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Issue 253 - Desired Behaviors

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 5 Issue 253
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Coach Wooden did not lecture his players extensively on his Pyramid of Success. The Pyramid of Success defined fifteen primary personal qualities (the blocks) and ten character qualities (the mortar) that Coach felt a person would need to reach their potential in any endeavor.
Rather than give his players a general lecture on the Pyramid,. Coach gave them a specific list of twenty behaviors he called Normal Expectations. The specific behaviors suggested reflected the qualities from the Pyramid that Coach wanted to emphasize.
By taking this approach, Coach established clear expectations using the Pyramid of Success as a guide rather than just a general lecture on good behavior.
The Normal Expectations document Coach handed out to his players listed ten desired behaviors and ten never behaviors. The ten desired behaviors are listed below in italics. I added the Pyramid of Success qualities the behavior reflects in block lettering.
Our chances of having a successful team may be in direct proportion to the ability of each player to live up to the following set of suggestions:
  1. Be a gentleman at all times. (This is Team Spirit for the human race. Coach defined it simply as consideration for others)
  2. Be a team player always. (Team Spirit, Cooperation)
  3. Be on time whenever time is involved. (Reliability, Self-Control, Team Spirit)
  4. Be a good student in all subjects - not just in basketball. (Self-Control, Balance)
  5. Be enthusiastic, industrious, dependable, loyal, and cooperative. (Straight from the Pyramid)
  6. Be in the best possible condition - physically, mentally and morally. (Condition, Self-Control)
  7. Earn the right to be proud and confident. (Confidence as a result of Industriousness)
  8. Keep emotions under control without losing fight or aggressiveness. (Initiative, Self-Control)
  9. Work constantly to improve without becoming satisfied. (Industriousness, Initiative, Intentness)
  10. Acquire peace of mind by becoming the best that you are capable of becoming. (Coach Wooden’s definition of Success that would be the result of items one through nine.)
You can use the Pyramid as a road map to give your team clear non-technical expectations. Just take each block and begin listing the specific behaviors in your environment that would reflect those qualities.
A word of caution: do not give your team members any expectations that you will not consistently model yourself.
For example, don’t ask the team members to: Keep emotions under control without losing fight or aggressiveness if it is not something you do yourself.
Do as I say, not as I do weakens the team.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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 Helen Keller's Creed (Part Three)

Without this faith there would be little meaning in my life. I would be "a mere pillar of darkness in the dark." Observers in the full enjoyment of their bodily senses pity me, but it is because they do not see the golden chamber in my life where I dwell delighted; for, dark as my path may seem to them, I carry a magic light in my heart. Faith, the spiritual strong searchlight, illumines the way, and although sinister doubts lurk in the shadow, I walk unafraid towards the Enchanted Wood where the foliage is always green, where joy abides, where nightingales nest and sing, and where life and death are one in the Presence of the Lord.







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