John Wooden Quotes

John Wooden is perhaps the greatest college basketball coach of all time, but the lessons he left behind go far beyond the court. These quotes highlight his most memorable words, which will live on forever not just for basketball fans, but for people from all walks of life.


1. "Nothing will work unless you do."

2. "Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."

3. "The best competition I have is against myself to become better."

4. "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."

5. "Success is never final, failure is never fatal."


1. "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are."

2. "Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day."

3. "Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."

4. "All of life is peaks and valleys. Don't let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low."

5. "You have to be what you are. Don't try to be somebody else. You have to be yourself at all times."


1. "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."

2. "If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes."

3. "It's always about focusing not on the mistakes but on the lessons learned form them."

4. "A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life."

5. "I believe correcting is the positive approach. I believe in the positive approach. Always have."


1. "Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."

2. "It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it."

3. "The true test of a man's character is what he does when no one is watching."

4. "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

5. "Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there."