UCLA’s head basketball coach, John Wooden, won 10 national championships, including seven in a row in 1973. Since then, only two Division One basketball teams – Florida and Duke – have won back-to-back championships.
Wooden was a standout coach because he worked hard, paid attention to details, and stuck to the hard, unsung, dirty work of the basics. At the opening of each season, he would teach his players how to “put on their socks and shoes.” With any other coach, 18-year-old basketball players might laugh at these instructions, but his athletes followed his advice. Were Wooden’s socks-and-shoes regulations micromanagement gone haywire? Not at all. Few of his players suffered blisters, rashes or “chaffing.” In contrast, their opponents often suffered aching feet by the end of their games. It’s tough to play winning basketball when your feet are on fire. For Wooden, winning required controlling every game factor he could command and not wasting his time on anything else.
Something to Think About
Great coaches and top athletes teach that success depends on what you do – and how you do it – every day. Winning requires the accumulation of positive habits and focus.
In sports and business, focus is everything. But for focus to work, you must know where you’re going and what you need to do to get there. To discover that, ask yourself six questions:
- What must I sacrifice to get ahead?
- What skills must I have?
- Whose help do I need?
- What are the challenges I must face?
- What bad habits must I eliminate?
- What good habits must I develop?
Success comes with a heavy price you alone must pay by doing everything you can to change your life for the better. Knowing what to do matters. Doing the necessary work matters even more.
Ask yourself these questions and determine which areas of your business or life need some attention to ensure that you are playing at the top of your game.
Words of Wisdom
Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable. – Coco Chanel
Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. – John Wooden
Courage is grace under pressure. – Ernest Hemingway
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. – Albert Einstein
Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life — think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. – Swami Vivekananda