50 Motivational John Wooden Quotes

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John Wooden as an American icon.

As the head coach of the men’s UCLA Bruins basketball team from 1948 -1975, he led the team to 10 national championships in 12 years.

During this time, the team won 7 championships in a row, as well as 88 games in a row.

All of these are records that still stand today.

His leadership philosophy is not only admired and followed by basketball coaches, but also in business, leadership organizations, and in life in general.

His book, Pyramid of Success is a national bestseller and led to many inspirational lectures at businesses.

Finally, he lived his life based on the Seven Point Creed his father gave him when he graduated grammar school.

John Wooden Seven Point Creed

Here is the John Wooden Seven Point Creed.

#1. Be true to yourself

#2. Make each day your masterpiece

#3. Help others

#4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible

#5. Make friendship a fine art

#6. Build a shelter against a rainy day

#7. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day

John Wooden Seven Point Creed

Because there is so much knowledge and inspiration to learn from him, here are 50 John Wooden quotes that will make you think more about life.

50 Motivational John Wooden Quotes

John Wooden On Leadership

John Wooden Quotes

#1. “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

#2. “Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.” – John Wooden

#3. “Be prepared and be honest.” – John Wooden

#4. “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

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

#5. “All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” – John Wooden

#6. “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” – John Wooden

#7. “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – John Wooden

#8. “What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.” – John Wooden

#9. “Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.” – John Wooden

#10. “I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.” – John Wooden


#11. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden


#12. “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.” – John Wooden

#13. “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” – John Wooden

#14. “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” – John Wooden

#15. “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” – John Wooden

#16. “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

John Wooden On Teamwork

#17. “Winning takes talent. To repeat takes character.” – John Wooden

#18. “Consider the rights of others before your own feelings and the feelings of others before your own rights.” – John Wooden

#19. “It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.” – John Wooden

Your Greatest Joy John Wooden

#20. “Your greatest joy definitely comes from doing something for another, especially when it was done with no thought of something in return.” – John Wooden

#21. “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

#22. “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden

#23. “Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

#24. “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” – John Wooden

#25. “Well, if you’re true to yourself you’re going to be true to everyone else.” – John Wooden

#26. “There’s as much crookedness as you want to find. There was something Abraham Lincoln said that he’d rather trust and be disappointed than distrust and be miserable all the time. Maybe I trusted too much.” – John Wooden

#27. “Happiness begins where selfishness ends.” – John Wooden


#28. “You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you are outscored.” – John Wooden


#29. “Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.” – John Wooden

#30. “Passion is momentary. Love is enduring.” – John Wooden

#31. “Players with fight never lose a game. They just run out of time.” – John Wooden

It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it

#32. “It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it.” – John Wooden

#33. “The most important thing in the world is family and love.” – John Wooden

John Wooden Quotes On Success

#34. “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden

#35. “Never mistake activity for achievement.” – John Wooden

#36. “Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.” – John Wooden


#37. “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” – John Wooden


#38. “Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.” – John Wooden

#39. “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.” – John Wooden

#40. “Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” – John Wooden

#41. “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

#42. “Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

Dont Measure Yourself John Wooden

#43. “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.” – John Wooden

#44. “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” – John Wooden


#45. “Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” – John Wooden


#46. “Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” – John Wooden

#47. “Nothing will work unless you do.” – John Wooden

#48. “Do not let what you cannot control to interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

#49. “The best competition I have is against myself to become better.” – John Wooden

Never Try To Be Better Than Someone Else John Wooden

#50. “Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the byproduct of that preparation.” – John Wooden

Final Thoughts

There are 50 motivational John Wooden quotes. While many of them relate to the game of basketball, they all apply to life.

After all, you are part of team in many things you do in life and being the best you can be and bringing out the best in others will only lead you to success.

Be sure to take some time to read through the many other motivational and inspirational quotes we have compiled for you.

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