Tuesday, February 14, 2012


As Simple As One, Two, Three: My coaching mentors were by my side in spirit during this time. By the early 1960s, I had a devotion to the following three principles and knew how to teach them:

1. Condition. Supreme physical condition accompanied by mental and moral conditioning is foremost. Performance diminishes immediately when condition is insufficient.

2. Fundamentals. Players must have the ability to properly execute the basics of the game instantaneously without having to stop and think. This concept is taught through relentless repetition of details (and I was the one who determined which details would be perfected).

3. Team Spirit. Most important of all, each young man must be willing and eager to sacrifice personal glory for the good of the group. “One for all and all for one” is a phrase that still sends a chill down my spine. The college teams that bring me so much pride are those that demonstrated the highest level of team spirit—the 1948 Indiana State Sycamores and the 1949, 1964, 1970, and 1975 UCLA Bruins. They exhibited a unity that even Coach Piggy Lambert would have admired.

From "My Personal Best: Life Lessons From an All-American Journey" by John Wooden with Steve Jamison