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100 Unforgettable John Wooden Quotes

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John Wooden Quotes

John Wooden was an American basketball player and coach. He was the head coach at UCLA and won 10 NCAA National Championships in a 12 year period, including an unprecedented 7 in a row.

Wooden was named the national coach of the year 6 times. Wooden was also the first person ever enshrined as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and as a coach.

John Wooden was regarded as one of the wisest and best college coaches in the history of college basketball.

John has had some memorable motivational quotes over the years.

Here are 100 unforgettable John Wooden quotes:

1. “Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” – John Wooden

2. “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

3. “Make each day your masterpiece“ – John Wooden

4. “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” – John Wooden

5. “Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.” – John Wooden

6. “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden

7. “There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.” – John Wooden

8. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden

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

10. “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” – John Wooden

11. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” – John Wooden

12. “In the end, it’s about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.” – John Wooden

13. “Just try to be the best you can be; never cease trying to be the best you can be. That’s in your power.” – John Wooden

14. “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” – John Wooden

15. “The best competition I have is against myself to become better. – John Wooden

16. “The most important thing in the world is family and love.” – John Wooden

17. “I had three rules for my players: No profanity. Don’t criticize a teammate. Never be late.” – John Wooden

18. “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” – John Wooden

19. “The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.” – John Wooden

20th John Wooden Quote – “Passion is momentary; love is enduring.” – John Wooden

21. “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” – John Wooden

22. “Friendship is two-sided. It isn’t a friend just because someone’s doing something nice for you. That’s a nice person. There’s friendship when you do for each other. It’s like marriage – it’s two-sided.” – John Wooden

23. “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

24. “Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.” – John Wooden

25. “My eyesight is not nearly as good. My hearing is probably going away. My memory is slipping too. But I’m still around.” – John Wooden

26. “There’s as much crookedness as you want to find. There was something Abraham Lincoln said – he’d rather trust and be disappointed than distrust and be miserable all the time. Maybe I trusted too much.” – John Wooden

27. “Young people need models, not critics.” – John Wooden

28. “You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you’re outscored.” – John Wooden

29. “I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs.” – John Wooden

30. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – John Wooden

31. “I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession.” – John Wooden

32. “Never mistake activity for achievement.” – John Wooden

33. “What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.” – John Wooden

34. “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”– John Wooden

35. “I think you have to be what you are. Don’t try to be somebody else. You have to be yourself at all times.” – John Wooden

36. “Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.” – John Wooden

37. “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.” – John Wooden

38. “Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” – John Wooden

39. “All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” – John Wooden

40th John Wooden Quote – “Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.” – John Wooden

41. “Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.” – John Wooden

42. “Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.” – John Wooden

43. “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.” – John Wooden

 

John Wooden Quotes
 

44. “I worry that business leaders are more interested in material gain than they are in having the patience to build up a strong organization, and a strong organization starts with caring for their people.”  John Wooden

45. “I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.” – John Wooden

46. “Well, if you’re true to yourself you’re going to be true to everyone else.” – John Wooden

47. “Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” – John Wooden

48. “Defense is a definite part of the game, and a great part of defense is learning to play it without fouling.” – John Wooden

49. “Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.” – John Wooden

50. “If I were a young coach today, I would be extremely careful in selecting assistants.” – John Wooden

 

Checkout this collection of the 50 Worlds Best Inspirational Quotes 

 

50. “Teaching players during practices was what coaching was all about to me.” – John Wooden

52. “Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.” – John Wooden

53. “If a player’s not doing the things he should, put him on the bench. He’ll come around.” – John Wooden

54. “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” – John Wooden

55. “Well, your greatest joy definitely comes from doing something for another, especially when it was done with no thought of something in return.” – John Wooden

56. “We can have no progress without change, whether it be basketball or anything else.” – John Wooden

57. “When you hurry you’re more apt to make mistakes. But you have to be quick. If you’re not quick you can’t get things done.” – John Wooden

