Getting Into The March Madness Spirit

imagesI am not a fan of college basketball, that is until it’s time for March Madness. 68 of the best teams in college basketball are selected to play in a single elimination tournament bracket where every game can be your last or another step to the coveted NCAA championship. It’s a great stage of athletes playing with a survival mentality and an opportunity for the underdog, little known team to have a chance at grabbing some wins and headlines when no one even gave them a mention previously. So you’re probably wondering what this has to do at all with health and fitness. As I appreciate every day, there’s a lesson to be learned at every corner and no one taught better lessons than former basketball player and coach, John Wooden.

Words of Wisdom

John Wooden, nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood,” was head men’s basketball coach at UCLA where he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period—seven of which were consecutive. He was beloved by all players and coaches, especially some of his own such as Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. But Coach Wooden was also renowned for his short and inspirational messages he shared with his players on how to be successful not only at basketball but in life. Following is a list of some of his best all time one liners. Enjoy as there is great lessons in every one of them no matter what walk of life you lead.

  • There are no shortcuts
  • Always be progressing
  • Give it away to get it back
  • If you wish to be heard, listen
  • Laugh with others, never at them
  • Never mistake activity for achievement
  • Nothing is stronger than gentleness
  • Persistence is stronger than failure
  • There is no substitute for hard work
  • We get stronger when we test ourselves
  • Happiness begins where selfishness ends
  • You are more influential than you think
  • Failing to prepare is preparing to fail
  • Discipline yourself and others won’t need to
  • Learn from the past, don’t live in the past
  • Fear no opponent but respect every opponent
  • Hard work is the difference. Very hard work
  • Take what’s available and make the most of it
  • You never fail if you know you did your best
  • When you are through learning, you are through
  • What is right is more important than who is right
  • The time to make friends is before you need them
  • The worthy opponent brings out the very best in you
  • There is a price to be paid for achieving anything
  • You can do more good by being good than any other way
  • The difficult challenge provides the best opportunity
  • Once the opportunity arises, it’s too late to prepare
  • Greatness is being your best when your best is needed
  • Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating
  • The smallest good deed is better than the best intention
  • Be more concerned with your character than your reputation
  • Tell the truth, that way you don’t have to remember a story
  • Everybody has a suggestion, not everybody has a decision
  • For every artificial peak you create, there is a valley
  • Be interested in finding the best way, not in having your own way
  • Time spent getting even would be better spent trying to get ahead
  • Being average means you’re as close to the bottom as you are to the top
  • Ability can get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there
  • You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

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