The Ultimate Trifecta For Success: Your Team, Patience, And Faith

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John Wooden is a coaching rock star and legend.   So I thought, what better gift to give my readers during this holiday season than a series on Wooden’s Pyramid of Success?  Join me for a series of posts that will delve into both the foundation and apex of his Pyramid and examine Wooden’s thoughts on Industriousness, Enthusiasm, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, Competitive Greatness, and finally, Faith & Patience.

Faith & Patience

Wooden calls faith and patience the mortar that keeps the blocks of the Pyramid of Success together and I couldn’t agree more.  I’ll bet you’re wondering why…well I have some answers for you!

Why Patience?

  • Because it takes time to create excellence.  Do you remember your first year coaching?  Just how awful were you?  I don’t know about you, but I was pretty bad.  And not to toot my own horn (toot, toot!), but I’m not doing too badly right now and I bet you aren’t either.  The same process we go through as coaches, our athletes will have to muddle through as well.
  • Because your team needs time to gel.  They’re not going to walk into the gym or onto the field and be battle tested in the first week.  So after you’ve fired them up for the season and they’ve come up with goals for the season…be patient and trust the process.
  • Because you’ve got to figure out how to be the best coach for your team.  You’ve got to find out the different personality types that make up your team and how they’re motivated.  And just as important, they’ve got to figure you out and all of your idiosyncrasies…what ticks you off and what gets you all fired up and excited.


Why Faith?

  • Because there’s no reason to play if you don’t have faith that you could win it all in the end.  You may not, but if you don’t think that you will…why play?
  • Because that’s what gives meaning to your goals.  We all set goals months before we’ll ever know if they will come to fruition.  Without faith that you can accomplish your goals…what are you playing for?
  • Because it’s built into the fabric of sports and we, as coaches, have to teach faith and belief just like we teach the more tangible skills of our sport.


We should all be able to stand in front of our teams and say, like Wooden:  “The values, ideals, and principles of the Pyramid of Success are the qualities that will allow you to stand tall.  You have success within.  It’s up to you to bring it out.”  Isn’t that what we want for our players at the end of the season and at the end of their careers?  To be able to stand tall and be proud of what they did?  I believe the Pyramid is a huge step in the right direction.