I recently read an article by Don Yeager titled We Can All Be Better: The Wooden Effect. It discusses the number of coaches and leaders who have been influenced by the legendary coach, John Wooden. The people John Wooden mentored and influenced carry on his legacy of success even today. The article called this continued legacy “the Wooden Effect.”
I have also been influenced by the visionary leadership of John Wooden. In reading, Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court, very little of what is written is about basketball. The quick stories, short vignettes, and detailed memories focus on life and relationships with others. This building of relationships propels me forward day to day.
In addition to Wooden, I am also motivated by other famous coaches such as Jimmy Valvano, Pete Carroll and Vince Lombardi. Their principles and beliefs completely resonate with me not only as a coach, but also as a teacher, learner and person as a whole. Below are some of the books I have read and recommend about their philsophies and vision.
- Don’t Give Up…Don’t Ever Give Up: The Inspiration of Jimmy V–One Coach, 11 Minutes, and an Uncommon Look at the Game of Life
- Win Forever: Live, Work, and Play Like a Champion
- The Lombardi Rules: 26 Lessons from Vince Lombardi
I would be remiss if I forgot to mention my all time favorite coach, my mom. She is my inspiration, and one of the reasons I am in the educational field. From a very young age, I could clearly see her innate ability to not only recognize potential but also motivate students and players to actually reach it and exceed it. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her model of an enthusiasm for life and the pursuit of passion.
One group as a whole continues to influence me as a teacher and learner and that is my PLN. I can confidently say the various members that make up my personal learning network have the “Wooden effect” on me day in and day out. Being able to connect with educational leaders, innovators and teachers that not only write books and blog their journeys/experiences but also tweet out tips and advice daily has changed my trajectory. Over the past year, I have had wonderful opportunities at various conferences to met some of you face to face and have been able to attend your keynotes and breakout sessions. Your effect on me has been profound. You push me every single day to be better.
I truly believe that no other profession is as networked and connected as educators. This ability to connect, share and grow together is immensely powerful. I am forever thankful for all of you, and how you continually help me in my journey! Remember you have an exponential impact by sharing your work and ideas with other educators.
Some questions to think about…
Who do you know that inspires you to achieve greatness? What legacy do you hope to share with the people in your life? What is your version of the Wooden Effect?