115+ EXCLUSIVE John Wooden Quotes to Unlock Your Power

John Robert Wooden, nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood,” was an American basketball player and head coach at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is considered the greatest NCAA basketball head coach of all time. Best John Wooden quotes will make you mentally stronger, explode your motivation and inspire growth in life.

If you’re searching for famous phrases about life that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of best Kevin Durant quotes, inspiring LeBron James quotes, and awesome Vince Lombardi quotes.

John Wooden Quotes

Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you. ―John Wooden

Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. ―John Wooden

The best competition I have is against myself to become better. ―John Wooden

All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low. ―John Wooden

john wooden famous quotes

Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you. ―John Wooden

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes. ―John Wooden

Make each day your masterpiece. ―John Wooden

You have to apply yourself each day to becoming a little better. By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a lot better. ―John Wooden

john wooden quotes success

You can never make up for a lost day. ―John Wooden

Be quick, but don’t hurry. ―John Wooden

It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. ―John Wooden

Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day. ―John Wooden

john wooden quotes about time

Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone. ―John Wooden

I think you have to be what you are. Don’t try to be somebody else. You have to be yourself at all times. ―John Wooden

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. ―John Wooden

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. ―John Wooden

john wooden quotes leadership

I don’t believe in praying to win. ―John Wooden

Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life. ―John Wooden

I’ve never stopped trying to do what’s right. I’m not doing it to earn favor with God. I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do. ―John Wooden

There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer. ―John Wooden

Motivational John Wooden Quotes To Make You Greatest

  • I worry that business leaders are more interested in material gain than they are in having the patience to build up a strong organization, and a strong organization starts with caring for their people. ―John Wooden
  • Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character. ―John Wooden
  • If you keep too busy learning the tricks of the trade, you may never learn the trade. ―John Wooden
  • If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? ―John Wooden
  • Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be. ―John Wooden
  • It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. ―John Wooden
  • Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. ―John Wooden
  • The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones. ―John Wooden
  • We can have no progress without change, whether it be basketball or anything else. ―John Wooden
  • We don’t have to be superstars or win championships…. All we have to do is learn to rise to every occasion, give our best effort, and make those around us better as we do it. ―John Wooden
  • Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts. ―John Wooden
  • Never lie, never cheat, never steal. ―John Wooden
  • If you are afraid to fail, you will never do the things you are capable of doing. ―John Wooden
  • What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player. ―John Wooden
  • Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable. ―John Wooden
  • You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one. ―John Wooden
  • Passion is momentary; love is enduring. ―John Wooden
  • Learn forever, die tomorrow. ―John Wooden
  • In the end, it’s about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me. ―John Wooden
  • Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then. ―John Wooden
  • Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability. ―John Wooden
  • Just try to be the best you can be; never cease trying to be the best you can be. That’s in your power. ―John Wooden
  • Young people need models, not critics. ―John Wooden
  • Well, if you’re true to yourself you’re going to be true to everyone else. ―John Wooden
  • Always keep trying. ―John Wooden
  • A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment. ―John Wooden
  • I had three rules for my players: No profanity. Don’t criticize a teammate. Never be late. ―John Wooden
  • 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. ―John Wooden
  • Well, your greatest joy definitely comes from doing something for another, especially when it was done with no thought of something in return. ―John Wooden
  • It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. ―John Wooden
  • Earn the right to be proud and confident. ―John Wooden

