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Issue 252 - You Must Be a Team Player

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 5 Issue 252
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Last week in Issue #251 (Establishing Clear Expectations: Coach Wooden’s Letter to the Team (Part One)) we discussed the value of establishing clear expectations for a team and how part of Coach Wooden’s method for doing this was through his preseason letter to the team.
We reviewed excerpts from the 1970, 71, 72 preseason letters to the team and presented three that Coach covered. Here are three more topics.
4. Coach made clear how playing time would be decided. Here’s an excerpt from the 1971 letter:
Although I am very interested in each of you as an individual, when you are on the practice floor my interest in you is only as a part of our team. Your position or situation on our team will depend upon how you perform in comparison with your teammates. Your race or religion will have no bearing on my judgment, but your ability and how it works into my philosophy of team play definitely will. Furthermore, your personal conduct and adherence to standards that I make, undoubtedly will be taken into consideration, either consciously or subconsciously.
5. Coach made it clear to the players how they should expect to be treated. From the 1970 letter:
There may be double standards at times as I most certainly will not treat you all alike in every respect. However, I will attempt to give each individual the treatment that he earns and deserves according to my judgment and in keeping with what I consider to be in the best interest of the team. You must accept this in the proper manner if you are to be a positive contributing member of the team, whether you are one who gets to play a lot or very little. If I do not feel there was a place where you could contribute, I would not want you to waste your time and, if you do not feel that you are a part of the team as a whole, then you should drop out. Although I prefer to go too far with a player rather than not far enough, I will drop you when I feel certain that you are wasting your time.
6. Coach gave the players a clear expectation on their role as role models. From the 1972 letter:
Remember that you represent others who are responsible for you as well as yourself and your personal appearance and conduct should not reflect discredit in any way upon yourself or upon those whom you represent. Cleanliness, neatness of appearance, and good manners are qualities that should be characteristic of those who are of great influence on young people and you certainly qualify for that category. Be a good example.
The last four word sentence is good advice for all of us.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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 Helen Keller's Creed (Part Two)

I believe that life is given us so we may grow in love, and I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of a flower--the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence.

I believe that only in broken gleams has the Sun of Truth yet shone upon men. I believe that love will finally establish the Kingdom of God on earth, and that the Cornerstones of that Kingdom will be Liberty, Truth, Brotherhood, and Service.

I believe that no good shall be lost, and that all man has willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist forever.

I believe in the immortality of the soul because I have within me immortal longings. I believe that the state we enter after death is wrought of our own motives, thoughts and deeds. I believe that in the life to come I shall have the senses I have not had here, and that my home there will be beautiful with color, music, and speech of flowers and faces I love.







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