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The Wisdom of Wooden: My Century On and Off the Court Hardcover – 1 Aug 2010


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The Wisdom of Wooden:  My Century On and Off the Court + They Call Me Coach + Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Contemporary; 1 edition (1 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071751165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071751162
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 1.1 x 30 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 890,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John Wooden (1910-2010), guided the UCLA Bruins to ten NCAA basketball championships over a 12-year period, including four perfect seasons and an 88-game winning streak. He was named ESPN’s “Greatest Coach of the 20th Century” and voted “#1 Coach of All Time” by The Sporting News. Sports Illustrated said it best when they said: “There’s never been a finer man in American sports than John Wooden, or a finer coach.” In 2003 John Wooden was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Steve Jamison is America's foremost author and authority on the life and philosophy of John Wooden. Mr. Jamison is a consultant to the UCLA Anderson Scool of Business’ John Wooden Global Leadership Program. He has collaborated with Coach Wooden on an award-winning PBS presentation as well as several books, including the classic book on teaching and mentoring, Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections.


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Amazon.com: 35 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
"Make each day your masterpiece." 16 Jan. 2011
By Steve Amoia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
John Wooden and Steve Jamison have produced a final gift of excellence from one of America's greatest teachers. The mythical basketball coach whose name was synonymous with excellence lived his life by a simple yet profound mantra from his father, Joshua: "Make each day your masterpiece." This book is a testament to the core values handed down from Coach Wooden's father and shared with his own children and hundreds of student-athletes.

Unique Look and Feel

The book is constructed in the shape of an old-fashioned family photo album. The distinctive rectangular dimensions were a good choice for an equally unique man. I liked the compelling contrast between the cover image of Coach Wooden with a basketball and quotes from two of his prized pupils, Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, on the back. There are no page numbers to further reinforce the photo album ambiance, and the predominant font size is larger than usual. Key quotes were shown in a maroon hue. Perhaps as a reminder that Mr. Wooden was a former English teacher.

Vivid Pictures Paint a Life Story

I grew up watching the fabled UCLA Bruins from afar on television. Flipping through the pages brought back wonderful childhood memories of the impeccably-dressed coach with his precise teams that performed like a Swiss watch. Coach Wooden and Mr. Jamison provide the reader with a wide variety of images. From his early days of coaching, to pictures of his extended family, to handwritten diagrams of plays, to the many highs and extremely rare lows, the life of John Wooden is documented in significant detail. My favorite image was Coach Wooden and Kareem-Abdul Jabbar holding hands as the former student assists his teacher walk on the court.

A Few Memorable Quotes

"Coaching is just another word for teaching; you may have a whistle, but you're still a teacher."

"The bond between teacher and student is a sacred trust. I treated that bond with the utmost respect."

"When you leave the arena, a bystander shouldn't be able to tell by your demeanor whether you won or lost."

"Trophies are not success... Success is measured by the quality of effort you put forth to do your best."

"Basketball is of little importance compared to the rest of the life that we live."

A new colleague told me that this would make an excellent coffee table book. I agree, and my coffee table just took a leap in quality. But if you put this wonderful book on your coffee table, please be sure that it sits at the top of your offerings. The example, life and wisdom of Coach John Wooden deserve no less.

Please Note:

A McGraw-Hill representative provided me with a complimentary review copy of this book. I was not monetarily compensated for the review by any party that would benefit from a positive analysis.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A how-to guide for living an extraordinary life 26 Aug. 2010
By Smallchange - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This charming book celebrates the extraordinary life of coach John Wooden and shares the principles that guided him throughout his career. Contents include the 7 point creed and the two sets of threes from Wooden's father, Wooden's own Pyramid of Success, the Pyramid of Success modified for children, and his Sportsmanship pledge for youngsters. You don't have to be a sports fan to benefit from the collected wisdom and quotes in here. His words are simple, powerful, and sane. Buy this book and read it together with your children, your parents, or your grandparents.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Many Quotes to Record and Remember 22 Feb. 2011
By Sheri E. Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Like everything I have read about or by John Wooden, this book left me with a feeling of great respect for him, not only as a coach, but as a human. I collect quotes, and I recorded several new ones from this book. The Wisdom of Wooden does a particularly good job of drawing in the reader through beautiful photos and a conversational tone, so that it feels she/he is having a personal dialogue with Coach Wooden. It is a quick and easy read and would make a great conversation starter as a coffee table book. The Wisdom of Wooden would be an excellent gift for a graduate or someone starting a new job, as well as for sports fans and quote collectors.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
GREAT gift for a Basketball loving dad! 14 Jan. 2011
By Miche - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although this is not his first Wooden book it seems like this is his favorite-My dad absolutely loved this book! I thought this would be a nice "coffee table" type of book for him but instead he quotes it often to his high school girls basketball team when they are in need of some inspiration.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One of a kind!! 25 Dec. 2010
By Kiwibill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great tribute to one of the best human beings that has ever lived. The values John Wooden lived by and taught to his players during his career are in short supply in today's world. We should make this book required reading for every young person in America. We would all be the better for it!
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