Unforgettable John Wooden Quotes to Make You Wiser

  • Friendship is two-sided. It isn’t a friend just because someone’s doing something nice for you. That’s a nice person. There’s friendship when you do for each other. It’s like marriage – it’s two-sided. ―John Wooden
  • Be prepared and be honest. ―John Wooden
  • My eyesight is not nearly as good. My hearing is probably going away. My memory is slipping too. But I’m still around. ―John Wooden
  • I seldom was ever off my seat on the bench during the game. ―John Wooden
  • There’s as much crookedness as you want to find. There was something Abraham Lincoln said – he’d rather trust and be disappointed than distrust and be miserable all the time. Maybe I trusted too much. ―John Wooden
  • If there’s anything you could point out where I was a little different, it was the fact that I never mentioned winning. ―John Wooden
  • It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it. ―John Wooden
  • You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you’re outscored. ―John Wooden
  • I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs. ―John Wooden
  • The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching. ―John Wooden
  • I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession. ―John Wooden
  • Never mistake activity for achievement. ―John Wooden
  • It isn’t what you do, but how you do it. ―John Wooden
  • Nothing will work unless you do. ―John Wooden
  • Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters. ―John Wooden
  • You can do more good by being good than any other way. ―John Wooden
  • Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights. ―John Wooden
  • No one can really honestly be the very best, no one. ―John Wooden
  • I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent. ―John Wooden
  • Defense is a definite part of the game, and a great part of defense is learning to play it without. ―John Wooden
  • If I were a young coach today, I would be extremely careful in selecting assistants. ―John Wooden
  • Teaching players during practices was what coaching was all about to me. ―John Wooden
  • Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to. ―John Wooden―John Wooden
  • The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team. ―John Wooden
  • When you hurry you’re more apt to make mistakes. But you have to be quick. If you’re not quick, you can’t get things done. ―John Wooden
  • Somebody asked me – you know, how come it took you so long to win a national championship? And I said, ‘I’m a slow learner; but you notice when I learn something, I have it down pretty good. ―John Wooden
  • Ability is a poor man’s wealth. ―John Wooden
  • You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. ―John Wooden
  • Just do the best you can. No one can do more than that. ―John Wooden
  • I think that in any group activity – whether it be business, sports, or family – there has to be leadership or it won’t be successful. ―John Wooden
  • I’m not going to say I was opposed to the Vietnam War. I’m going to say I’m opposed to war. But I’m also opposed to protests that deny other people their rights. ―John Wooden
  • If I am through learning, I am through. ―John Wooden

Remarkable Quotes by John Wooden On Leadership, Teaching & Life

  • Love is the most important thing in the world. Hate, we should remove from the dictionary. ―John Wooden
  • I think permitting the game to become too physical takes away a little bit of the beauty. ―John Wooden―John Wooden
  • I don’t believe in fate. ―John Wooden
  • I’m no wizard, and I don’t like being thought of in that light at all. I think of a wizard as being some sort of magician or something, doing something on the sly or something, and I don’t want to be thought of in that way. ―John Wooden
  • I talked to the players and tried to make them aware of what was good and bad, but I didn’t try to run their lives. ―John Wooden
  • I like to spend time in the past, with the things that have been important to me. ―John Wooden
  • I was built up from my dad more than anyone else. ―John Wooden
  • It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it. ―John Wooden
  • The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. ―John Wooden
  • Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. ―John Wooden
  • Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them. ―John Wooden
  • Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference. ―John Wooden
  • It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit. ―John Wooden
  • Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. ―John Wooden
  • Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. ―John Wooden
  • It is the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. ―John Wooden
  • Happiness begins where selfishness ends. ―John Wooden
  • Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time. ―John Wooden
  • Listen if you want to be heard. ―John Wooden
  • Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation. ―John Wooden
  • Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating…too often fathers neglect it because they get so caught up in making a living they forget to make a life. ―John Wooden
  • Tell the truth. That way you don’t have to remember a story. ―John Wooden
  • If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier. ―John Wooden
  • You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes. ―John Wooden
  • Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress. ―John Wooden
  • It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. ―John Wooden
  • If a player’s not doing the things he should, put him on the bench. He’ll come around. ―John Wooden
  • I met Tiger Woods when he was younger. He’s amazing – obviously technically, but his mental approach, too. He’s really something. ―John Wooden
  • I’m not going to say I was opposed to the Vietnam War. I’m going to say I’m opposed to war. But I’m also opposed to protests that deny other people their rights. ―John Wooden
  • I’d be satisfied just coaching in high school. I turned down a number of colleges when I was teaching in South Bend, Indiana, before I went into the service. I honestly believe that if I hadn’t enlisted in the service, I would never have left high school teaching. I’m sure I would have never left. ―John Wooden
  • I’m glad I was a teacher. ―John Wooden
  • I don’t think I was a fine game coach. I’m trying to be honest. I think I was a good practice coach. ―John Wooden

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