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John Wooden was an American basketball coach who famously led the UCLA Bruin’s top 10 National College Basketball championships in 11 years during the 1960s and 70s.


The basis of Wooden’s coaching philosophy was a pyramid of success. Like the great pyramids in Egypt, the model was built over many years and I have no doubt it will stand the test of time.


Take a look for yourself….



Whilst this model and Wooden’s achievement are impressive in themselves; I’ve taken away a few other learning points from the pyramid.


– Each element of the pyramid has been carefully selected to build on the layer below. Without the foundations, the ultimate achievement of competitive greatness is beyond our reach.


– Each word was carefully chosen. Words have meaning and we should always think about how we use them to make an impact and create the change we want to see. As an example, “Team Spirit” replaced “Teamwork” in a very early version of the pyramid because Wooden wanted to bring in the theme of eagerness in addition to working together.


– There are two key themes from the bottom to the top of the pyramid – enjoyment and being yourself. If we approach anything with a sense of obligation rather than enthusiasm and if we try to act like others rather than ‘picking ourselves’ in the process, we are not going to achieve success.


This model doesn’t just apply to basketball, it can be used in any context to drive us towards being the best we can be.


This post is part of my 60 day blog challenge.