≡ Menu

John Wooden Quotes

John Wooden

John Wooden quotes: historic words from the “Wizard of Westwood.”

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

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

“Winning takes talent; to repeat takes character.”

“The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.”

“Never mistake activity for achievement.”

“You can do more good by being good than any other way.”

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

“What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.”

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.”

“Stay the course.  When thwarted, try again: harder, smarter.  Persevere relentlessly.”

“Listen if you want to be heard.”

“Love is the most important thing in the world.  Hate, we should remove from the dictionary.”

“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

“I think that in any group activity—whether it’s business, sports or family—there has to be leadership or it won’t be successful.”

“It isn’t what you do but how you do it.”

“Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendships a fine art, drink deeply from good books (especially the Bible), build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings, and pray for guidance every day.”

“Tell the truth.  That way you don’t have to remember a story.”

“Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.”

“Never lie, never cheat, never steal.”

“Never make excuses.  Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.”

“If we magnified blessings like we magnify disappointments?  We would all be much happier.”

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

“Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress.”

“The best competition I have is against myself to become better.”

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

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

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, whereas your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

“Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

“I would spend almost as much time planning a practice as conducting it.  Everything was planned out each day.”

“Ability is a poor man’s wealth.”

“Consider the rights of others before your own feelings and the feelings of others before your own rights.”

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

“Earn the right to be proud and confident.”

“Today is the only day.  Yesterday is gone.”

“Have utmost concern for what’s right rather than who’s right.”

“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”

“Sports do not build character.  They reveal it.”

“It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.”

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

“It’s the little details that are vital.  Little things make big things happen.”

“Talent is God-given.  Be humble.  Fame is man-given.  Be grateful.  Conceit is self-given.  Be careful.”

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”

“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

“Success is never final; failure is never fatal.  It’s courage that counts.”

“Young people need models, not critics.”

“It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”

“Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating.  Too often fathers neglect it because they get so caught up in making a living, they forget to make a life.”

“I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs.”

“I think you have to be what you are.  Don’t try to be somebody else.  You have to be yourself at all times.”

“I don’t believe in praying to win.”

“Happiness begins where selfishness ends.”

“Make a decision!  Failure to act is often the biggest failure of all.”

Related: Phil Jackson quotes.

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.