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The late John Wooden (b. 1910, d. 2010) was an American basketball coach at UCLA and was nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood.”   UCLA is in the Westwood area of Los Angeles. 

Coach Wooden won ten National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national championships in a 12-year period as head coach for the UCLA Bruins, including a record seven in a row.

Coach Wooden is quoted as saying:

Be Quick. But Don’t Hurry.

Coach John Wooden

What did Coach Wooden mean with his quote?

According to Coach Wooden, “Be quick but don’t hurry” means:

You need quickness under control, otherwise you have activity without achievement.”

Coach John Wooden

In this video, Coach Wooden explains his quote.

Being quick but not hurrying allows you to develop a sense of confidence and poise under pressure.

Confidence and poise are two elements in Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.

Copyright (c) 2010 UCLA Athletics. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying is strictly prohibited. Fair Use for teaching.

The Pyramid of Success is a framework of successful behaviors developed by Coach Wooden. He used the Pyramid of Success to train and develop the UCLA men’s basketball teams that won 10 NCAA Championships in 12 years (1964-1975) and many business leaders worldwide.

What other meanings does this quote have?  How can you apply the quote to your life to be successful?

  1. The world operates on a sense of urgency which causes stress and requires an immediate response.  Respond under stress with controlled reactions.
  2. Operating on a fine line between moving at the edge of your own abilities and staying centered.
  3. A controlled effort making a conscious effort to slow down as you complete a task.
  4. If you hurry, you are more likely to make mistakes, but if you’re not quick, you miss opportunities.
  5. If you are quick, there is never enough time to be sure to capitalize on an opportunity.  If you are sure, you’re probably too late and you will have missed the opportunity.  However, you must always keep a balance between the two and concentrate.
  6. Quickness comes when you decide what to do. Hurrying comes when others force you to respond to what they want you to do.
  7. Decide.  Then immediately act on and take responsibility for your own decisions.

Being quick, but not hurrying, creates a positive impact and give you the opportunity to be successful in your own life.

Out There on the Edge of Everything® …

Stephen Lesavich, PhD

Copyright © 2023, by Stephen Lesavich, PhD.  All rights reserved.

Certified solution-focused life coach and experienced business coach.