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Issue 83 - The Time to Make Friends Is Before You Need Them

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 2 Issue 83
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login




This quote of Coach Wooden's reflects the way he lived on a daily basis.
Joshua Wooden gave his son John many key pieces of advice. Two of them were Help others and Make friendship a fine art. Coach followed this advice on a daily basis.
Coach injected a bit of humor with his quote The time to make friends is before you need them. In a literal sense, I think the point Coach was trying to get across was: don't make friends just because you think you will need them later.
Coach always looked for the best in people. He believed that if you look for the best in others, that's probably what you'll find.
In his book with Steve Jamison, John Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court, Coach repeated a story he often told to make this point:
There's an old story about a fellow who went to a small town in Indiana with the thought of possibly moving his family there. "What kind of people live around here?" he asked the attendant at the local filling station.
"Well," the attendant replied as he checked the oil, "what kind of people people live back where you're from?" The visitor took a swallow of his cherry soda and replied, "They're ornery, mean, and dishonest!"
The attendant looked up and answered, "Mister, you'll find them about like that around here, too."
A few weeks later, another gentleman stopped by the gas station on a muggy July afternoon with the same question.
"Excuse me," he said as he mopped off his brow. "I'm thinking of moving to your town with my family. What kind of people live around these parts?"
Again the attendant asked, "Well, what kind of people live back where you're from?"
The stranger thought for a moment and replied, "I find them to be kind, decent, and honest folks."
The gas station attendant looked up and said, "Mister, you'll find them about like that around here, too."
It's so true. You often find what you're looking for.
With an attitude of trust and optimism, Coach made time for and took a genuine interest in everybody he met.
His phone number was listed in directory assistance and he made his best effort to make time for all who called and wanted to visit with him.
He sat for hours upon hours signing autographs, at no charge for all that asked.
He was legendary for the way that he made himself available to all coaches at the Final Four who wanted to visit with him, whether it was in the hotel lobby or a coffee shop.
He personally wrote and returned every piece of correspondence or Pyramid of Success request that he received.
He made new friends every day.
With thousands in attendance at his Memorial Service In Pauley Pavilion, the Rev. Dudley Rutherford requested that anybody in attendance who ever had an item signed by John Wooden stand up.
I looked around and I didn't see anybody sitting down.
What a friend!

What a life!

Yours in Coaching,

Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




Watch Video

Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry

 A Friend


 At times I'm feeling a little low, I hear from a friend and then

 My worries start to go away and I am on the  mend

No matter what the doctors say, and their studies have no end

The best cure of all when spirits fall is a kind word from a friend

John Wooden





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