a Chinese philosopher (600 B.C.), described the value of self-analysis:
He who gains a victory over other men is strong; but he who gains a victory over himself is all powerful.
He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.
Taking quiet time is needed for self analysis.
Blaise Pascal (1623–1662), a French philosopher, scientist and mathematician, described the importance of quiet time:
All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.
In today's busy world it can be difficult to find quiet time. A good suggestion is to grab quiet time while driving by simply turning the radio off. Any type of quiet time is better than none.
In his book My Personal Best, Coach Wooden gives an example of how he used self-analysis to improve his approach to discipline with his athletic teams:
A good teacher or coach must not only understand others, but himself or herself as well.
One of my single biggest mistakes and regrets as a coach happened at South Bend Central because I was still figuring this out.
I had an absolute rule forbidding the use of tobacco. Any player who broke it was automatically cut from our team with no second chance, no excuses.
One of our best players broke the rule. This young man was on his way to an athletic scholarship and a good college education when I caught him smoking. In my mind, a rule was a rule—I dismissed him without remorse or a second thought.
The effect on the youngster was traumatic, and it soon became apparent. He dropped out of South Bend Central without graduating, and never got the college education and a chance for a better future he deserved.
A reprimand or a suspension would have accomplished what I wanted, but in those days I lacked the maturity and experience—wisdom—to do that.
Coach did self analysis and concluded that instead of having numerous set rules with defined penalties, he should have a few rules and several suggestions without defining what the penalty for a violation would be, so he could deal with each situation on an individual basis.
With valid self-analysis Coach improved.
B.C. Forbes (1880 –1954), who founded Forbes Magazine, scheduled his self- analysis with this resolution:
I Resolve:
To sit down, all by myself, and take a personal stock-taking once a month.
To be no more charitable in viewing my own faults than I am in viewing the faults of others.
To face the facts candidly and courageously.
To address myself carefully, prayerfully, to remedying defects.
I think that’s a great resolution for improvement!
 Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




Watch Video

Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


How Did You Die?


Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that!
Come up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there-that's disgrace.
The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts;
It's how did you fight-and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he's slow or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
But only how did you die?

Edmund Vance Cooke 





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