58. “Somebody asked me – you know, how come it took you so long to win a national championship? And I said, ‘I’m a slow learner; but you notice when I learn something, I have it down pretty good.’” – John Wooden

59. “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.” – John Wooden

60. “I don’t believe in praying to win.” – John Wooden

61. “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – John Wooden

62. “Just do the best you can. No one can do more than that.” – John Wooden

63. “It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.” – John Wooden

64. “I think that in any group activity – whether it be business, sports, or family – there has to be leadership or it won’t be successful.” – John Wooden

65. “I’m not going to say I was opposed to the Vietnam War. I’m going to say I’m opposed to war. But I’m also opposed to protests that deny other people their rights.” – John Wooden

66. “Be prepared and be honest.” – John Wooden

67. “If I am through learning, I am through.” – John Wooden

68. “Love is the most important thing in the world. Hate, we should remove from the dictionary.” – John Wooden

69. “Earn the right to be proud and confident.” – John Wooden

70. “I think permitting the game to become too physical takes away a little bit of the beauty.” – John Wooden

 

john wooden quotes
 

71. “I don’t think I was a fine game coach. I’m trying to be honest. I think I was a good practice coach.” – John Wooden

72. “I don’t believe in fate.” – John Wooden

73. “You can do more good by being good than any other way.” – John Wooden

74. “If there’s anything you could point out where I was a little different, it was the fact that I never mentioned winning.” – John Wooden

75. “I’m no wizard, and I don’t like being thought of in that light at all. I think of a wizard as being some sort of magician or something, doing something on the sly or something, and I don’t want to be thought of in that way.” – John Wooden

76. “No one can really honestly be the very best, no one.” – John Wooden

77. “Never lie, never cheat, never steal.” – John Wooden

78. “I talked to the players and tried to make them aware of what was good and bad, but I didn’t try to run their lives.” – John Wooden

79. “I like to spend time in the past, with the things that have been important to me.” – John Wooden

80th John Wooden Quote -“I was built up from my dad more than anyone else.” – John Wooden

81. “It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it.” – John Wooden

82. “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” ― John Wooden

83. “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” ― John Wooden

84. “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” ― John Wooden

85. “Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.” ― John Wooden

86. “Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.” ― John Wooden

87. “It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.” ― John Wooden

88. “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” ― John Wooden

89. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” ― John Wooden

90. “It is the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden

91. “Happiness begins where selfishness ends.” ― John Wooden

92. “Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time” ― John Wooden

93. “Listen if you want to be heard” ― John Wooden

94. “Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation.” ― John Wooden

95. “Nothing will work unless you do.” – John Wooden

96. “Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating…too often fathers neglect it because they get so caught up in making a living they forget to make a life.” ― John Wooden

97. “Tell the truth. That way you don’t have to remember a story.”  John Wooden

98. “If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.”  John Wooden

99. “You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes”  John Wooden

100. “Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress.” – John Wooden

Which John Wooden quote is your favorite and why? Share in the comment section below!

Yale Middleton is a Revenue Specialist for Hilton Worldwide. He is passionate about personal development, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Yale also works as a team member for the top self development website Addicted2Success. You can also follow him on his Facebook.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Craig Rice

    Dec 21, 2018 at 2:10 am

    99. “You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes” This has been a tremendous help for me in my life.

  2. Crizzal Gaid

    May 30, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Number 89 “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
    It is indeed right. Just because you have the skills, it doesn’t mean you can win every game without preparing yourself mentally and physically.

  3. Maureen

    May 29, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    (11) Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.

    i have witnessed the truth of this quote in my life, mostly in my studies. In university, i read as hard as i could giving my all, but even if i failed sometimes,i didn’t feel as bad because i knew i did my best.

  4. Keith Logan

    Mar 17, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    #71. “I don’t think I was a fine game coach. I’m trying to be honest. I think I was a good practice coach.”

