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Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court

4.46 of 5 stars 4.46  ·  rating details  ·  1,845 ratings  ·  175 reviews

"I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs."--John Wooden

Evoking days gone by when coaches were respected as much for their off-court performances as for their success on the court, "Wooden" presents the timeless wisdom of legendary basketball coach John Wooden.

In honest and telling passages about virtually every aspect of life, Coach shares his
ebook, 240 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by McGraw-Hill (first published February 28th 1997)
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Hard to argue with Wooden and his 10 NCAA titles. Beyond much of the typical "to thine own self be true" fuzz, the practical philosophy that made this man a winning machine comes out, and it turns out it was because he didn't care about winning. He wanted preparation, preparation, and more preparation in order to give maximum effort, to fulfill every last ounce of potential. Down to the way the boys put their socks on. To maintain this sort of detail consistently and not be tyrant or megalomania ...more
The book "Wooden" by Coach John Wooden is an amazing piece of work that would inspire any athlete like me. Coach Wooden uses his helpful techniques in his short stories to tell athletes to persevere in anything they do. Mr. Wooden has written many other books, but I've only read this one. His other works are mainly focused on basketball, thus for professional basketball players. His players at UCLA had to read all of his works, but they helped them excel on the court. This book really stood out ...more
Dennis Olstedt
Great book! Great outlook on life. I personally loved this book because of the life lessons and the views of the world by John Wooden that helped me through my difficult time in my life. After reading this book my view of my life became clear and I am a lot less stressed and worried about my daily life. "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail" "Happiness begins when selfishness ends" "Don't whine, don't complain, don't make excuses" "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-sat ...more
Ted Mallory
Just amazing. It's organized by themes, not chronologically- and it is not a memoir, yet when I got to the part when he told his team he had decided to retire, I cried. I've been using his Pyramid of Success for almost 10 years now as a coach, but I still found new insights and different ways of understanding what he teaches in it. Excellent book, up there with '7 Habits' by Covey, 'Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten' by Fulghum, and POSSIBLY even 'Man's Search for Meaning' by F ...more
Just as the title says, this is a short book of coach John Wooden's observations. His advise, based on his traditional Midwest American background may seem like corny sayings, but it is hard to argue with the achievements he was able to accomplish during his long career as the UCLA basketball coach. For those younger readers, you may not know that his teams won 10 national championships, including seven in a row and an 88 game winning streak. Yet, for Wooden, it was not about winning. He said he ...more
I appreciated the place Coach John Wooden came to hold for so many young men. He held himself and his athletes to a high set of principals, hard work, and caring about others and made this more important, though in service of the game of basketball.

For those of us who had poor father role models, John Wooden's principles, presented in small vignettes that are recurring themes, help by distilling what matters down to basics. He takes those basics and shows how they can be used to build a life yo
Excellent advice from a modern Stoic. For Wooden, success is found in making each day your masterpiece; gaining peace of mind from knowing that you have prepared for life's challenges by doing your best each day.
Not being a sports fan, this is a book I would have never read it if wasn't given to me as an assignment. Having read it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Though writing as a sports coach, Wooden provides nuggets of wisdom that are applicable to all aspects of life. Wooden’s life, career, and ultimately writing were based upon character and hard work, two aspects of our society that have largely fallen by the wayside. This book is a very good read that should be required for anyone that is in a position ...more
Asia Ali
This book is very positive. it shows you and tells you how to carry you life in a very positive perspective. To be very truthful i couldn't take my eyes off it. i stop to think the things i have been doing in my life and one thing they talked about was honesty and i havent done that with my parents to offten because i dont know how. but this book is really positive. it motivates you to do better, be better,and treat people better as well as your self.Wooden also talks about love , relationships, ...more
Edgar Mora-Reyes
Aunque este tipo de lecturas (deporte, racionalismo, ideologías y motivación) las evito, por el alto contenido pragmático y utilitario, esta obra ha sido una grata sorpresa.
En este libro se pone de manifesto cierta sabiduría y los excelentes consejos de John Wooden, un hombre que revolucionó la manera de practicar el deporte, mas allá incluso de lo salvajemente competitivo de Lombardi y otros entrenadores americanos (USA).
Un hombre fiel a sus valores y que reflexiona continuamente sobre el "éxi
Jul 24, 2013 Jay rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to better themselves and develop a more positive outlook on life
Recommended to Jay by: a friend
If you're reading this review I'm guessing you know how much success Coach Wooden had in his career.

