The Wooden's Wisdom Logo

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

Issue 183 - If You Are Going Nowhere, You'll Get There

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 4 Issue 183
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



This favorite idea of Coach Wooden’s reflects the idea that it is important that we have long-term goals and the detailed short-term goals that are necessary to make our long-term goals possible.
Coach had a goal each season of winning the Pacific Eight Championship.
He also had all of his detailed short-term goals scheduled well before the first practice each season.
The following is an excerpt from Coach’s preseason letter to the team in 1970 (UCLA had won its sixth national championship in seven years), in which he communicates his goal for the upcoming season to his players:
It has been almost four months since our basketball season came to a close. It was a very successful season but it is now history, and we must look toward the future.
The past cannot change what is to come. It is what you do today that counts, and I sincerely hope that you are looking forward to an outstanding 1970–71 season, and are eager, not just willing, to make the necessary personal sacrifices to reach that goal. All worthwhile accomplishments require sacrifice and hard work.
Dave Meyers, former UCLA All-American and captain of the 1975 National Championship team, commented on how Coach communicated his goals to the team:
Coach Wooden didn’t talk about winning—ever. His message was to give the game the best you’ve got. “That’s the goal,” he would tell us. “Do that and you should be happy. If enough of you do it, our team will be a success.”
In his book with Steve Jamison, Coach Wooden's Leadership Game Plan for Success, Coach comments on the unusual idea of not letting goals be a distraction:
If you want to extend a winning streak, forget about it. If you want to break a losing streak, forget about it. Forget about everything except concentrating on the very hard work and intelligent planning necessary for never-ending improvement.
Coach summed it up this way:
Define your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. Then file them away. Focus on running the race rather than winning it.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




Watch Video

Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


The Daffodils


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A Poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth 






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: 6,882,257

Hosting & Design