When it's all said and done and the maker calls us home, the real measure of a successful life has to have a lot to do with how much you improved the lives of those around you. With that in mind, few people come close to the life of John Wooden. There are untold vast numbers of people who have become better people and lead better lives because of the coach. Through his books, many of those people, like myself, never even met him.
In his newest book, and quite possibly his last, A GAME PLAN FOR LIFE, Coach Wooden teaches about mentoring. I really like the way the book gives mentoring from two different approaches, but giving and receiving. The first half of the book profiles seven people who mentored Coach Wooden. The last half profiles seven people who were mentored by him, either directly or indirectly.
I found the mixture to be very interesting, and yet probably very similar to most other people. Among his mentors, coach lists his father, 3 former coaches and two people from history he never met but spent hours reading about. Among the mentees, who each wrote their own chapters in the book, we find 3 former players at UCLA, 2 other coaches, a teacher who had never met the coach, and his great-grand-daughter.
It's interesting to see how mentoring is both given and received in different ways to meet the needs of the recipient. The book is filled with sage quotes and life lessons that will touch readers ina variety of ways.
While as always, I loved what the coach wrote, I particularly enjoyed the chapter written by Dale Brown, coach of the LSU basketball team. Coach Brown knew Coach Wooden, but only because they had played against one another when Coach Brown was an assistant coach at Utah State. When he accepted the head coaching job at LSU, he turned to Coach Wooden for advice.
Detailed in his chapter are some of the many questions he asked coach. This really gave a good structure on how to proceed when seeking out a mentor and how to best learn from someone you don't know well.
I took a lot away from this book. I think you will too.