This is my last post on life and career lessons from John Wooden. I believe Coach Wooden taught his basketball players how to live. One of his most famous quotes focuses on the difference between reputation and character: He said:
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.
Coach Wooden never feared death. Like many others, his faith played a great role. He welcomed the day when he would join his beloved Nellie. After Nellie passed away on the 21st of March of 1985, Coach Wooden wrote a love letter to her on the 21st of each month.
if you want to get a sense of the greatest love story never told, his faith and the importance of loyalty, watch this video interview done by Rick Reilly, shortly before his death.
Think about the many, many UCLA student athlete basketball players who learned about life and living from Coach Wooden. Some became professional NBA players. All of them made a greater contribution because of his teaching. Even if you are too young to have ever watched him coach and never had an opportunity to hear him speak, you can still be influenced by Coach Wooden’s character, love, faith and loyalty.
I hope in this series of posts you appreciate how and why Coach Wooden influenced my life and so many others who are writing about him this week. I said in the first post that it wasn’t because he was the most successful coach of all time. It was what he taught me about living and success.