“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best you are capable of becoming.”
“All you have to do is try your best. And don’t worry what the outcome is going to be. Just try your best.”
–John Wooden, when asked what his best coaching advice was (from the last interview he gave before he died at age 99)
The two John Wooden quotes above span decades. The first one is from his famous “Pyramid of Success.”
He developed this definition of success over a period of many years early in his career, starting when he was a high school English teacher and coach in Indiana. He was frustrated that his students and their parents focused almost solely on grades in the classroom and wins and awards on the court.
Wooden came to the realization that every individual had certain strengths, weaknesses and limitations. He also realized a lot of what society called “success” was outside the individual’s complete control. He understood that all we can fully control is our effort and attitude. And if a person gave 100% in those two areas, they were successful, no matter what the outside perceptions might be.
The second Wooden quote above is a powerful testament to the staying power of Wooden’s philosophy. The man who was voted the greatest coach of all time (across all sports), the man who won 10 NCAA basketball championships in 12 years, continued to believe until his last day on Earth that true success was trying to do your best by focusing on the things you can control: effort and attitude.
He believed that’s all anyone had the right to expect from an athlete, no matter what the scoreboard said after a game.
The beauty of Wooden’s definition of success is that it doesn’t matter if it’s sports, school, work, relationships, or anything else in life, all you’re asked to do is make “the effort to become the best you’re capable of becoming.”
Moreover, it is an egalitarian definition of success. All of us have the opportunity to meet Wooden’s standard — no matter how gifted we are athletically, how intelligent we are, or how good looking we might be.
And that realization brings peace of mind.
–Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon