|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 5
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login
BE CAREFUL, ATHLETICS CAN TEAR CHARACTER DOWN
In Marv Dunphy’s PHD Dissertation John Robert Wooden: The Coaching Process, Coach Wooden discussed the topic of athletics building character:
Much has been said about athletics building character. I think they can build character and I also think they can tear it down. I think athletics, not properly supervised, not properly administered, certainly can be detrimental to character, just as properly done it can serve as a character builder in many areas. I don't mean to infer that I consider it to be the only method of character building; I'm just saying that it is one and can be useful in that area.
I think we live in a world of hero worship to some degree and that we all have idols. It is the people in the public eye that become the idols, the objects of hero worship. They can be movie people, entertainers, musicians, politicians or they can be athletes.
If intercollegiate athletics are properly administered and conducted, they can be very helpful to the growing youth who are going to be running this country in time to come.
Unlike Coach Wooden, I grew up idolizing a famous NBA player named Walt Frazier. In his book Rockin’ Steady, Walt Frazier stated that he always ended his showers with a cold shower because it was good for his skin. As a teenager growing up in San Francisco, my mother would hear me yell from the shower every morning. When she asked me if I was okay I said I was fine, I was just taking my Walt Frazier shower.
My hero worship may have gone a little over the top.
Given my own mistakes, I've always taught youngsters to do what I call take the best and leave the rest when they decide they want to be like their heroes. For example:
Shaquille O'Neal, I will take your rebounding but you'll have to keep your free throws; Kobe Bryant, I will take your competitiveness but you'll have to keep your three-point shot; Steph Curry, I'll take your three-point shot but you have to keep your defense, etc.
Take the best and leave the rest is a valuable lesson to teach our youngsters, especially in today's environment when they are bombarded on instagram with good and bad habits and images of their heroes.
It's a good way to insure our youngsters use hero icons to help build their character, not tear it down.
What are your personal qualities you would list under the category of take the best?
What are the qualities you would list under the category of leave the rest?
Replace your leave the rest qualities with good ones and you will have completed a great self-improvement plan!
Yours in Coaching,
Some Favorite Thoughts from Coach Wooden’s Library
How Do I Love Thee (Sonnet 43)
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