Q: Should you read this? A: Yes, you will be better for it.

This is a great read that will make you a better person and help you qualify your measure of success. I coach high school wrestling and this book has greatly influenced my coaching philosophy for the better.
This is a book you could read in its entirety and enjoy, or just leave on your coffee table or in your bathroom and appreciate just
Charlie Craveiro
Many people know about the famous UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. There is also Many people who do not know about why John Wooden had such great success. The book by John Wooden and Steve Jamison called,”Wooden: A lifetime of observations and reflections on and of the court” is about how John Wooden has achieved success, peace of mind, and wisdom throughout his life. The prologue of the book so to speak consisted of praising of by many different people towards Coach Wooden and his teachings. ...more
Jamie Lahman
The whole book could be expressed in one single quote; "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming." John Wooden was a man from a home where the greatest accomplishment would be getting a college degree. His primary goal as a kid was to make himself happy which meant excelling in school and giving it everything he had until his last day as a student at Purdue University. The lessons he learned ...more
Billy Bowe
May 20, 2008 Billy Bowe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 15 and Up
Recommended to Billy by: My Coach
After reading the book Wooden by John Wooden with Steve Jamison I have been able to take a lot of new helpful information away from what John Wooden has provided his readers. Wooden is a very inspirational man who has knowledge of not just basketball, but life in general. In this piece he provides you with information that will keep you level headed and how to keep an optimistic outlook on life. This book consists of many short pieces put together that relate to the real world and tips to help ...more
Tanner Brown
I personally all out loved this book. Overall I would call it a book about life, not a book about basketball. The way Wooden stops and analyzes things that we look over every day is awesome! Some of the topics made me notice things that I never thought about before. This book really makes your head run on some things. I feel the best part of the entire story was that he wasn’t just coaching his team just to play basketball; he was coaching them to be better human beings in the long run. I liked ...more
Matt Garrison

The book "A lifetime Of Observations And Reflections On And Off The Court" is a really good book I thought that showed me how life can be if you are just positive in life. It even showed me how life should really be lived. It is a Autobiography.
"Coach Wooden was not only the greatest college basketball coach of all time, he was a builder of character. His players attributed much of their success in later life to the Coach's wisdom and guiding hand.This is a book for high school students, and
Wyatt Freier
Over the past few weeks I have been reading the book “Wooden - A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court” by John Wooden. Coach Wooden coached basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles or UCLA. In Coach Wooden’s time at UCLA he won ten NCAA National Championships. Seven of those ten wins were in a row. You might think that his book is all about basketball, but the book is not. The book is about life lessons and how to be the best person you can be.
One of my
Scott Taylor
Although I had to wait a while to read this book - put it on hold over a month ago at my local library - it was worth the wait.

This is a collection of Wooden's sayings and famous quotes. That might seem haphazard as a book concept, but there are so many common themes that they really work together as a seamless whole. Peppered throughout the book are examples from life experiences, such as the description of Walton's whiskers. And the pyramid of success section. His opinion on success.

