Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

John Wooden, fully John Robert Wooden

American Hall of Fame Basketball Player and Legendary Coach

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

"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."

"The greatest failure of all is the failure to act."

"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."

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."

"Be prepared and be honest. "

"Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights."

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

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

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

"Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be."

"A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment. "

"Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then."

"It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it. "

"It isn't what you do, but how you do it. "

"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. "

"Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts. "

"Never mistake activity for achievement."

"The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team. "

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

"There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer. "

"What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player."

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

"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. "

"Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character."

"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one. "

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

"Listen if you want to be heard."

"Never make excuses. Your friends don't need them and your foes won't believe them."

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

"It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit."

"Happiness begins where selfishness ends."

"Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time."

"Discipline yourself and others won't need to."

"Don't let making a living prevent you from making a life."

"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

"Be quick, but don't hurry."

"Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation."

"Tell the truth. That way you don't have to remember a story."

"There is nothing stronger than gentleness."

"Make every day your masterpiece."

"If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier."

"Don't let yesterday take up too much of today."

"Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top."

"Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference."

"Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read."

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

"We are many, but are we much?"

"Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress."

"Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then."