Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coaching Youth Basketball: Great Coaches are Mentors

“No written word, no spoken plea can teach our youth what they should be, nor all the books on all the shelves...It’s what the teachers are themselves.”

John Wooden cited this powerful verse as part of what he re-defined as success. This small verse speaks volumes to the obligations that Coaches have to their young players.

As Coaches we have the opportunity and the privilege to mentor the youth and provide them with lessons and principles that will not only make them better basketball players, but better people. We have an opportunity to provide young boys and girls with a tool box for life.

Some of my favourite quotes from the legendary Coach John Wooden include:

“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

“Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

“If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

This isn’t X’s and O’s....As I have eluded to in the past, winning is a philosophy that extends far beyond the painted lines of the basket-ball court. At UCLA, John Wooden won more than any coach, though he never talked about winning, his philosophy was that of a winner in life.

In the video below, Wooden quotes from a very inspiring poem by George Joseph Moriarty, entitled “From the Road Ahead and the Road Behind.”

“Sometimes I think the Fates must
Grin as we denounce and insist
The only reason we can’t win
Is the Fates themselves that miss

Yet there lives on an ancient claim
We win or lose within ourselves
The shining trophies on our shelves
Can never win tomorrow’s game

You and I know deeper down
There’s always a chance to win the crown
But when we fail to give our best
We simply haven’t met the test
Of giving all, and saving none
Until the game is really won

Of showing what is meant by grit
Of fighting on when others quit
Of playing through, not letting up
It’s bearing down that wins the cup

Of taking it and taking more
Until we gain the winning score
Of dreaming there’s a goal ahead
Of hoping when our dreams are dead
Of praying when our hopes have fled

Yet losing, not afraid to fall
If bravely, we have given all
For who can ask more of a man
Than giving all within his span

Giving all, it seems to me
Is not so far from victory
And so the Fates are seldom wrong
No matter how they twist and wind
It is you and I who make our fates
We open up or close the gates
On the road ahead or the road behind."

It's all about helping the youth reach their full potential. That's a victory on the scoreboard of life.

Here’s John Wooden on success.

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