Book Review w/ J. Curtis | Coach Wooden

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Title: Coach Wooden: The 7 Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours
Author: Pat Williams
Publisher: Revell
Year: 2011
My Genre Category: Get it Together!


Synopsis (5/5)

John Wooden; extraordinary coach and extraordinary man! In this work, Pat Williams shares the 7-point creed that Joshua Wooden, John Wooden’s father, shared with Coach Wooden when he was a child. Coach Wooden lived by these creeds throughout his life and attributes his success as a man and a coach to his father’s wisdom. He also made sure to pass these points of wisdom along to others! Mr. Williams does a great job in telling many wonderful stories about Coach along with making these points applicable to daily living.

Content/Writing (4/5)

Mr. Williams delivers well on this goal. He shares the principles that Coach Wooden lived by in such a way that they are relatable and easily applicable. This is mostly done by the stories that he shares of Coach Wooden’s life as well as his own. Certainly straight-forward writing and not very artistic in that way, but this is to be expected in this type of work. Well done.

Design/Font/In Hand (3/5)

The book does feel good in hand. I used a hardback version from the public library. I like the front cover as well. The font is good size, but somewhat bulky. The chapters were broken up well and often had Wooden quotes boxed into the chapters on the margins. Again, a straightforward format which fit the style of the book.

Impact (4.5/5)

Overall, I probably would not rate the impact of this book quite so high. I would not consider this to be a must read. However, for me it has a high impact as I have looked-up to Wooden for many years now and I had read about these principles previously. Mr. Williams did a fantastic job capturing these principles well and making it an enjoyable ride. I thought these principles were profound when I first read them but enjoyed them even more when attached to the stories and challenging questions Mr. Williams shared.

Recommend (4/5)

I certainly would recommend this book for anyone looking to add some simple yet profound and wise principles to their lives. Also, for sports fans – especially basketball – since Coach Wooden is considered to be the greatest coach of all time in any sport. Lastly, for anyone looking to be an entrepreneur or leader, certainly worth considering! These are great principles to stand on.


I can’t get enough of Coach Wooden and his wisdom. And I can’t get enough of his father, Joshua Hugh Wooden – a man so wise and so rich in insight that he formulated these seven life principles:
1. Be true to yourself.
2. Help others.
3. Make each day your masterpiece.
4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
5. Make friendship a fine art.
6. Build a shelter against a rainy day by the life you live.
7. Pray for guidance and counsel, and give thanks for your blessings each day.

Williams, Pat, and James Denney. 2011. Coach Wooden. Revell. pp. 20-21

With each new morning, we receive the gift of 86,400 seconds, 86,400 ticks of the clock. We choose how to spend each second. We can invest each second, make it count, treat it as something rare and irreplaceable, or we can simply kill time. … Life is precious. Time is irreplaceable. You don’t have a moment to lose. So make each day your masterpiece.

Ibid, p. 84

A library of good books is a wise collection of friends, mentors, counselors, advisers, and encouragers. Books instruct and entertain. Books affect the course of our lives. Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard University in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, put it this way: ‘Books are the quietest and most constant friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.’

Ibid, p. 101

Overview (4.1/5)

Mr. Williams delivers a solid read and a great way to interact with Coach Wooden and ponder the wisdom he graciously and humbly shared with those he interacted with day-to-day. If you enjoy reading about sports leaders or about leadership in general, this will certainly be an enjoyable and worthwhile read. Enjoy!


© J. Curtis, 2022

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