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Issue 91- The Main Ingredient of Stardom is the Rest of the Team

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 2 Issue 91
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



This famous quote of Coach Wooden’s summarized an important idea that he felt was critical for any individual involved in a group activity to recognize.
In a 2005 radio interview Coach Wooden was asked two very interesting questions.
1.   You've been in a unique position to see the top young basketball talent from all over the country for over 20 years now. Is there a pattern that you observed among the very best? Do they have something in common?
Coach replied: They were very competitive.
2.   When you had to make that hard decision between two highly skilled young players, was there some quality you looked for? Was there anything that would tip the decision one way or the other?
Coach replied: Quickness and unselfishness.
These two simple responses were very insightful. True greatness by an individual can only be achieved when that person is competitively great, but also recognizes that only with the help of others can the team truly reach its potential.
The truly great competitor is not just willing to share the spotlight, but rather is unselfish enough to be eager to shine the spotlight on his or her teammates.
Simply put, the truly great competitor knows that the main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.
Coach recognized that a great competitor has to have a certain amount of ego. In his book a Wooden A Lifetime of Observations On and Off The Court with Steve Jamison, Coach discussed the need to keep that ego under control:
Ego and Arrogance. Everyone has a certain amount of ego, but you must keep that ego under control. Ego is feeling confident and important, knowing you can do the job. But if you get to feeling that you are too important, that you're indispensable, or that you can do the job without real effort and hard work, without the correct preparation, that's arrogance. Arrogance is weakness. That's why I like this poem:
Indispensable Man
Sometime when you’re feeling important;
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom
Sometime when you take it for granted
You’re the best qualified in the room,
Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul;
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining
Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop and you’ll find that in no time
It looks quite the same as before.
The moral of this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There’s no indispensable man.
So if we ever forget the main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team, we just have to get a bucket of water and get to work!
Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry





It's all very well to have courage and skill
And it's fine to be counted a star,
But the single deed with its touch of thrill
Doesn't tell the man you are;
For there's no lone hand in the game we play,
We must work to a bigger scheme,
And the thing that counts in the world today
Is, How do you pull with the team?


They may sound your praise and call you great,
They may single you out for fame,
But you must work with your running mate
Or you'll never win the game;
Oh, never the work of life is done
By the man with a selfish dream,
For the battle is lost or the battle is won
By the spirit of the team.

You may think it fine to be praised for skill,
But a greater thing to do
Is to set your mind and set your will
On the goal that's just in view;
It's helping your fellow man to score
When his chances hopeless seem;
Its forgetting self till the game is o're
And fighting for the team

Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)






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