a year of Wooden: week 3

My thoughts & prayers are with the Purdue community… there was a shooting at the university early today. Crazy to think that this time last year I would have been right there on campus. And I do have many friends who are still there. Please send your good thoughts.

Coach Wooden was also a Purdue alum, graduating in 1932 with a degree in English. He helped lead the Boilermakers to the National Championship and was the first player ever to be named a three-time consensus All-American. While at Purdue he was nicknamed “The Indiana Rubber Man” because he was always diving onto the hard court after the ball. The West Lafayette community treasures Coach Wooden — I spotted photos of him and framed Pyramids of Success in countless restaurants and businesses there.

a year of wooden

This year I am doing “a year of Wooden” following the teachings of Coach John Wooden, and in particular his 7-Point Creed. I’m beginning the year with the Creed’s first item:

  • January: Drink deeply from good books.

This past week I read Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court, written by Coach Wooden with Steve Jamison. I have read this book many times, and each time I learn something new. I love how it is written in brief sections so you can pick it up and read one in a few short minutes. Each section feels like a meditation or prayer or poem — a great way to begin or end your day with a little thought and reflection. When I read this book, I feel like Coach is speaking personally to me, sharing anecdotes and philosophies from his life. This is a book that grows with you. Whenever I read it, I always come away feeling refreshed and inspired.

For this week, I’ll be reading Coach Wooden’s children’s book, Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success. I think grown-ups will enjoy this easy and fun read, too! It’s perfect for the child in all of us. Better yet, read this book to a child in your life and have a conversation with him or her about the true meaning of success. Here’s a little about the book:

Inch and Miles have one last assignment before summer vacation begins. Their wise teacher, Mr. Wooden, has asked them the meaning of success. Using a magic silver whistle, Inch and Miles set out on a journey to discover the blocks of the Pyramid of Success and learn how to try 100 percent to be their personal best.

I’d also like to give a shout out to Harper For Kids, a really neat nonprofit organization that uses Inch and Miles as a teaching tool to change young kids’ lives! Learn more about their programs here.

Looking forward to hearing your comments about the book next week!

Question of the day:

  • What were your favorite books as a child?

5 thoughts on “a year of Wooden: week 3

    • Oh, the giving tree! Such a beautiful book. I always think of it when I hear that new plain white t’s song on the radio.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Whitney! It means so much to me. I love your blog and am always sending my friends links to your posts. I know we’ve never met, but I think of you as a friend! Have a great day. 🙂

  1. One of my favorite children’s books is Anthony Browne’s “Willy the Wimp” which tells the tale of a “wimpy” chimp who is picked on by a gang of gorillas until he orders an exercise book advertised in his comic and, after diligently following the dietary and exercise guidelines, becomes a brawnier version of himself. (That’s one long-ass sentence.) There’s a scene in the beginning of the book that comes full circle at the end where Willy walks into a lamppost and apologizes. What about you, Dal?

    • I’ve never read “Willy the Wimp” but now I need to check it out! I love books where the ending comes back around to the beginning. And that is an impressively, wonderfully long and detailed sentence 🙂

      My favorite book as a child was “The Runaway Bunny” by Margaret Wise Brown. It was the first book I ever learned to “read” though I think I actually had the whole thing memorized from asking my parents to read it to me so many times.

      Happy Friday! And thanks so much for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. It means a lot.

  2. Pingback: a year of Wooden: week 4 | Day-By-Day Masterpiece

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