Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Personal Glory Is Secondary

I am currently going through Coach John Wooden and Steve Jamison's book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court. Even though I am not a big sports fan I appreciate the analogies and LIFE lessons Coach Wooden is able to teach through his experience.

One lesson in particular was too good not to share... enjoy!

Personal Glory Is Secondary

     The recognition I received at UCLA was fine, but mainly I was happy for the teams and the youngsters on those teams. The recognition I received was not all that important. Recognition appeals to the ego, but it is a secondary consideration and is often counterproductive.

     Don't get me wrong. I enjoy a little attention as much as the next person, but I recall a time when there was a very little.

     When I was discharged from the service in January of 1946, I resumed a position in teaching English in South Bend, Indiana, where I had been before enlisting in 1942.

    While teaching and coaching there, I was invited to be the featured keynote speaker at a ceremony in neighboring Elkhart, Indiana, to honor those deserving special recognition for that particular school year academically, in sports, and otherwise. 

     Needless to say, I was greatly flattered that they considered me important enough to be the main speaker at this big event. I gave what I considered to be a good and inspirational speech.

     In 1971, they remembered my appearance with a brief item in the retrospective section of the Elkhart Truth, the local newspaper. The item for "25 Years Ago Today" read as follows:

Elkhart school officials announced today that John R. Wooden, English teacher-coach from South BenD Central High School, will be the principal speaker at their recognition dinner, although they had hoped to get a prominent person.

     So, a little recognition for one's effort is nice. It's when you start to let it affect your behavior, and especially your preparation, that you have let it go to your head. 


You can pick up a copy of Coach Wooden's book and many other great reads at Living-For-Excellence.com.


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