Promises to ourselves.....

This week's blog has been exploring some of the thoughts of John Robert Wooden who was an American Collegieate Basketball Coach nicknamed the 'wizard of Westwood'.  As Head Coach at UCLA he won ten NCCA national championships in a 12-year period, including an unprecedented seven in a row.  NBA stars such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Costas and Bill Walton all played under him and gave huge credit to his coaching (both on and off the court) in their future success.

Here are his 'nine promises to yourself' - what would your work-place, school, home be like if we made these promises and followed through on them?

1.  Promise yourself that you will  talk health, happiness, and prosperity as often as possible.

2.  Promise yourself to make all your friends know there is something in them that is special and you value.

3.  Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best in yourself and others.

4.  Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

5.  Promise to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

6.  Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.

7.  Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile.

8.  Promise to give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

9.  Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble to press on you.

Wooden week: 'Be careful who you follow'

The story goes that a fellow was walking past a cemetery when he noticed a tombstone with the following inscription:

As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, you are sure to be.
So may I say, as now I lie,
Prepare yourself, to follow me.

The gentlemen took out a piece of chalk and wrote underneath the inscription:

To follow you I'm not content,
Until I know which way you went.

Choose role models, your leaders, your teachers and coaches, with care.

Wooden on 'emotionalism'

"I believe that for every artificial peak your create, there is a valley.  I don't like valleys.  Games are lost in valleys. 

If you need emotionalism to make you perform better, then sooner or later you'll be vulnerable, an emotional wreck, and unable to function to your level of ability.

I prefer thorough preparation over some device to make us 'rise to the occasion.'  Let others rise suddenly to a higher level than they had attained previously.  We would have already attained it in our preparation.  We would be there to begin with."

More wise words from the great coach.

Wooden week continues - Sport reveals character

A true athlete should have character, not be a character.  A character tries to attract attention to himself.  He is too interested in showing off and trying to get noticed.  Being an individual is different.  Bill Walton was an individual, but he was as fine a team player as you'd want.  He'd put the welfare of the team ahead of personal glory.

Some believe that sport builds character.  I believe that sport reveals character.  I see too many players who are characters today.  I like a player with character.

John Wooden (former coach of the record-setting UCLA basketball team, winning 10 national championships in 12 years)

John Wooden's Eight suggestions for succeeding

1.  Fear no opponent.  Respect every opponent. 

2.  Remember, it’s the perfection of the smallest details that make big things happen.

3.  Keep in mind that hustle makes up for many a mistake. 

4.  Be more interested in character than reputation. 

5.  Be quick, but don’t hurry.

6.  Understand the harder you work, the more luck you will have.

7.  Know that valid self-analysis is crucial for improvement. 

8.  Remember there is no substitute for hard work and careful planning.  Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

US College Tennis Scholarships - interested?? Then this meeting is for you!

Are you interested in going to an American University and becoming a student athlete with a tennis scholarship? Jemima King will be presenting on Wednesday March 25th 8pm at Halton Tennis Centre on the US College journey, how you can make your dream come a reality and to provide as much information as possible to help inform you of your choices after school and for the players to see what it is actually like in the American college system.  It is an opportunity to hear from current Bucks players who are currently studying in America on a tennis scholarship. Over the last four years Jemima has helped 10 players find a place at an American University. 

Please email Jemima - if you are able to attend the presentation.