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Unleash Your Full Potential With 120 John Wooden Quotes

Unleash Your Full Potential With 120 John Wooden Quotes

Discover the wisdom of one of the best basketball coaches of all time with 120 inspiring John Wooden quotes.

John will inspire you to level up your game, both on the court and in life.

Let’s discover the most famous “woodenisms”!

10 Greatest Woodenisms

1. “Success is never final, failure is never fatal.” — John Wooden

Portrait of the famous coach representing the best John Wooden quote.

2. “If you are afraid to fail, you will never do the thing you’re capable of doing.” — John Wooden

3. “If I am through with learning, I am through.” — John Wooden

4. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” — John Wooden

5. “Nothing will work unless you do.” — John Wooden

6. “Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.” — John Wooden

7. “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” — John Wooden

8. “Things turn out great for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” — John Wooden

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

10. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” — John Wooden

See also: 400 Quotes About Failure That Teach Valuable Life Lessons

Inspirational John Wooden Quotes

1. “Make each day your masterpiece.” — John Wooden

Inspirational John Wooden quote.

2. “Have utmost concern for what’s right rather than who’s right.” — John Wooden

3. “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” — John Wooden

4. “If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.” — John Wooden

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

6. “You can do more good by being good than any other way.” — John Wooden

7. “Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” — John Wooden

8. “Never lie, never cheat, never steal.” — John Wooden

9. “I am not as good as I ought to be. I am not as good as I want to be. I am not as good as I’m going to be. But I am thankful that I am better than I used to be.” — John Wooden

10. “Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.” — John Wooden

11. “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

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

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

14. “A mistake is valuable if you do four things with it: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” — John Wooden

15. “If you’re true to yourself, you’re going to be true to everyone else.” — John Wooden

16. “Adversity often produces an unexpected opportunity. Look for it ! Appreciate and utilize it! This is difficult to do if you’re feeling sorry for yourself because you’re faced with adversity.” — John Wooden

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

18. “Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation.” — John Wooden

19. “We’re not all equal as far as intelligence is concerned. We’re not equal as far as size. We’re not all equal as far as appearance. We do not all have the same opportunities. We’re not born in the same environments, but we’re all absolutely equal in having the opportunity to make the most of what we have and not comparing or worrying about what others have.” — John Wooden

20. “Whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not, the habits you are developing now will be with you for the rest of your life.” — John Wooden

See also: 180 Atomic Habit Quotes That Will Transform Your Life

Powerful Motivational Quotes By John Wooden

1. “There are no big things, only a logical accumulation of little things done at a very high standard of performance.” — John Wooden

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

3. “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.” — John Wooden

4. “Perform at your best when your best is required. Your best is required each day.” — John Wooden

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

John Wooden quote for motivation.

6. “Earn the right to be proud and confident.” — John Wooden

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

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

9. “Just do the best you can. No one can do more than that.” — John Wooden

10. “Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.” — John Wooden

See also: 150 Discipline Quotes To Unlock Your Potential And Success

11. “You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you’re outscored.” — John Wooden

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

13. “The eight laws of learning are explanation, demonstration, imitation, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition.” — John Wooden

14. “Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.” — John Wooden

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

See also: 170 Best Quotes About Finishing Strong To End With A Bang

16. “Champions are brilliant at the basics.” — John Wooden

17. “When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens – and when it happens, it lasts.”  — John Wooden

18. “Don’t permit fear of failure to prevent effort. We are all imperfect and will fail on occasions, but fear of failure is the greatest failure of all.” — John Wooden

19. “Somebody asked me – you know, how come it took you so long to win a national championship? And I said, ‘I’m a slow learner; but you notice when I learn something, I have it down pretty good.’” — John Wooden

20. “There is nothing stronger than gentleness.” — John Wooden

21. “The best competition I have is against myself to become better.” — John Wooden

22. “In life, worthwhile accomplishments and acquisitions take time. Usually the better the reward, the more time it takes to acquire it.” — John Wooden

