19 More Motivational Quotes From Coach Wooden

UPDATED: June 23, 2023
PUBLISHED: October 19, 2016
wooden nothing will work

Legendary coach John Wooden took the helm of a struggling UCLA Bruins basketball program in 1948. By the end of the season, they were conference champions. By the time of his retirement in 1975, the man they called “Coach” led his teams to a record-breaking 10 national championships in just 12 years, establishing a legacy as one of the best coaches of all time.

Related: The Path to Greatness

John Wooden Pyramid of Success courseNever one to take the spotlight or the credit, Coach Wooden attributed his 10 NCAA championships to the Pyramid of Success he perfected over 14 years of teaching and coaching. His Pyramid of Success is a roadmap for individual and team excellence—the same roadmap he used to build a legacy unmatched in the game of basketball. Here are 19 motivational quotes about the essential behaviors and traits of Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, such as Skill, Poise, Self-Control, Industriousness and Competitive Greatness:

Quotes About “Competitive Greatness”

  1. “All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.”
  2. “If there’s anything you could point out where I was a little different, it was the fact that I never mentioned winning.”
  3. “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

Quotes About “Industriousness”

  1. “Nothing will work unless you do.”
  2. “Earn the right to be proud and confident.”
  3. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

Quotes About “Poise”

  1. “Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.”
  2. “I think you have to be what you are. Don’t try to be somebody else. You have to be yourself at all times.”
  3. “Well, if you’re true to yourself you’re going to be true to everyone else.”

Quotes About “Self-Control”

  1. “Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.”
  2. “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”
  3. “Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.”
  4. “I had three rules for my players: No profanity. Don’t criticize a teammate. Never be late.”
  5. “It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it.”

Quotes About “Skill”

  1. “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.”
  2. “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”
  3. “Just try to be the best you can be; never cease trying to be the best you can be. That’s in your power.”
  4. “I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.”
  5. “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.”

Join SUCCESS and host Brendon Burchard on March 25 for The Path to Greatness, a one-time-only live training event that taps into Coach Wooden’s success principles.