Tribute to John Wooden

Wednesdays with Wooden

Jim Stovall joins Lynn Shackelford, former UCLA basketball player, in reflecting on legendary coach John Wooden’s impact in the work (Click Here to read)

100th Birthday Tribute

As we celebrate the great life and contributions of Coach John Wooden on what would have been his 100th birthday, Jim Stovall shares his experiences in a Coach John Wooden tribute interview for the All Access Sports Network.

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Jim Stovall Remembers legendary coach John Wooden

Jim Stovall’s friend and mentor, Coach John Wooden, passed away last week.

In addition to their friendship, Coach Wooden was instrumental in developing many of the principles and techniques surrounding the Ultimate Productivity book and training system.

Jim Stovall received requests for quotes or interviews from media after Coach Wooden’s passing. ¬†Here is an interview from Monday, June 7.

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Legend, Mentor, and Friend

by Jim Stovall

This past weekend, I was out of town to give a speech. Just as they were preparing to introduce me to the audience, someone let me know that there had just been a news bulletin that Coach John Wooden had passed away.

I was immediately struck by a flood of emotions. I was sad for the loss of my friend but grateful that he had lived 99 productive years. I was emotional about the loss of a great leader and mentor but thankful that the lessons he had taught me and so many others around the world would endure.

I met Coach Wooden when he was 95 years old. For most people, this is, unfortunately, not a productive time of life; however, Coach Wooden wrote seven books after he had reached the age of 90.

Many people around the world paid tribute to Coach Wooden after the announcement of his passing. Everyone from the President of the United States to sports luminaries applauded his life and accomplishments. If you consider Coach John Wooden as the best basketball coach who ever lived, you would be accurate, but you would miss the majority of what made him a special man.

John Wooden lived his life with a degree of humility, integrity, and honor that few human beings ever approach. He left a lasting impression and impact upon everyone he encountered. Coach Wooden was a master of encouraging and challenging at the same time. We met after he had read my book The Ultimate Gift and wanted to get some signed copies for friends and colleagues. He encouraged me when he said that my book was one of the best books he had ever read, but he immediately challenged me when he told me he would be disappointed if it was the best book I ever wrote. He assured me that the best book of mine was still to be written.

For a successful coach in a competitive sport, John Wooden paid little attention to scores and statistics. He was much more concerned with comparing your current performance to your past performance in light of your abilities and potential. In a high-pressured, commercialized, public business, Coach Wooden never took an endorsement or promotional deal, never used foul language or displayed inappropriate behavior, and always kept the wellbeing of his players and his institution as a priority. These traits, however, did not keep him from winning an unprecedented number of championships.

Coach Wooden is gone, but he will never be forgotten. If you’re seeking wisdom, guidance, and leadership, just pick up any book written by John Wooden.

As you go through your day today, remember Coach Wooden’s philosophy: There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything, and no detail is too small.

Today’s the day!



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