A Parent Talks to a Child Before the First Game

I recently purchased and have been expanding my mind by reading a book by one of the greatest coaches of all time Mr. John Wooden.  The book is called Wooden; A lifetime of observations and reflections on and off the court.  The book is truly fascinating and inspiring and gives a lot of insight on good core values, decency, integrity, hard work and philosophy on life.  It is amazing to read such a wonderful book on how Mr. Wooden has grown up, what his father had taught him as a young boy and how he carried that over to treat others fairly, with respect and honesty and relayed that even more so to have one the most successful programs in all of sports.  I have been looking for something to help me become not only a better coach but a better person as a whole.  I enjoy coaching and watching others succeed more so than having my own personal success.  Nothing gives me more satisfaction than helping others achieve greatness under my supervision and guidance.  Partly why I love the health and fitness industry and being a trainer because I get to help motivate, educate and train people by making a difference in their lives and help them achieve greatness whether it be on the field, in the office, at home or just in general for life and for their own health.

In the book I read a poem that Mr. Wooden had added in because as a child his father was big on reading poetry to him and his brother and I was blown away when I read it and I had to read it several more times after that to get the full effect of it.  Now I want to share the poem with you to help you kick off the day on a great start.

A Parent Talks to a Child Before the First Game

This is your first game, my child.  I hope you win.  I hope you win for your sake, not mine.  Because winning’s nice.  It’s a good feeling.  Like the whole world is yours.  But, it passes, this feeling.  And what lasts is what you’ve learned.

And what you learn about is life.  That’s what sports is all about.  Life.  The whole thing is played out in an afternoon.  The happiness of life.  The miseries.  The joys.  The heartbreaks.

There’s no telling what’ll turn up.  There’s no telling whether they’ll toss you out in the first five minutes or whether you’ll stay for the long haul.

There’s no telling how you’ll do.  You might be a hero or you might be absolutely nothing.  There’s just no telling.  Too much depends on chance.  On how the ball bounces.

I’m not talking about the game, my child.  I’m talking about life.  But, it’s life that the game is all about.  Just as I said.

Because every game is life.  And life is a game.  A serious game.  Dead serious.

But, that’s what you do with serious things.  You do your best.  You take what comes.  You take what comes and you run with it.

Winning is fun.  Sure.  But winning is not the point.

Wanting to win is the point.  Not giving up is the point.  Never being satisfied with what you’ve done is the point.  Never letting up is the point.  Never letting anyone down is the point.

Play to win.  Sure.  But lose like a champion.  Because it’s not winning that counts.  What counts is trying.


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