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Your Path To Success Begins Here

posted by Coach Dawn Writes
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 12:48am EDT

My blog is a place for coaches at all levels who are interested in building teams, motivating their student athletes, and coaching ideas that work. You won't find drills or job postings there, but you will find thoughts from a self-proclaimed coaching nerd who wants to help coaches and teams thrive.

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It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, I’ve written about it quite a bit.  So when I saw this TEDtalk by Richard St. John, 8 Secrets Of Success, I was intrigued and wondered if it would correspond with the Pyramid.  Using over five hundred interviews over the course of seven years, St. John asked one simple question to lots of successful people:  What is success?  When he boiled it all down, this is what he came up with:

  1. Passion.  We’ve got to love what we do…and that passion should be contagious to our teams.  I’ve caught the volleyball bug and my goal is to infect my team with it.  I want the passion I have for my sport to go through my team like a cold in a kindergarten classroom.  Wooden word:  Enthusiasm.
  2. Work.  Oh, this is a good one…and I’ll bet it’s the step most folks would like to skip on their way to success.  It won’t be easy, but the good part is there’s no magic bullet.  Good, old-fashioned work is what’s going to ensure our success.  Wooden word: Industriousness.
  3. Good.  At a certain point, we’ve got to be good at what we do.  Whether it’s as a coach or as a player.  This certainly isn’t saying that failure won’t be on the path to success, but being good (knowledgeable, learned, confident) at what we do is essential to our success.  Wooden word: Skill.
  4. Focus.  This isn’t for the jack-of-all-trades (but master of none) kinda person…this is for the the person who knows what they want and are willing to put all of their energy toward accomplishing it.  The path to success will always have distractions, being focused will keep us from straying from our goals.  Wooden word: Alertness.
  5. Push.  On the way to success, we’ll feel unworthy, nervous, like we don’t measure up, like we won’t accomplish our goals, like we’re not worthy of success…and more!  But we keep going anyway.  Wooden word:  Initiative.
  6. Serve.  Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  I believe that the more people we help on our way up the path to success, the sweeter that feeling of victory will be…because it’ll be shared.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my success to be built upon the destruction of others…but rather through my building others up.  Wooden word:  Team Spirit.
  7. Ideas.  When we were younger, my brother and I would sit down and come up with ideas that would make us rich someday.  Sometimes crazy, silly, weird…and sometimes good.  Unfortunately, we never acted on any of our ideas.  I’m sure we’ve all got crazy ideas in our heads that we believe would benefit our community (as well as ourselves)…let’s go make it happen!  Wooden word: Poise.
  8. Persist.  Jimmy Valvano said it best:  “Don’t give up.  Don’t ever give up.”  Success isn’t easy…or else everyone would be doing it.  We know as we set out that the path to success will be tough, but we press on.  When we’re feeling down, we can revisit our goals to recapture that feeling we had when we first started out.  Be resolved to see things through ‘til the end.  Wooden word: Intentness.


John Wooden was the man…as confirmed by St. John’s interviews.  Check out his video, it’s just over four minutes long and he packs a lot into it.  I promise you’ll be motivated to start whatever dream or goal that is in your heart.

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