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Lessons from Coach Wooden

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 27, 2009 12:47 PM |

The measure of real value is whether something can stand the test of time. While certain individuals, products, or principles appreciate over time, others dim as time passes. Society also has a funny way of embracing new and valued concepts in an attempt to market and materialize definitions of happiness.

In the midst of the noise and volatility of our current financial market and economic landscape, I treasure those principles which are often overlooked and under-appreciated. These principles include: discipline, simplicity, selflessness, loyalty, drive, humility, relationships, integrity, love. While without being judgmental it is not difficult to identify individuals or situations lacking these timeless traits, how often are we able to identify individuals or situations embracing these characteristics?

This morning, I witnessed just such an individual. Who might that be? My favorite coach of all-time, John Wooden. I have not only read most of Coach Wooden’s works, but I have had the good fortune of chatting with one of his former players, Gail Goodrich (UCLA ’65, 14 year NBA career, Basketball Hall of Fame inductee ’96), about Coach Wooden. While I wish I knew Coach Wooden personally, I cherish the character of the man. In fact, in this day and age of immediate gratification, John Wooden’s lessons should be highlighted as a path to long-term success and happiness.

As we collectively navigate the economic landscape and look for examples and exemplars of ‘how then shall we live,’ John Wooden is a great model. I welcome sharing a video clip recently produced of this 99 year old marvel. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. In reviewing it, I hope you can see that Wooden’s love story is not merely a sweet tale of an elderly man. Look deeper and see that Wooden is providing insights and lessons on life itself.

If you care to learn more about the greatest coach ever, check out Wooden’s book, They Call Me Coach, which I have highlighted here at Sense on Cents from the very first day I started this blog. That’s how highly I think of Coach Wooden.


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