Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success - An Overview
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Coach Wooden's pyramid is instructive not only by the individual blocks in contains, but also by its over all structure. Every block is placed particularly.
The structure stands on a foundation, the cornerstones of which are "Industriousness" and "Enthusiasm." Simply pointing this out teaches a great life lesson.
When Industriousness is combined with Enthusiasm in any venture, self-evidently, we are well along the path toward success (we will have more to say about this in a future post).
"Skill" sits at the heart of the pyramid, pointing like an arrow at its apex, "Competitive Greatness." Again, we say, "Yes!" that makes sense, without further explanation. The centrality of skill can never be discounted if Competitive Greatness is to be supported.
The pyramid is braced on each side by Patience and Faith.
The former is easy to understand in terms of Coach Wooden's career. He spent 17 years coaching at UCLA, developing his philosophy, before he won his first national championship. His commitment to daily improvement over time lead eventually to exponential success that ended only when he retired. Patient, daily improvement as a coach, like compounded interest, paid off to a degree that even Einstein could not quite have gotten his mind around.
What Coach Wooden meant by faith is harder to define. Certainly, he had a tremendous faith in God as a practicing Christian, but almost as certainly this was not what he meant in terms of basketball success. More likely, Coach Wooden means an overarching philosophical reliance on "the Good," positive force of the universe, wherein when we have done all we can to succeed.
When we put all of the blocks of the pyramid into practice to the utmost of our ability, the desired outcome will result, a concept akin to what is commonly called creative visualization these days.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one of Coach Wooden's most celebrated players, wrote in the New York Time in 2000: “To lead the way Coach Wooden led takes a tremendous amount of faith. He was almost mystical in his approach, yet that approach only strengthened our confidence."