|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 2||Issue 72|
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login|
THE PERSON WHO IS AFRAID TO RISK FAILURE SELDOM HAS TO FACE SUCCESS
This idea shaped the thinking, coaching and leadership style of Coach Wooden.
In his book Wooden On Leadership with Steve Jamison, Coach describes how he communicated this approach to his players:
I told our team many times: “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” By that, I meant to make a decision, take action, decide what you’re going to do and do it.
Failure to act is often the biggest failure of all. Initiate quickly, but not carelessly or in a hurried manner that makes a miscue more likely. I applied this same advice to my own actions. Do not be afraid of mistakes, even of failure.
In Wooden On Leadership, Dave Meyers, a former UCLA and NBA player, contrasted Coach Wooden's approach with what he encountered in professional basketball:
As a pro, absolutely nothing else mattered but winning. If you missed a shot or made a mistake, you were made to feel bad about it because all eyes were on the scoreboard. Winning was all that mattered and all anybody talked about: “We’ve got to win this game,” or “We should have won that game.”
Coach Wooden didn't talk about winning, ever—only the effort, the preparation, doing what it takes to bring out our best in practice and games. Let winning take care of itself.
For Coach Wooden, the only real failure was failure to prepare. With this approach there was no need to have fear of taking action because of a potential result.
In his book Wooden A Lifetime of Observations On and Off The Court with Steve Jamison, Coach describes his approach when decisions didn’t work out:
You can always look back and see where you might have done something differently, changed this or that. If you can learn something, fine, but never second-guess yourself. It's wasted effort. If I put a substitution in during a game at UCLA and he immediately makes a mistake, was my decision wrong? Absolutely not.
It just didn't work out. That was the decision I made based on past experience and without emotionalism. I made it with reason, but it just didn't work out. Things don't always work out. It's also true in life. Does worrying about it, complaining about it, change it? Nope, it just wastes your time.
Focus on preparation; take action and have no self recrimination when the results aren’t to your satisfaction. In The Essential Wooden with Steve Jamison, Coach summed it up this way:
Yours in Coaching,
Our Deepest Fear
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
We ask ourselves
Your playing small
We are all meant to shine,
It's not just in some of us;
And as we let our own light shine,
For more information visit www.woodenswisdom.com
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