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Motivate Your Team! Cheer Up A Friend! Inspire Yourself!

Issue 308 - Four Nevers

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6 Issue 308
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Coach Wooden had a preseason meeting in which the players were given three handouts. They were titled: Re: Your Education (10 items), Re: Practice (15 items) and Re: Normal Expectations (20 items). To view these documents in their entirety, click on this link Coach Wooden’s Handouts for Team Meeting. The three documents were reviewed item by item.
The Normal Expectations document Coach handed out to his players listed ten desired behaviors and ten never behaviors.
The third never behavior had Four Nevers:
Never be selfish, jealous, envious, or egotistical
This expectation was critical because it helped Coach establish a culture where although a player might be unhappy with the Coach about his playing time, he was less likely to be resentful of the player who was playing more than him. It would be like a work environment where you were unhappy with your pay but not jealous of a co-worker who was making more money than you.
In part, being selfish, jealous, envious, or egotistical is a result of comparing yourself to others. It has been said: Comparison is the root of all unhappiness. By his example and expectations, John Wooden built a team culture that was not based on comparing yourself to others and thus had better camaraderie (team spirit).
Coach learned this core value from his father. When Coach was asked: What would you say would be one of the most important things your father taught you? He replied:
"I think that possibly, never try to be better than somebody else. Always understand that you'll never know a thing that you don’t learn from someone else. Never try to be better than somebody else, but never cease trying to be the best you can be. I can remember him saying that’s under your control. The other isn’t, and if you get too engrossed, involved and concerned in regard to the things over which you have no control, it will have a negative effect on the things over which you have or should have control."
You can sell people on the idea of eliminating comparing themselves to others if you get them to see that they are worrying about something they can’t control.
This is a critical lesson to teach our youth. The upside of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat is sharing; the downside is when people use them to compare themselves to others. Technology has made a lot more upside (sharing) and a lot more downside (comparing) available.
Are you using the upside or downside? Which one are you teaching our youth to use? How?
Coach Wooden gave us a great roadmap to use:
Never be selfish, jealous, envious, or egotistical.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise




Friend of my many years!
When the great silence falls, at last, on me,
Let me not leave, to pain and sadden thee,
A memory of tears,

But pleasant thoughts alone.
Of one who was thy friendship's honored guest
And drank the wine of consolation pressed
From sorrows of thy own.

I leave with thee a sense
Of hands upheld and trials rendered less,
The unselfish joy which is to helpfulness
Its own great recompense.

The knowledge that from thine,
As from the garments of the Master, stole
Calmness and strength, the virtue which makes whole
And heals without a sign.

Yea more, the assurance strong
That love, which fails of perfect utterance here,
Lives on to fill the heavenly atmosphere
With its immortal song.

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 - 1892)






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