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Issue 244 - The Best Competition Lies Within Self-Improvement

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 5 Issue 244
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



How can we compete and not focus on the competition? When John Wooden was asked: What is the key to sustaining a high level of excellence over time? He responded:
I tried to teach that today is the only day in which you have control and what happened yesterday will not have any control over what happens today except learning from it. Today is the only day that amounts to anything. I tried to use that philosophy with my players to get them to try to just become a little better each day.
When asked how much focus he put on the competition, Coach said: One of my players, Bill Walton, once said: “When we were dressing for a game we had to send a manager to get a program to find out who we were playing because Coach never mentioned the opposition.” I wanted the emphasis placed on the improvement of ourselves.
We have limited time. Time spent on trying to be better than someone else takes away from time that could be spent on trying to improve ourselves.
We can’t measure our success by somebody else's opinion. Galileo, Einstein, Newton, Copernicus, Edison and Alexander Graham Bell were all held in low regard before their genius was recognized.
Coach Wooden recognized that being better than another team was beyond his control since he could not impact the competition’s capability. He also recognized that settling for simply being the number one team all the time might sell his team short of their capability.
You may have to be in the top ten in sales to keep your job, you might have to be in the top 10% to get into a college, you might have to be in the top five in businesses in your area to keep the doors open or you might have to be in the top four in your conference to keep your coaching job.
Worrying and wanting to be better than the competition is not going to win the prize.
Competition is important, but not against others. The race you need to win is the one that you run against yourself. Improve yourself every day. Win your own race.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Favorite Poetry


Some Favorite Thoughts from Coach Wooden’s Library

 I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

Remember that the other person may be totally wrong. But they don’t think so. Don’t condemn them. Any fool can do that; try to understand them. Only wise, tolerant, exceptional people even try to do that. There is a reason why the other person thinks and acts as they do. Ferret out that hidden reason-and you have the key to their actions, perhaps to their personality. Try honestly to put yourself in their place.

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955)

Kindness is irresistible, be it but sincere and not mock smile or mask assumed. For what can the most unconscionable of men do to thee if thou persist in being kindly to him?

Marcus Aurelius (121A.D.-180 A.D.)

Be you to others kind and true,
As you’d have others be to you.
And neither do nor say to men
Whate’er you would not take again

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)







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