John Wooden was an American basketball player and coach who is widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches in the history of the sport.
He led the UCLA Bruins to ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including a record seven in a row.
Wooden was known not only for his success on the court, but also for his wisdom and leadership off the court.
He shared his knowledge and philosophy through his numerous books and speeches, and John Wooden's quotes continue to inspire and motivate people around the world.
Table of Contents
Motivational Quotes by John Wooden
1. Be quick, but don't hurry.
This quote is often cited as one of Wooden's most famous. It means that it's important to move quickly and efficiently, but not to rush or make mistakes. In other words, take the time to do things right the first time, even if it means moving a little slower than you might like.
2. Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.
This quote speaks to the idea that success is not a destination, but rather a journey. Even if you achieve great success, you must continue to work hard and strive for improvement. And if you experience failure, it's important to learn from it and keep moving forward with courage.
3. The best competition I have is against myself to become better.
This quote emphasizes the importance of self-improvement and personal growth. Rather than focusing on competing with others, Wooden believed that the most important competition was the one you have with yourself. By continually striving to improve, you can reach your full potential and achieve success.
4. If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.
Wooden believed that making mistakes was a natural part of the learning process. If you're not making mistakes, then you're not pushing yourself to try new things and take risks. By embracing mistakes and learning from them, you can become a better and more successful person.
5. The true test of a man's character is what he does when no one is watching.
This quote speaks to the importance of integrity and doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. Wooden believed that true character was demonstrated by how you behave when there is no external pressure to do so.
6. Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
This quote speaks to the importance of focusing on your strengths and abilities, rather than dwelling on your limitations. Wooden believed that everyone has something they can do well, and it's important to maximize those strengths and not be discouraged by what you cannot do.
7. Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.
This quote emphasizes the importance of character and integrity in achieving and maintaining success. While talent and ability may help you reach the top, it's your character and values that will keep you there.
8. It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.
This quote speaks to the importance of finishing strong and staying focused until the end. It doesn't matter who starts the game, what matters is who is able to perform and deliver when it matters most.
9. Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.
This quote emphasizes the importance of resilience and optimism in the face of adversity. No matter what life throws your way, you can choose to make the best of the situation and find opportunities for growth and learning.
10. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
This quote speaks to the importance of preparation and planning in achieving success. It's not enough to simply hope for the best, you must take the necessary steps to prepare yourself and your team for success.
11. Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.
This quote emphasizes that true success comes from within and is not just about external achievements or recognition. It's about knowing that you have done your best and lived up to your full potential.
12. 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.
This quote speaks to the importance of prioritizing personal integrity and values over external validation or recognition. Wooden believed that true character was the key to lasting success and happiness.
13. Don't mistake activity for achievement.
This quote emphasizes the importance of focusing on meaningful actions and outcomes, rather than simply being busy or active. Wooden believed that true achievement came from deliberate and intentional effort, not just being busy.
14. You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one.
This quote speaks to the importance of staying grounded and not getting too caught up in external validation or criticism. Wooden believed that true success came from staying focused on your goals and values, regardless of what others may think.
15. Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.
This quote emphasizes the importance of resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity or unexpected circumstances. Wooden believed that those who were able to make the best of any situation were the ones who were most likely to succeed in the long run.
16. The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
This quote speaks to the importance of a strong and healthy family foundation. Wooden believed that children thrive when they see their parents loving and respecting each other.
17. Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.
This quote emphasizes the importance of courage and resilience in the face of both success and failure. Wooden believed that true success came from continuing to strive for improvement and growth, regardless of any setbacks or obstacles.
18. Happiness begins where selfishness ends.
This quote speaks to the importance of giving to others and putting their needs before your own. Wooden believed that true happiness and fulfillment came from making a positive impact on others and contributing to the greater good.
19. If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
This quote emphasizes the importance of taking the time to do things properly and thoroughly the first time around, rather than rushing through and needing to redo them later. Wooden believed that attention to detail and quality were essential for achieving success in any endeavor.
20. Success is never final, but failure can be.
This quote speaks to the importance of perseverance and resilience in the face of failure or setbacks. Wooden believed that true success came from continuing to learn and grow, even when faced with adversity or disappointment.
John Wooden was a legendary basketball coach, but his wisdom and philosophy extend far beyond the sport.
His quotes continue to inspire and motivate people around the world to strive for excellence, embrace failure, and prioritize personal growth and integrity.
Whether you're an athlete, a student, or a professional, John Wooden's timeless wisdom can help guide you on your journey to success.