It’s time for some inspiration from the late, great John Wooden.
ClarinetMike says, “Watch the video above and read the tips below over and over and over. AND, show them to your students.”
John Wooden (1910-2010) was a legendary UCLA basketball coach whose principles transcend sports. His ideas on leadership, performance, motivation, and success are powerful and life-changing. A friend of mine called him “an educational visionary.” Coach Wooden’s ideas have had a profound influence on me as a musician, music teacher and as a person.
The above video, John Wooden – Values, Victory and Peace of Mind, has been released on YouTube and elsewhere by FilmRise. It features Coach Wooden at 90 years of age teaching his famous “Pyramid of Success” and other concepts to a small audience. Also featured are video clips from Wooden’s career and interviews with basketball legends such as are Phil Jackson, Bill Walton, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Below are some tips I gleaned from studying John Wooden’s works. The tips below are from an article I wrote a few years ago in the NACWPI Journal – CLICK HERE to read.
Preparation and Effort: Tips on Applying John Wooden’s Concepts
Dr. Michael Dean
“Building Great Clarinetists”
BG France Performing Artist
Clarinet Performing, Teaching and Consulting, Hurst, Texas
firstname.lastname@example.org * 682-888-7639
clarinetmike.com * clarinetmike.wordpress.com
1. Focus on Preparation and Effort. Spend your time working on what is under your control: your preparation and effort.
2. Work Hard and Plan Carefully. The first block of the Pyramid of Success says, “There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning.” Wooden says, “I fully understood that the success of my leadership was directly linked to using time wisely.” (Wooden on Leadership, p. 162)
3. Teach Good Habits. Steve Jamison says that the key to Wooden’s winning championships is that he was great at teaching good habits. (Wooden on Leadership, p. xi-xii) A band director I know in Long Beach, CA, Chris Stevens, says, “Practice does not make perfect, practice makes habit.”
4. Focus Teaching Comments on How to Do Things Better. A study in the 1970’s of Wooden’s utterances during coaching found that only 6% were praises and 6% were reproofs. The study reported that 75% of his utterances were instructional in nature. (http://ronaldgallimore.com/resources/GallimoreTharp2004.pdf, p. 127-128)
5. Focus on Fundamentals. Constantly work on basics. “There is no replacement for sound fundamentals and strict discipline.” (They Call Me Coach, p. 168)
6. Little Things Make Big Things Happen. Identify relevant details and accomplish them at a very high standard of performance. (Wooden on Leadership, p. 135)
7. Keep it Simple.
8. Model Expected Behaviors. Make every effort to match practice to precept. Wooden says, “Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating. Youngsters need good role models more than they need critics.” (Quotable Wooden, p. 98)
9. Be Quick, But Don’t Hurry. Wooden says, “If you hurry, you’re more likely to make mistakes; but if you’re not quick, you won’t get things done.” (http://id3430.securedata.net/teamarete/10tipstomanagement.html)
10. Develop Mental Toughness. John Wooden was very disciplined. Beneath his grandfatherly exterior was the heart of a lion. Wooden and his players’ mental toughness made them great.
11. Balance is Everything. Life is complicated and it’s easy to get out of balance. Keep things in proper perspective. (Be Quick – But Don’t Hurry!, p. 92)
12. Be Patient and Persistent. Coach Wooden developed his ideas and concepts over a long period of time – he spent fourteen years carefully crafting his Pyramid of Success. Wooden says, “Good things take time and that’s the way it should be.” (Wooden Video, Values, Victory and Peace of Mind)
CLICK HERE for an easy-to-print PDF version of the above tips.