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Inspirational John Wooden Quotes on Life and Leadership

Our latest collection of John Wooden quotes on Everyday Power.

John Robert Wooden, nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood,” was an American basketball player and head coach at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Wooden had a massively successful playing and coaching career, winning a total of 11 national titles as head coach, including a record seven in a row, and being named national coach of the year six times.

Besides, he was the first player to be named basketball All-American three times and was the first person to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.

One of the most respected coaches in sports history, Wooden is also remembered for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players, which were directed at how to be successful in life as well as in basketball.

Whether in sports, business, personal success, or organizational leadership, we can all benefit from Wooden’s words of wisdom.

As one of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, Wooden clearly tapped into his Everyday Power.

In that respect, here are some inspirational John Wooden quotes.


Born: October 14, 1910, in Indiana.

Died: June 4, 2010, Los Angeles

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Read more related content on our inspirational quotes category page.

Inspirational John Wooden quotes on life and leadership

1. “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

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2. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden

3. “Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” – John Wooden

4. We can have no progress without change, whether it be basketball or anything else.” – John Wooden

5. “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – John Wooden

6. You can do more good by being good than any other way. – John Wooden

7. All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low. – John Wooden

8. “Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” – John Wooden

9. “Young people need models, not critics.” – John Wooden

10. “Just try to be the best you can be; never cease trying to be the best you can be. That’s in your power.” – John Wooden

Also, read these coaching quotes that will inspire your team to the next level.

John Wooden quotes to inspire success

11. “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you capable of becoming.” – John Wooden

12. “Make each day your masterpiece“ – John Wooden

13. Succeeding is performing at your best when your best is required. – John Wooden

14. Mistakes come from doing, but so does success. – John Wooden

15. Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. – John Wooden

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16. Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts. – John Wooden

17. “Nothing will work unless you do.” – John Wooden

18. “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”  – John Wooden

19. “Earn the right to be proud and confident.”  – John Wooden

20. “It’s important to keep trying to do what you think is right no matter how hard it is or how often you fail. You never stop trying. I’m still trying.” – John Wooden

John Wooden quotes to motivate you to fight for your dreams

21. “It is the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden

22. “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”  – John Wooden

23. “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”  – John Wooden

24. It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it. – John Wooden

25. Just try to be the best you can be; never cease trying to be the best you can be. That’s in your power.– John Wooden

You might also like these Nick Saban quotes that aren’t just for athletes.

Which are your favorite John Wooden quotes?

John Wooden left a powerful legacy in not only in sports but in business, leadership and personal success.

He influenced the lives of many people and will always be remembered for his wisdom both on and off the court.

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Although he passed away in 2010, Wooden’s motivation and mentorship lives on.

Hopefully, these quotes have inspired you to shoot for success in your life.

Did you enjoy these John Wooden quotes?

Which of the quotes was your favorite?

Tell us in the comment section below.

We would love to hear all about.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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1 Comment
  1. Roza

    September 3, 2020 at 7:39 PM

    The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

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