The Legend of Coach Wooden

woodenIn 1948 Coach Wooden, accepted the head coaching position at UCLA.   He was led to believe that UCLA would soon have a state of the art basketball facility to support his efforts.  However, the promise wasn’t fulfilled until nearly seventeen years later, forcing his UCLA teams to practice under less than optimal conditions.  To say that the UCLA facilities were outdated would be an understatement, with many modern high schools having better training facilities.

Wooden shares, “For sixteen years, I helped our managers sweep and mop the floor every day before practice because of the dust stirred up from the other activities. These were hardship conditions, not only for the basketball team, . . . You could have written a long list of excuses why UCLA shouldn’t have been able to develop a good basketball team there.  Nevertheless, the B.O. barn was where we built teams that won national championships in 1964 and 1965. You must take what is available and make the very most of it.”

Few recognize, that it took Wooden sixteen years to put all the puzzle pieces together, launching the dynasty in 1964 with UCLA’s first NCAA title.  Most people are too impatient with the success process, applying hard work for a day, a week, or maybe even a year, expecting to be a champion without the full 10,000 hour investment.  How many people are willing to invest sixteen years, with no titles, yet remain as committed, if not more so, at the start of year seventeen?

Everyone wants to win championships, but nobody wants to sweep the barn they practice in like John Wooden did for years and years at UCLA.

Dream Big, Start Small, Be Ridiculously Faithful