    I was a student at UCLA in the last half of the sixties. I sat in on a Bruin practice one day and it was the most boring thing I had ever seen. The players simply had to repeat what appeared to be very mundane exercises again and again. Nevertheless the results were remarkable. When Sidney Wicks came to the team from Santa Monica City College he was incredibly undisciplined. At the end of his time with Wooden, he was a portrait of discipline. It was a remarkable changeover. That mostly happened on the practice court, which few people ever saw (or would have wished to, for that matter).

    Remarkable indeed

  5. John F Shaughnessy

    Sep 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    # 38 – You need to be careful – “I” was almost a statistic! Always live & learn – daily!

  6. Tab

    Mar 12, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    #82: The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. As in most every area of life, Coach Wooden was very wise. He understood the needs of children. They need to be nurtured as they grow; the art of nurturing belongs to the mom. Fathers need to model how to live, and provide well for their families, which includes creating a home in which the atmosphere is full of safety, confidence, and love. How does the father do that? Love his wife, freeing her to devote her nurturing skills to their children. It’s time-tested; it works; Coach Wooden understood it all.

  7. Dale Stegeman

    Oct 20, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    #55, because it’s in a letter he wrote me . I wrote him saying how much I admired him and tried to model myself after him while playing. I knew nothingabout the pyramid of success. I got it by watching UCLA games at 10:30 on Saturday nites. I had small college offers but took anacademic ride and then med school . Coach was with me through thick and thin. He was one of a kind.

  8. Paul Marrujo

    Jul 31, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    There are so many, the one I’m currently thinking of is “Fatigue makes cowards of us all”

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30 Inspirational Quotes by Michelle Obama That Will Lift Everyone Up

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Michelle obama quotes
Image Credit: Crown Publishing

Michelle Obama, wife of former United States President, Barack Obama, an American lawyer and writer, a former First Lady of the United States of America, a mom, an author and a style icon. In the eight amazing years that she served as the First Lady of the United States of America, she managed to become an inspiration for women all across the globe.

She has always spoken and worked towards equal rights for women, education for girls and healthy living. She is the proper definition of the modern-day revolutionary woman. Over the last couple of years, she has been encouraging people everywhere with her incredible words of wisdom and motivation. Every single person – young or old, is sure to take inspiration and motivation from her words.

Here are 30 quotes spoken by Michelle Obama:

1. “When they go low, we go high.”

2. “Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

3. “Always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals.”

4. “The only limit to the height of your achievement is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.”

5. “Being a healthy woman isn’t about getting on a scale or measuring your waistline. We need to start focusing on what matters – on how we feel, and how we feel about ourselves.”

6. “As women, we must stand up for ourselves. As women, we must stand up for each other. As women, we must stand up for justice for all.”

7. “No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are BEAUTIFUL.”

8. “Always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody says distract you from your goals.”

9. “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contribution of half of its citizens.”

10. “You don’t have to say anything to the haters. You don’t have to acknowledge them at all. You just wake up every morning and be the best you can be. And that tends to shut them up.”

11. “Instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you. Let them make you even hungrier to succeed.”

12.Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.”

13. “When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.”

14. “Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own.”

15. “Choose people who lift you up.”

16. “The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued.”

17. “Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.”

18. “Just do what works for you because there will always be someone who thinks differently.”

19. “Every girl, no matter where she lives, deserves the opportunity to develop the promise inside of her.”

20. “Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar.”

21. “Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. Trust your instincts, good relationships feel good, they feel right, they don’t hurt.”

22. “The one way to get me to work my hardest was to doubt me.”

23. “Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t.”

24. “I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.”

25. “Changing the big picture takes time… and the best thing to do is focus on the things that we can make in our lives. If we’re doing all that – that becomes the collage of real change.”

26. “People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.”

27. “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.”

28. “You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.”

29. “I am an example of what is possible when girls from the beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.”

30. “If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn’t be here. I guarantee you that.”

What is your favorite quote from Michelle Obama? Comment Below!

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