Lessons in Persistence: Coach John Wooden and the UCLA Bruins.

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 Coach John Wooden won ten NCAA national championships, seven of them in consecutive years, and had four undefeated seasons, including an 88-game winning streak. John Wooden had a 620-147 record during his 27-year tenure as the head coach of the UCLA Bruins.

Coach wooden started coaching basketball at UCLA in 1948. For the first fourteen seasons, the team did not win a national championship. Coach worked hard yearly with his team, working hard and never giving up. In the fifteenth season, the team had a breakthrough, and they won their first national championship. They won nine more national championships in the following ten years.


In his book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court, Basketball Hall of Fame coach John Wooden describes the power of persistence in his pyramid of success as Intentness,

The fourth block in the second tier of his pyramid of success is intentness. He defines intentness as the ability to resist temptation and stay the course, to concentrate on your objective with determination and resolve.

Impatience is wanting too much too soon. Intentness doesn’t involve wanting something. It involves doing something.

The road to real achievement takes time, a long time, but you do not give up. You may have setbacks. You may have to start over. You may have to change your method. You may have to go around, or over, or under. You may have to back up and get another start. But you do not quit. You stay the course. To do that, you must have intentions.

Be persistent. Be determined. Be tenacious. Be completely determined to reach your goal. That’s intentness.

Set a realistic goal. Concentrate on its achievement by resisting all temptations and being determined and persistent.

Intentness is the ability to resist temptation and to avoid rabbit trails of distraction. An intent person will stay the course and go the distance. He or she will concentrate on objectives with de- termination, stamina and resolve. Intentness is the quality that won’t permit us to quit or give up, even when our goal is going to take a while to accomplish

Our society has been permeated by a mind-set of immediate gratification. Simply put, people are impatient. They want too much too soon. They have lost sight of an overarching truth: In life, worthwhile accomplishments and acquisitions take time.

Usually the better the reward, the more time it takes to acquire it. Intentness gives us the doggedness to hang in there and over- come impatience. Intentness is patience with action. It’s not wanting and waiting; rather, it’s being able to wait while we act out a specific plan.

One of coach Wooden’s favourite quotes is from the 30th president of the United States of America, Calvin Coolidge, who once quipped:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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