Prior to
Stuart Kimball
John Wooden is , at least, one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time.
This book is one anyone interested in success of any sort will find to be full of useful ideas.
Perhaps my favorite is told at the beginning.
Coach Wooden began each years practice sessions by gathering his players together in the locker room. Picture people like Kareem Abdul Jabar, Bill Walton et al huddled together, watching intently. The first item of business was how to properly put your socks on, followed by how to
Great little book of wisdom and anecdotes. It seems Coach Wooden was always able to keep things in perspective, foremost because he stressed preparation, not the result. If he felt he had given his all in practice, the result would take care of itself, even if it was a loss.
"The greatest joy one can have is doing something for someone else without any thought of getting something in return."
Leaders pay everyone respect. They are fair. They make everyone on a team feel valued, with individual pr
This book is a great introduction to John Wooden's philosophy. For those interested more in the basketball part of it I would recommend one of his other books, but this book is great for what it is. John Wooden is an example of truly living values more than just about anyone else I can think of, and it showed in his coaching and how he lived his life. I don't think there will ever be a team in NCAA mens basketball that maintains a winning streak for more than two consecutive seasons, and that is ...more
Dawson Reading
This book was very intriguing to read about. I thought it was interesting how John Wooden was able to compare and apply basketball to life and how they have very common similarities. This guy in my opinion is if not the greatest at least one of the greatest coaches of all time. He had endless positive and helpful input in life and it appeared everything he said had meaning one way or another.
I was very reluctant to read this book because I thought it would be all about basketball. My husband recommended it to me and I said I would read it. So, I was very surprised to find that I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. It is about basketball but, it is more about life. John Wooden was the UCLA basketball coach for many years and UCLA won many championships during his time. In this book he writes down all of his wisdom and recommendations for coaching a team and for living life. The most amaz ...more
Ms. Mielke's Class
I really like this book because it help you and show you to improve. John is such a great coach and he has good words to say and he help me understand that I can do great stuff with my life if I just worked at. It just inspired me to do better in things. JD

I really like this book he is one of my favorite coaches that has ever coached. This book tells about all the right things you need to know to be a great basketball player. I recommend this book to anyone who loves basketball and wants to be a
Eric Lawson
Good insights on a man I really admire. Mostly there were sayings and beliefs that he prescribed to. I'd like to read a biography of him at some point. Was a simple man applying simple rules to a complex game. Actually he spoke to our class in LA which was a great experience and got to shake his hand when he was 93.
Some friends told me that anything written by Wooden is worth the read. This was an excellent read. The ending was the best when he tells why he retired from coaching and he explains his pyramid to success. It inspired me to do better and any book that has a good influence on me gets five stars.
Charles Ineichen
I did not read this book - I read the new biography - A Coach's Life. Found it a great book. Almost every kid who played ball in the 60s ond 70's had some Wooden influence. Be it running the break or trying to defend it, Wooden was a god to us. This book tarnishes the pedestal with some disgruntled peers and players who could not match Woodens standards and opened up for interviews with the author. But the author does a nice job of rebounding (no pun intended) to put together a a book that clear ...more
Ryan Roemer
May 19, 2008 Ryan Roemer added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I really enjoyed the book “Wooden”. It is a must read for any college basketball fan out there. However it is a lot more than just a book about basketball. You go into the life of the legendary UCLA coach John Wooden. You see his perspective on life and many other topics. He talks about what makes someone successful and gives many interesting points to think about. This book defiantly makes you look back and reflect on your own life. He teaches the readers about life lessons and what to do in to ...more
I picked up this book because I started coaching a middle school basketball team last fall and wanted some advice from one of the greats. While Coach Wooden's thoughts do cover basketball, the vast majority of the book applies to all of life rather than just sport. It's organized into small bite size chunks that are easy to read and digest. While I don't agree with 100% of his thoughts, Coach Wooden offers some tremendous guidance on success, leadership, teaching, relationships and mentoring. I ...more
Brady Yates
This book taught me many things about my life and how i want to live my life in the future. Jamison Wooden showed me many valuable life lessons through all of his experiences he wrote in this book. He showed me that if you want something bad enough that you can not let anything get in your way when trying to achieve your goals. Mr. Wooden also taught me that when it comes to sports and the lives of athletes; that there will be many peaks and valleys of your emotions but the key is to stay tough ...more
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John Robert Wooden is a retired American basketball coach. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (class of 1961) and as a coach (class of 1973). He was the first person ever enshrined in both categories; only Lenny Wilkens and Bill Sharman have since been so honored. His 10 NCAA National Championships in a 12 year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college bas ...more
More about John Wooden...
Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organizaion They Call Me Coach My Personal Best: Life Lessons from an All-American Journey Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks for a Better Life The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership

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“The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” 180 likes
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