23. “Motivating through fear may work in the short term to get people to do something, but over the long run I believe personal pride is a much greater motivator. It produces far better results that last for a much longer time.” — John Wooden

24. “If we fail to adapt, we fail to move forward.” — John Wooden

25. “Winning takes talent; to repeat takes character.” — John Wooden

See also: 160 Winning Quotes To Celebrate Your Achievements

(Coaching) Basketball Quotes By John Wooden

1. “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.” — John Wooden

2. “The star of the team is the team. “We” supersedes “me.” — John Wooden

3. “Defense is a definite part of the game, and a great part of defense is learning to play it without fouling.” — John Wooden

4. “In the end, it’s about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.” — John Wooden

5. “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” — John Wooden

6. “I had three rules for my players: No profanity. Don’t criticize a teammate. Never be late.” — John Wooden

7. “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” — John Wooden

8. “Constantly be aware and observing. Always seek to improve yourself and the team.” — John Wooden

9. “I talked to the players and tried to make them aware of what was good and bad, but I didn’t try to run their lives.” — John Wooden

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

11. “Teaching players during practices was what coaching was all about to me.” — John Wooden

12. “In the end, it’s about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.” — John Wooden

13. “If a player’s not doing the things he should, put him on the bench. He’ll come around.” — John Wooden

14. “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” — John Wooden

15. “We can have no progress without change, whether it be basketball or anything else.” — John Wooden

See also: 120 Ultimate Best Quotes About Progress To Fuel Your Growth

John Wooden Quotes That Will Transform You

1. “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.” — John Wooden

2. “You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes.” — John Wooden

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

4. “Consider the rights of others before your own feelings and the feelings of others before your own rights.” — John Wooden

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

6. “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

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

8. “If you spend too much time learning the ‘tricks’ of the trade, you may not learn the trade. There are no shortcuts. If you’re working on finding a short cut, the easy way, you’re not working hard enough on the fundamentals. You may get away with it for a spell, but there is no substitute for the basics. And the first basic is good, old fashioned hard work.” — John Wooden

9. “I worry that business leaders are more interested in material gain than they are in having the patience to build up a strong organization, and a strong organization starts with caring for their people.” — John Wooden

10. “The score will take care of itself when you take care of the effort that precedes the score.”

11. “When opportunity comes it is too late to prepare.” — John Wooden

12. “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” — John Wooden

13. “I don’t believe in praying to win.” — John Wooden

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

15. “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” — John Wooden

See also: 200 Powerful Quotes About Transformation To Inspire Change

16. “I’m no wizard, and I don’t like being thought of in that light at all. I think of a wizard as being some sort of magician or something, doing something on the sly or something, and I don’t want to be thought of in that way.” — John Wooden

17. “I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.” — John Wooden

18. “Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.” — John Wooden

19. “I think permitting the game to become too physical takes away a little bit of the beauty.” — John Wooden

20. “Remember this, the choices you make in life, make you.” — John Wooden

Wisdom-Filled John Wooden Quotes

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

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

3. “Young people need models, not critics.” — John Wooden

4. “Never mistake activity for achievement.” — John Wooden

5. “Passion is momentary; love is enduring.” — John Wooden

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

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

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

9. “If there’s anything you could point out where I was a little different, it was the fact that I never mentioned winning.” — John Wooden

10. “Happiness begins where selfishness ends.” — John Wooden

11. “The most important thing in the world is family and love.”  — John Wooden

12. “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.” — John Wooden

13. “Listen if you want to be heard.” — John Wooden

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

15. “Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress.” — John Wooden

16. “The two hardest things to handle in life are failure and success.” — John Wooden

17. “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

18. “The more concerned we become over the things we can’t control, the less we will do with the things we can control.” — John Wooden

19. “I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession.” — John Wooden

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

See also: 110 Superb Surround Yourself With Good People Quotes

Final Thoughts

These John Wooden quotes offer simple solutions that will transform your life and inspire you to think big.

Read next: 110 Best Michael Jordan Quotes To Master The Game Of Life

Unleash Your Full Potential With 120 John Wooden Quotes