''That’s all I can do: to come close to my level of competency, not somebody else’s. I have nothing to do with theirs, only mine.''

Is my Ford Better than Your Cadillac

This is an extract from Steve Jamison’s book on Coach Wooden.

When preparing for a basketball game with Arizona, Duke,Louisville or Michigan, I would tell my players, ‘We can’t control what those other fellows do to get ready. We can control what we do to get ready. So let’s do our very best in that regard and hope that will be good enough, yes, to out score them. But let’s not worry about that. Instead let’s worry about our own preparation.

Let’s say I want to build a car-maybe a Ford or a Chevrolet or a Plymouth. I want to build it the best I can possibly build it. Will it be better than a Cadillac or a Mercedes? That’s irrelevant.

If I’m building a Ford, I simply want to build the very best Ford I can build. That’s all I can do: to come close to my level of competency,not somebody else’s. I have nothing to do with theirs, only mine.

To worry about whether what I’m building is going to be better than what somebody else is building elsewhere is to worry needlessly. I believe that if I’m worried about what’s going on outside, it will detract from my preparation inside.

My concern, my focus, my total effort should be on building the very best Ford I can build. I did that in coaching high school teams and in coaching college teams. My focus was on making that team, that group of individuals,the best they were capable of becoming, whether it was a Ford or a Cadillac.

Some years I understood we were building a Ford. Other years I felt we were building a Cadillac. The effort put forth in all years was the same: total.

And I was just as proud of our well built Fords as of our well built Cadillacs.

 

Comment

This extract poses some questions for us as clubs and coaches.

Does your club put in the same work and preparation with all your teams or just the group that is a Good Crop?

Does your club have coaches who will only work with the teams who have a chance of winning and in other years will tell you that 'That team are just not interested'?

Do you coach all your players or just the stronger players?

Are your overly concerned with the opposition instead of concentrating on your own game plan and style of play that suits the individuals on your team?

Coach Wooden says, ‘There is no area of the game in which I am a genius. None! Tactically and strategically I was just average. I was above average in analyzing players, getting them to fill roles as part of a team,paying attention to the fundamentals and minute details and working well with others. Crucially, I enjoyed very hard work and prepared meticulously.’

Do you prepare well for your season and your sessions?

Recent research in the USA over a number of sports found that the most successful coaches were also the coaches who prepared most diligently. You would think that the more experienced a coach became that the less he would need to prepare. You would feel that he could coach off the cuff, instinctively. In fact the research found that it was the less experienced and less successful coaches who were winging it. The successful coaches used their experience and instinct in their sessions but only after meticulous preparation.

 Do all your management team have a role to play? Does your preparation allow for all your coaches to have input into the session?


















Coach Wooden says, ''There is no area of the game in which I am a genius. None! Tactically and strategically I was just average.''