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Issue 99 - If You Always Tell the Truth, You Will Not Have to Remember What You Said

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 2 Issue 99
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login




This famous quote from Coach Wooden was the result of an instruction he received frequently from his father.
It is a great self reminder to use when we are asked a question which we are expected to know the answer to, but don’t. If we think about this idea we will be very comfortable simply saying those three great words that develop trust:  I don't know rather than making something up that sounds good.
This quote is also a great reminder that prevents us from exaggerating things in an attempt to impress somebody else to get a desired result in the short run.
This simple tell the truth approach was a cornerstone of Coach Wooden's communication when he was recruiting prospective student athletes.
In his book with Don Yaeger, A Game Plan for Life, Coach described it this way:
Hand in hand with consistency come honesty and trust. When a teacher or a coach or any kind of mentor is consistent in his or her principles, it creates trust between the mentor and the people he or she is mentoring.
I never tried to talk a student into coming to UCLA. I tried to show him what was there and what to expect, and I never told him he was going to play; I told him he would have the opportunity to play, and if he was good enough, then he’d be able to.
Instead, I would tell each student that if he did choose to attend UCLA—and I hoped he would—that he would be very unhappy his first year.
“You’re going to be away from home and your parents and all the things you’ve known for a number of years,” I’d explain. “It’s going to be very different academically and you’re going to wish you had gone someplace else.
But let me tell you this: If you had gone someplace else, it would be the same thing and you’d wonder what would have happened if you’d gone to UCLA. So there you go. Think it over.”
Coach Wooden had very few players over the years that transferred to other schools because they were disappointed with their playing time.
They stayed, in part, because they had a great relationship with Coach Wooden which had started with the strongest of all foundations: The Truth!

 Yours in Coaching,

Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




Watch Video

Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry




Cast a long shadow for everyone to see
Even your friends and loved ones
Who on your side will always be


Cast a long shadow at night when the sun don't shine
Make it filled with truth and honesty
And you will always have peace of mind

A man about 200 years ago cast his shadow across our land
He was called the father of our country
And truth and honesty was his stand

A man about 2000 years ago cast his shadow all around the world
Today his teachings have been heard
By almost every man, woman, boy, and girl

How long do you want your shadow to be
when your time grows near?
Do you want to take it with you
OR do you want to leave it here?

Herbert H. Smith





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