Wheaties may be the breakfast of champions, but embracing a winning mindset is something you can do before you even get out of bed.
During his live chat earlier this month on the Gatorade Performance Center, Tim Robertson Jr., owner of Speed Strength Systems in Cleveland, Ohio, urged viewers to start their day by getting into a champion's state of mind. His source of inspiration: one of the all-time winningest coaches and greatest leaders in the history of sports, former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. Robertson encourages athletes to read a John Wooden quote first thing every morning.
Wooden died earlier this year, but his words are immortal. If you're not familiar with his winning ways, check out his Pyramid of Success, a highly-revered model for achieving goals in sports and in life. Says Mike Linn, UCLA head strength and conditioning coach, "[The Pyramid of Success] is the holy grail. All of our athletes…know [it] by heart. They live this pyramid. It really defines success for the UCLA program."
Tap into success by taking Wooden's words to heart. Here is a small collection of the legendary coach's famous "Woodenisms":
- "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."
- "Never mistake activity for achievement."
- "Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then."
- "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."
- "Be prepared and be honest."
- "Be quick, but don't hurry."
- "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."
- "You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
- "What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player."
- "Winning takes talent; to repeat takes character."
- "A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment."
- "I'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent."
- "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
- "If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes."
- "It isn't what you do, but how you do it."
- "Ability is a poor man's wealth."
- "Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be."
- "Consider the rights of others before your own feelings and the feelings of others before your own rights."
- "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
- "Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."
- "It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it."
- "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."
- "It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."
- "Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."
- "The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team."
- "Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
- "Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."
For more quotes and a deeper dive into the Pyramid of Success, visit Coach Wooden's official site, coachwooden.com.
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