I have a very inquisitive mind. I am constantly in search or learning new information that I can utilize to become a better coach. I have recently been digging deeply into the works of Coach John Wooden. John Wooden is one of the greatest coaches of all time. He built a championship basketball program at UCLA from nothing. More importantly he had a profound impact on the men he coached. What is even more interesting are his philosophies, principles, and viewpoints on coaching.
In his book, Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, the very first concept he discusses is “Industriousness.” He defines this concept as, “There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning.” I could not agree more. In terms of coaching youth, especially in the sport of tennis, to become an accomplished tennis player it easily takes 10+ years of technical, tactical, physical, and competitive development. Not only is this a tremendous amount of hard work (10,000 plus hours to be exact) but the development must be carefully planned and monitored. Just working hard is not good enough, the work must be industrious.
In his books, Coach Wooden explains how deeply he studied the game of basketball and how much time and effort he put into planning practices. He literally would spend 2 hours planning a 90-120 minute practice, no detail was too small. It took a tremendous amount of industrious work and it was not easy but obviously it was worth while and only he knows how worth while it was.
As a coach his work inspires me to continue to work hard and improve my skills. It also shows me how important it is to teach my players that attaining high achievements in the sport of tennis are not easy, in fact it is very hard and it is the price you pay that makes it all worth while. Too often we are fooled by what is new or flashy or the quick fix. The wisdom of Coach Wooden is that there is no quick fix or easy street for anything worth while.