#1710 What Wooden Told His Players

Right Before They Entered the Arena

In the last few +1s (here and here and here), we've been exploring some wisdom from the guy ESPN says is THE GREATEST COACH of the 20th century—which makes him, arguably, the greatest coach ever.

We started with his definition of success as we talked about the summit of his Pyramid.

As you may recall, Wooden defines success as “peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”


He tells us that the SUMMIT of his Pyramid is “COMPETITIVE GREATNESS” which, he tells us is: “being your best when your best is needed.”

Then we explored the FIFTEEN virtue-blocks of his iconic Pyramid of Success that captured the foundation for his success.

Those virtues included Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, Enthusiasm, Self-Control, Alertness, Initiative, Intentness, Condition, Skill, Team Spirit, Poise, Confidence, and Competitive Greatness.

THEN we talked about the #1 job of EVERY leader (including you!).

Our #1 job?

“Make Greatness Attainable by All.”

Today I want to chat about the VERY last thing Wooden told his players before they left the locker room and entered the arena.

Before I do…

Pop quiz!

What do YOU think he told them?


What would YOU say if you had the opportunity to share a few words with a world-class team before they took the field?!

Side note…

I am actually preparing for that moment right now as I just got an invitation to share a few words with a world-class sports team led by one of my dear friends and big Heroic Coach, right before THEY leave the locker room and enter their arena.

(My heart just skipped a beat in anticipation of that moment!)


Here’s the answer to the pop quiz…

Wooden tells us that “Before our team left the locker room and entered the arena… my final words were always about the same: ‘When it’s over, I want your heads up. And there’s only one way your heads can be up—that’s to give it your best out there, everything you have.’”

That’s Today’s +1.

When Today’s over, I want YOUR head up.


There’s only ONE way your heads can be up…

That’s if you go out and give us your best Today—everything you’ve got.

It’s Day 1.

We’re ALL IN.

It’s time to live with Areté.

Close the gap.

Give the world all you’ve got.


Unlock this Heroic +1 (and over 1,000 more)!

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