John Wooden: The Most Successful Basketball Coach

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The “Wizard of Westwood,” aka John Wooden, was one of, if not the most successful basketball coach of all time. During his tenure as head coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team, Wooden set the standard for success in college basketball. He won 10 national championships in a 12-year period with the Bruins, 7 of which were consecutive. Wooden’s Bruins also won 19 PAC-10 championships, had four undefeated seasons, 88 consecutive victories, and achieved the incredible record of 149-2 on UCLA’s home court (Wooden and Carty 158). This enormous amount of personal success can be directly linked to the leadership style and personal philosophy of Wooden. He had a simple but effective leadership style that was focused on the fundamental ideals to…show more content…
John Wooden exemplified this understanding and characteristic of leadership by defining, living, and communicating his vision to others. He realized that in order to be successful, he needed his players and staff to “buy in” to his vision. The first step in accomplishing this feat was for Wooden to define his vision for his team. At the start of every season, Wooden would map out his goals for the team and expectations for each player so that the team could achieve it’s upmost potential. He set high expectations for the members of his team as students, basketball players, and human beings. One thing that is unique to his leadership style is that players recall that Wooden never stressed the importance of winning games in his vision for the year; rather he emphasized that regardless of the final score, his players always put forth their utmost effort and performed to the best of their abilities. John Valley, a former player under Wooden states, “On the first day of practice, I remember him saying, ‘I’m not going to be talking to you about winning or losing because I think that’s a byproduct of our preparation. I would much rather be focused on the process of becoming the best team we are capable of becoming” (Knutson

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