Monday, February 07, 2005

Put Me In Coach - John Wooden's Pyramid of Success

I had the opportunity to hear Coach John Wooden speak. I passed on it figuring it would be just a bunch of rah, rah testosterone soaked trash talking "how we beat this team" stuff.

I am not a basketball fan. Ever since they went to long shorts the game has no interest to me, except for that Nike commercial where the basketball is the beat and the players the dancers. That I like.

Unfortunately, my images of basketball coaches are associated with Bobby Knight and others who use intimidation, humiliation and financial incentives to motivate college teams to the winning line.

That decision was a huge mistake. Coach Wooden has something of offer to non-sports minded folks. I stumbled upon Wooden's "Pyramid of Success" in my local newspaper. It is a building
philosophy of qualities you would want to have instilled in a young man (or woman) such as industriousness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation, and enthusiasm.

On deeper level, it is how we use to see ourselves as a people and as a country. Not liberal or conservative, not democrat or republican. Self-control, adaptability, honesty, integrity, faith, and
skill. Coach Wooden adds details about how he came to build this pyramid and life lessons that he has learned in his 94 years.

So this got me thinking. Could the coach's pyramid be applied to the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? To view the pyramid of success visit

I don't know which way Coach Wooden swings politically. He seems like a decent guy. The pyramid contains reminders of lost lessons America needs to re- learn quick, fast and in a hurry.

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