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Issue 189 - Do Not Let What You Cannot Do Interfere with What You Can Do

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 4 Issue 189
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



In his book with Steve Jamison, Coach Wooden's Leadership Game Plan for Success, Coach commented on this favorite quote of his:
Time is limited. Focus on that which you can improve, correct or change. Ignore what you can’t control.
The byproduct of this approach for Coach Wooden was that because he only focused on those things that he could do, he was able to focus on them with an amazing amount of detail.
The following account regarding the proper way to put your socks on from his book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court, is an excellent example:
At the first squad meeting each season, held two weeks before our first actual practice, I personally demonstrated how I wanted players to put on their socks each and every time: Carefully roll the socks down over the toes, ball of the foot, arch, and around the heel, then pull the sock up snug so there will be no wrinkles of any kind.
I would then have the players carefully check with their fingers for any folds or creases in the sock, starting at the toes and sliding the hand along the side of and under the foot, smoothing the sock out as the fingers passed over it. I paid special attention to the heel because that is where wrinkles are most likely. I would watch as the player smoothed the sock under and along the back of the heel. I wanted it done conscientiously, not quickly or casually.
I wanted absolutely no folds, wrinkles, or creases of any kind on the sock. Then we would proceed to the other foot and do the same. I would demonstrate for the players, and then have the players demonstrate for me.
This may seem like a nuisance, trivial, but I had a very practical reason for being meticulous about this. Wrinkles, folds and creases can cause blisters. Blisters interfere with performance during practice and games. Since there was a way to reduce blisters, something the player and I could control, it was our responsibility to do it.
If we focus on what we can do, we will have time for the details in those endeavors which are critical to success in anything.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


America for Me


'Tis fine to see the Old World and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumblyh castles and the statues and kings
But now I think I've had enough of antiquated things.

So it's home again, and home again, America for me!
My heart is turning home again and there I long to be,
In the land of youth and freedom, beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

Oh, London is a man's town, there's power in the air;
And Paris is a woman's town, with flowers in her hair;
And it's sweet to dream in Venice, and it's great to study Rome;
But when it comes to living there is no place like home.

I like the German fir-woods in green battalions drilled;
I like the gardens of Versailles with flashing foutains filled;
But, oh, to take your hat, my dear, and ramble for a day
In the friendly western woodland where Nature has her sway!

I know that Europe's wonderful, yet something seems to lack!
The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back.
But the glory of the Present is to make the Future free--
We love our land for what she is and what she is to be.

Oh, it's home again, and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that's westward bound to plough the rolling sea,
To the blessed Land of Room Enough, beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

Henry Van Dyke 






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