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A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring [Hardcover]

John Wooden , Don Yeager , John Maxwell


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From the legendary basketball coach who inspired generations of athletes and businesspeople, an inspiring book about the power of mentoring and being mentored. After eight books, many of them bestsellers, "A Game Plan for Life "is the one closest to John Wooden's heart: a moving and inspirational guide to the power of mentorship. The first half focuses on the people who helped foster the values that carried Wooden through an incredibly successful and famously principled career, including his college coach, his wife, Abraham Lincoln, and Mother Teresa. The second half is built around interviews with some of the many people he mentored over the years, including Kareem Abdul- Jabbar, Bill Walton, fellow coaches, family members, and even a middle school coach in Canada. Their testimony takes readers inside the lessons Wooden taught to generations of players, bringing out the very best in them not just as athletes but as human beings. In all, it's an inspiring primer on how to achieve success without sacrificing principles, and on how to build one of the most productive and rewarding relationships available to any athlete, businessperson, teacher, or parent: that of mentor and protege.

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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More good instruction from a champion of life. 16 Nov 2009
By Monty Rainey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and Timeless! 23 Dec 2009
By Jay M. Greenfeld - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very few authors can inspire through their writings the way John Wooden does. Wooden does it again showing the world how we can all learn something from each person we interact with. A Game Plan for Life: The power of mentoring, includes lessons and philosophies for anyone regardless of their age, occupation, education, or experience. His lessons are simple and timeless. I especially enjoyed how throughout the book, he celebrated his mentors, honored his mentees, and empowered the reader to be truly inspiring. If Wooden suggests "...that the people who stand out are the ones who challenged me with words and inspired me with actions" then his most recent book has done just that. His simple life lessons remind the reader that remaining true to your values and ideals will help create a sense of calmness in your heart. This is not just a game plan for life ... it is a game plan brought to life. Personal anecdotes, inspirational messages, and simple reminders throughout the book suggest win or lose...the life lesson to the reader is . . . keep playing as teaching and learning are timeless.

My Choice - My Life: Realizing Your Ability to Create Balance in Life
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn from one of the greatest coaches ever 6 Nov 2009
By Scott Sylvan Bell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A coach is the person that people turn to when they need guidance, to be inspired or to be coached for a specific reason or goal. Great coaches hold a mystic about how they get things done or get people or teams to do amazing things. Usually their books, biographies or autobiographies have many parallels that you can use in your life or business. This book is not an exception to this rule.

This book is filled with knowledge from one of the greatest coaches ever. I could not put the book down. It is written from a first person narrative from John and he starts out by explaining what people have had the most impact on his life. It may sound cheesy but he started wit his father. I have a tone of respect for mine so I think that I would have done the same if it were me. It is interesting to see why he acted as he did while he was a coach and how John has taught other people to live. Treating everyone as an equal no matter what their position in life is one of the cornerstones of the lessons in this book.

Even though I am in sales and not a basketball player I was able to reinforce that fundamentals are the most important item to practice, yes that trick shot that may be needed once ever is fun to practice but the basics and fundamentals are the most important.

It does not matter whether you are a coach, manager or just looking for a great book to read there will be something in here for you. To gain knowledge you must get different perspectives, and this book will leave you with some.

What I really got form this book was that in order to be a leader you yourself first must be the type of person that everyone would like to follow by giving others their respect first. It goes back to what my mother taught me "Always act like someone else is watching".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PJC Book Reviews 13 Jan 2010
By Paul J. Christopher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Legendary College Basketball Coach John Wooden along with author Don Yaeger recently published, A Game Plan for Life, The Power of Mentoring. Wooden now 99 years of age, offers his perspective in the book on the power of mentoring and the effects on leadership. I recommend this book for those who desire to be mentored and those wanting to mentor others. It's a great book on leadership and gives a seasoned perspective from a credible source in one of NCAA's all-time best coaches.

[...]
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meaningful Living at Age 99 12 Jan 2010
By David Shores - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
John Wooden clearly demonstrates the ability of our minds to overcome the limitations of our bodies during our "bonus years" (age 60 and above), because he wrote this book at age 99. He describes the mentoring process, and explains how we are constantly learing from our students while we are teaching them.

He selected an amazing group of mentors for this book. He chose seven people who mentored him and seven people he mentored. He had never met two of the people who mentored him: Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa. Neveretheless, he studied them and applied their insights to his own life.

The seven people he mentored wrote their own chapters about their relationship with him. Two of them, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, have worldviews that are very different from his. In spite of this they obviously feel a great deal of affection and loyalty towards their coach.

Jabbar is very articulate and has written several books, primarily about jazz and Harlem. This prompted me to read Bill Cosby's book, titled "Come On People". The movie titled "Invicta" (about rugby in South Africa) provides yet another opportunity to learn about mentorship and how sports can be used to transcend communication obstacles about between races, cultures, and generations.

I am 72 years old and have written my own life story (for my friends and family) titled "A Roadmap for Happiness When Traveling From Age 70 to 90". Each year I add another chapter, so my 2010 update will include the addition of John Wooden to my list of mentors!
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